Is It Really Messy If You (Mostly) Can’t See It?

CREATIVE_CLUTTER_IS_BETTER_THAN_IDLE_NEATNESSPatrick and I met at the YWCA gym working out.  In retrospect I’m sure he was stacking his used weights in a neat, organized pile, and probably mine were slightly askew. We didn’t notice that of course, since we were falling in love.

Our house is really neat and clean, and I really wouldn’t be embarrassed if you dropped by anytime.  Really. (I think I might have overused the word really, so now you are really suspicious.)

Okay, I have to confess there are some areas where Patrick outdoes me in the neatness department.  LIke most creative geniuses I have some idiosyncrasies.  I’m not really a creative genius, but that last sentence was a really fun fantasy.  (I promise I won’t use the word really again in this post, so please read on.)

My neatness is shallow (surprise!) in that I believe if messiness is (mostly) hidden, it doesn’t exist. Patrick is hardcore neat and doesn’t share my practical philosophy.  We are very accepting of each other’s differences and it has never been a problem for us.

Who cares about coffee in a spoon when you eventually hide it away in a dishwasher that will most likely remove that tiny dried on ring? And even if there is a hint of that ring remaining, the sanitized spoon is stashed in the silverware drawer, right?


Patrick always turns his spoon over so there is no coffee ring. Why?

My stacking job vs. meticulous engineer’s stacking job.  This doesn’t happen very often since I have been banned from most dishwashing duties.


Slacker’s stack of shame.  Hurry up and put these away before there is an avalanche.


Perfectly balanced pots and pans.  Plenty of time to let them air dry before dismantling this masterpiece.

Notice how super neat everything is in the areas that I can’t reach.  No fair!  He’s tall. Both closets are identical once doors are closed.


I know where everything is


I don’t know how he can find anything in this organized mess!

Most of the time I can close my bureau drawer by squishing everything in. I do think I’m buying too many horizontal stripes though, don’t you?


My homogenous mixture of awesome stuff


His disgustingly orderly drawer with …oh surprise!  Everything is black and white

The dog is the only one who rides in my back seat and she doesn’t complain.  Isn’t that why they have tinted car windows?  And when was the last time you could find your umbrella when you needed it?


Normal American backseat, what’s the big dog hairy deal anyway?


Unnatural immaculate sterile pristine backseat. Would you even dare to drink a big gulp back here?

My desk is a bit harder to hide, so I do clean it up at least once in a while, with “a while” being a vague time frame.  Then I vow to keep it neat, but inevitably revert back to desknial (desk denial).


Creative genius work space


How can you even call this desolation a work space?

Body clutter is easy to hide with a flowing, loose top.  Patrick doesn’t need this strategy, and can tuck in his shirt with a 30 inch belt encircling his slim waistline.


Pretending to be happy wearing camouflage clothing after eating snack of celery and water


Smug expression after just polishing off a Party Size bag of Doritos

Okay, now it is your turn to vote.  Does messiness exist if you (mostly) can’t see it?

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12 thoughts on “Is It Really Messy If You (Mostly) Can’t See It?

  1. You can bet that company is coming to our house when the kitchen has that “hollow” sound like a house with no furniture. The clutter is stashed somewhere out of sight, and the counters are free of any signs of life. When my bed is made, you know that the company is probably staying overnight, or it’s their first visit to our humble abode and a tour is expected. The only places that are almost always Patrick-neat are the linen closet and the laundry room where the colored hangers are sorted like the colors of the rainbow. So, yes, Molly, I whole-heartedly agree that if the mess cannot be seen, it does not exist.!

  2. Mark is definitely a “neat and tidy” cleaner like Patrick is. Me? I have little piles of different items where others don’t tend to notice them. I hide them – but you see, I know what’s in my piles strewed about, and know where to find things in the rubble. I’m with you, Molly. If we hide things – they don’t equate to a mess! REALLY!!

  3. I can’t vote either way, since my closet and drawers are neatly organized by color and theme and my desk at work looks like a bomb hit it. Ed, my husband, is the exact opposite. Let’s just say that opposites attract. Great post!

  4. As far as I see, women have no feel for properly putting dishes in a dishwasher. And I agree, If you can’t see it it ain’t messy.

  5. Messy is in the eye of the beholder 🙂 Even on my neatest day, it’s still a little messy around the edges. I strive to have a place for everything, but that day may never come! Maybe when I move to a new house…

  6. My flip flops are in a pile in the closet. Brent’s shoes are lined up according to color complete with shoe trees. Oh did I mention the color coordination is alphabetical…black…Brown…tan…white…WTF!

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