Messy or Creative?

This post by Jennifer Flaten

I’m a bookkeeper, which means I like everything in its place. Debits must equal credits and things must be filed away properly, just in case you have to explain why line 57 was charged $232 dollars in June of 2014. At the office I separate all my work into piles depending on urgency. And I store things neatly in binders.

Contrast orderly bookkeeper me with creative jewelry designer me. Huge difference. Seems I like to keep all my jewelry supplies out where I can see them at all times. Not only that I have stuff EVERYWHERE.

Oh sure, at first it started out with a table in the family room. In fact, that is the whole reason we chose this house (okay, one of several, but a very important one). It has a nice family room off the kitchen/dining room, so I could have a work space but not be isolated from the rest of the family.IMG_5490

Okay, great got one table set-up and a few rolling storage drawers. Put my supplies out on the table. Turns out I like working at the kitchen table better. The “work table” is now a storage area for supplies and unfinished projects or current works in process. Seriously, how many times am I going to stand at that table sifting through all the stuff looking for that one item I know was JUST RIGHT THERE before I clean it up? Never ask a question you don’t want the answer to.

Hmm, seems maybe I need another table. The family room now has two tables. The WIP table and the “other” table which holds finished objects and the photography “studio”. I’ve now annexed ¾ of the family room.

Then the knitting obsession hit, so now I have several bins of yarn. FYI the yarn doesn’t stay in the bin, it falls out and rolls around the family room. Sometimes I can’t even get to the table. My storage drawers constantly have circular knitting needles dangling out of them. The bookkeeper side of me is cringing. The creative side is going “wheee look at all the cool stuff”

Currently, I have over half the kitchen table filled with a project I am working on, we may have to eat supper in a different location.

Can you keep your creativity contained?

Browse my jewelry on Etsy


12 thoughts on “Messy or Creative?

  1. Love your home already! And while I like things to be perfect, in their place and “just so,” I can’t seem to keep things that way. I felt justified when a psychology student told me they had read about people like me in class (because I said it bothers me when things aren’t perfect but my surroundings are messy) and I am a “messy perfectionist!” Had never heard of this before but am sure willing to go with it! Anyway, understand the problem. Keep up the good work, er, craft!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Fun post Jennifer and I only think creativity can be contained at a price… by that I mean that if I do that tidy up there will be a point where I’ll spend ages trying to find things that were temporarily tidied up. I clutter the dining room and the corners get a lot more stacked in them when we need to use the table for guests eating in the dining room. My clutter is books and paper. Sheets of printed paper can be hurriedly stashed away but WHERE is that one reference when I need it! 🙂


  3. No, I cannot contain anything. When people enter my home, they say, “Oh, how creative you must be.” I crave orderliness and have spent a fortune at Office Depot and the Container Store, but the cute and colorful organizational tools just stack up around the other creative stuff. I’ll stop before I’ve written an entire blog post.


  4. I’m like Neva. I love the “messy perfectionist” term. That’s definitely me! I’m very particular and like everything just so but at my desk where I write, there are piles and piles of notes, folders, WIPs, books, notebooks, and it goes on and on. I have things in certain piles so it works for me but there are times I can’t believe I actually found something.


  5. My creativity (and my husband) were threatening to take over the entire house. I have an office where everything is very neat and I can find everything while I am writing. The basement, on the other hand has lots of room so I set up four long folding tables in an “L” shape and put another table in a corner of the basement to keep my ongoing puzzle on. Since I do lots of sewing, knitting and crocheting, jewelry making (and just about every other creative thing you can think of), I thought this would be excellent. I have four sewing machines currently in use, so I moved one and put my art journaling stuff on one table. My art journal supplies have taken over almost every nook and cranny, totes, drawers, rolling carts and shoe boxes in my creative space. Totes of magazines make it uncomfortable to move around and paper is everywhere! The table ended up holding paint, stamps, and everything else I need to journal, so I had to take over another table. But what I totally love is that I can leave in the middle of a project and return to where I was. I love the term “Messy Perfectionist”. Thanks Neva for your comment. I think I need to make a collage for my creating area that says that!


  6. I keep my ‘creativity’ confined to my work desk, but I have to concede that it’s really, really messy — and coated with dust. I don’t keep papers in folders in physical cabinets. Instead, I use virtual folders on my computer… nothing like the ability to scan stuff.


  7. My creativity is pretty much contained to my laptop. Well, then there’s my trunk, which is full of books and posters, and my dresser, which has a big box of bookmarks, and the floor beside my dresser which has even more books. So no, I can’t.


  8. I love your creative sides attitude. I also have two sides. My photography side has all my negatives in order placed in binders and kept in a safe for temperature control. Photographs are placed in files by subject. My writers side has notes and other assorted papers in stacks, a stack on my desk, a stack on my filing cabinet, and yet another stack on a chair. I do manage to keep it all in my office.


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