Is it True That Clutter Stimulates Creativity?
It is said that clutter stimulates creativity. Does it really? I don’t think that’s set in stone. Before embarking on my creative journey, I was a “neat freak”. I wanted everything in the right place, all tidy and clean. But now, well … it’s a different story. It’s not a different story in that I need a messy environment to create – far from that.
It’s a different story in that I can’t start a new project when my studio is messy. I need to clean up and put things away in their regular homes before I start. It’s not so much a need to satisfy my “clean freak” side. Okay, I’ll admit, maybe a little bit of that too, but really it’s more of a survival instinct. I need things organized so I can work efficiently and find what I want fast.
On the other hand, when I get into it and I’m working on a piece, I become a “clutter-bug”. I have no time nor interest (okay maybe a little twinge of guilt) to clean up. Even when I get the urge to clean up the hurricane-went- through-my-studio-mess that I make; I don’t. I just accept it! Because it’s just a major interruption to the creative cycle. And that is oh so counterproductive and quite unnecessary.
Being a clean freak in the middle of a creative cycle is counterproductive and quite unnecessary.
Progress is More Important than Clean vs Messy
So yes, I work in a mess when I’m knee-deep in the creative process. But for me, the creative process is what creates clutter, not that clutter stimulates creativity. And I don’t let that kind of mess bother me. You’ll always find resistance to your creativity in one shape or the other. Don’t let a perfectly clean studio or a perfectly messy studio be a criterion or a resistance to you doing your thing. Remember,
“Perfection is the enemy of progress. And done is better than waiting to be done perfectly.”
All of us creatives are different. Your creative style may differ from the norm and that’s okay. The question is what are you doing with a cluttered workspace if that’s not your style. Is it because it is said that clutter stimulates creativity?
Discover what works best for you and accept it! You’ll do your best work in your own personal style for creating whatever that may be – cluttered or squeaky clean.
Question: What’s your personal style for creating? Have you discovered and accepted it yet? Share your comments below.