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I’ve never been a particularly neat person. My 4th grade teacher referred to my desk as a rat’s nest, and when my college roommate went out shopping she bought me a new laundry hamper as a not so subtle hint.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten a little better. Well, I guess that really depends on who you talk to. I think I’ve gotten better. My husband still fails to appreciate the hours spent meticulously organizing the medicine cabinet when there is a sink full of dirty dishes and a noticeable lack of clean clothes.

One of the things I’ve realized is that I’m more creative and more easily inspired when I’m in a tidy space. There’s something about an open, clear space that is just conducive to the creative process. Brainstorming sessions flow more naturally and are far more productive. On the other hand, I really have difficulty starting a new project when my desk area is messy. It’s not just the logistics of finding space for stuff- I honestly feel like I have a mental block against creating.

I’ve just finished crocheting a shawl, and I told myself that my reward for finishing the shawl by Wednesday morning would be allowing myself a break to clean and organize the hall closet. I know this sounds weird, and most people would probably make crochet time the reward for organizing. But that’s just me- I’m weird like that.