Flat diaries II. How to live with creative mess

Canal view Birmingham

When was the last time you couldn’t see your bedroom floor from the mess?
It happened to me last weekend, and I’m not ashamed to write about it. I have the perfect excuse. Prioritising helped me so much in the recent year – it kept me from feeling overwhelmed too often or for extended periods of time.

“A clean house is a sign of a wasted life?!”

You know memes with quotes such as the above, right?
I woke up last Sunday morning surrounded by what you can see here and did not feel bad about it.


Creative mess bedroom 2

Creative mess bedroom 1

I washed my hair, put on my makeup and some nice clothes to meet my friend Rachel. We had planned a walk around Birmingham city centre, followed by takeaway lunch from Damascena. The city welcomed us back and showed us corners and paths I had never walked before. Some of these spaces were new or renewed even in Rachel’s eyes.

With its everchanging urban landscape and new projects rising out of forgotten Victorian shadows, Birmingham fits the idea of creative mess better than any other city I know.

Prioritising saves me… from my own stress

Since I moved to this flat, I managed to keep my own creative mess under control. It is an achievement that extended to my whole life. I got better at breaking tasks into steps, recognising where I need to change my rhythm, so my brain doesn’t half die in a puddle of lukewarm monotony. Stress levels have not toppled me over as they used to before.

I find it a lot easier to keep my space tidy if I don’t have to do it in one go. Dusting one day for 5-10 minutes, hoovering on another afternoon, cleaning the kitchen tops and the hob on a third day in the evening – it feels more manageable.

Living in a smaller space than Adrian’s big, beautiful countryside house (my partner’s) fits me right now. I no longer crumble under my own expectations to keep such a space sparkling clean… and failing miserably.

I even find relying in certain routines pleasant. My favourite one is to cover my bed with the big grey blanket every morning before I get dressed. Then my cushions go against the wall, bunny and teddy follow. The room looks tidy for the day!

This diary entry is not, however, a lesson in housekeeping and tidiness.
Just like the vlog I edited on Sunday afternoon, after going out with Rachel, it is about prioritising. Having a tidy space around me nurtures my peace of mind. But if tidying up means I will be late to see a friend, or for a poetry slam, skipping it for once in so many months is absolutely fine.
When I came back after lunch it took me about 15 minutes to sort the mess out. I did not have those 15 minute before that point on Sunday.

The way to steer one’s creative mess, I’m finding, is not to fight it. But to learn what makes it work best.
A bit of alchemy, after all.

Layering my creative mess

How many of you, reading this, prefer minimalist décor around?
How many prefer layers of books, trinkets, memories, shoes and houseplants?

You’ll probably know, if you ever watched my videos or checked my Instagram and Facebook posts, that I am the later of the two. To people who prefer minimalist spaces, such as Adrian does, a bookshelf like mine, laden with small dolls, cats, Danish horses and whatnot, might be a proper nightmare. Or having SOOOOOO many cosmetics stashed in the bathroom.

It works for me, as long as I keep it tidy enough. It creates a cosiness that I enjoy having around.
Which of the two are you?
Maybe your version is somewhere in between?

Balcony garden hanger

My balcony garden keeps growing too, with a new over the rails hanging planter. Keep an eye here for my next diary entry to find out more soon.

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