Messy is the New Neat?

Do you think I could learn from this?

Time Magazine reporter Jeremy Caplan makes a case for letting up a bit on the neat freak thing. If only I knew how to make peace ---

"Devotees of filing often interrupt their thought flow to stuff papers in folders, while pack rats just toss papers to the side for later. Procrastination like that can actually pay off. 'Putting off undertaking almost any form of neatening or organizing will probably have some advantage," write Abrahamson and Freedman (authors of a new study), "because it's much more efficient to organize a large set of things at one shot than it is to try to organize them in pieces as they come along.' "

Neat and me go way back as opponents. An eternal seesaw operates in my psyche: I gotta have all that stuff visible, in piles, touchable, doable, incredibly touchable vs. I love order, categories, things in boxes and the perfect file folder, colorcoded and alphabetized in a manner only I would imagine. Thus, not having time, energy, plastic styrene boxes enough, the clutter creeps on in a battle against the perfectionistic inner elf.  You can imagine where that leaves me most of the time. Matter of fact, I think most of my friends, students and partners-in-crime will positively howl at the idea that I even harbor the inkling of an inner neat-freak.

I am open to any and all suggestions from you, my dear readers, about how to deal with this on-going conflict. I especially wrestle with the issue of keeping up with deadlines, paydates, due dates etc, no matter how many calendars I make. Without tangible in-my-space reminders of what needs doing (ie if I stick things in an appropriate file folder and drawer) it just seems to disappear from brain. And then if its out in clear sight, layers of work-in-progress clutter soon overtake whatever order it once held in place. The photos below illustrate my usual state of tabletops (and this after a full morning of pushing papers around). NOTE the OPEN file drawers, the heaped to overflowing plastic bins, the attempts at organization gone astray.

Somehow, I don't think this is what Jeremy has in mind:

more mess.JPG