Balancing Act: The Messy Gal’s Guide to Creating Order

What’s scarier than a tornado of a mess? A completely sterile space. Here’s how to find order in the chaos – and a little chaos in the order.

The Messy Gal's Guide to Creating Order

ON ONE HAND: You are a mess – and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your car, your room, your desk; it’s all become a whirlwind of who-knows-what. There’s controlled chaos…and then there’s this No Man’s Land of clutter you have on hand that would make Mr. Clean do a double-take. Laundry from last week. Scribbled-on Post-Its. Birthday cards and opened mail. You haven’t seen your table top in weeks, and you’ve started to vacuum around the piles. And it’s affecting your state of well-being.

ON THE OTHER HAND: What’s scarier than a tornado of a mess? A nook so neat you could eat off the floor. Whether it’s your bedroom or your workspace, a clear, clean space feels…sterile. Boring. And so not you. You’re a messy jumble of enthusiasm and energy, a fine cocktail of love and longing. It’s not that you don’t take pride in your things; far from it. But life just seems so much more personal when it feels lived-in. When it feels like a sanctuary instead of a tricked-out showroom. And for you, that means that things sometimes get jumbled up. You’re not willing to give up that internal feeling of home for an exterior that looks shiny.

BALANCING ACT: While others might tell you to “get your act together,” becoming a neat freak overnight (or at least looking like one) is not in your DNA. Some of the most creative minds were notoriously messy – Steve Jobs, Mark Twain – and a little mess can go a long way when it comes to fueling your creative fires. Einstein famously said “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” There’s a fine line between too much mess and too much order, and it differs for everyone.

Before we dive too deep into the trenches of piled papers and laundry loads, take an honest look at your Messy Gal tendencies from the inside out. Is your affinity for clutter a by-product of your vibrant and creative life…or is it a way to keep you distracted from what really matters? When there’s a constant (unintentional) mess right in front of your eyes, there’s a constant problem that needs to be solved. Stewing over it takes up brain space and emotional energy, giving you something to worry about, and enables the part of your that likes to formulate excuses. Furthermore, a crazy amount of clutter could be a sign of something deeper, like avoidance of forward-motion. If you dig deep and get real with yourself and find that this is you – create a game plan. Think big. Start small. Step now. Here’s an Empower Point that can help you out, and a Breaking Out that might just be what catapults you into fearlessness.

Right now is the perfect time to find your balancing act – while the changes of the season are signaling it’s time for a change in us (for now, those transitional Fall leaves are here to stay!), before fall holidays start to jam up our schedules, and, let’s be honest, before the upcoming winter weather make us want nothing more than to crawl under a blanket and binge watch Scandal. Here are a few ways for you to find order in the chaos…and a little chaos in the order:

DE-CLUTTER YOUR DIGS. Create overall order in your primary living space: your home. Sometimes our home can be a reflection of our lives, and when we don’t feel sanctuary in our space, feel supported and orderly, then it can make the rest of our life feel haphazardly mashed together. Before you tackle anything else, get your home in relative order – meaning, put away things that have an obvious place, like clothes, shoes, kitchen supplies, etc. You’ll instantly feel a little surge of success and freedom to just be you.

READ MORE of Katie’s tips at The Chalkboard Magazine HERE.

Did this Balancing Act strike a chord? Tell us how you keep your life in balance in the comments below.

By Katie Horwitch, Associate Editor, The Chalkboard Magazine. For more of Katie’s work visit

Photo credit: BLDG 25