How To Embrace Chaos as Part of the Creative Process

Trista Signe Ainsworth

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You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. -Maya Angelou

We are all creative beings. Our creativity not only comes in the form of artistic pursuits, but it also can be found in problem-solving, research, and more. I find that creativity is also something that overflows from us.

This is a story about during the holiday season in December 2020, our house was an utter disaster. This is not the first mess I have created.

Whenever I am in the middle of creating something, there will be a bit of a mess. I love to cook, and when I am making a complicated recipe, there can be ingredients, pots, and pans everywhere. Can you relate?

This particular day in December, I had a big mess on my hands. No, it wasn’t my son’s fault. It was my own creative, chaotic mess. How can that be when I am a professional organizer?

When we are in the middle of our creativity, other activities come to a halt for a while.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.

― Pablo Picasso

My kitchen counter was strewn with plates of cookies, parchment paper, scissors, ribbons, stickers, mini candy canes, pens, gift tags, and more. There were dishes in the sink to be done.

There were lots of loads of laundry that needed tending to. Beds were unmade, and the clean clothes were in baskets ready to put away.

I was in the middle of packing up and creating my Christmas cookie boxes for nearby neighbors and friends. Last week I sent off 9 packages to friends and family containing cookies and other gifts.

I find that although I love to be neat and orderly, sometimes I need to embrace the chaos for just enough time to get something done. Then, I can put everything back together as it was.

Once I was done creating my cookie boxes yesterday, I had a cleaning session. I started right over at the front door and worked my way through the house.

This week I plan on catching up on extra laundry, ironing, recycling. I will do more each day once my creative work is done.

All is well, and you will never get it done. -Abraham Hicks

I believe that is the point of life. As eternal, creative beings, we will never complete that long to-do list.

That is not something to despair about. As I tell clients, your life and your home are in process.

As a professional organizer, I see clutter and mess as a sign of creative people living in the home.

I love to be creative, so I see chaos as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to create something new.

No matter how many times we declutter and organize our homes, there will always be more to be done. New things will come into our house in many forms. Gifts, decor, clothes, and toys that our children outgrow will enter our doors.

This constant abundance of items and creativity means that our lives are rich. What an opportunity we have!

Having lots to choose from means that we are abundant human beings. The universe will always provide more.

There are also times where you might be going through some challenges, so you need to give yourself some grace. We are always a creative work in progress.

To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.

― Osho

When I take on a big creative project, I know that it will be chaotic sometimes. I work through the mess to the other side of the process.

Think about when you were a child. It was so much fun to create. We used to finger paint, use crayons to draw, and make masterpieces from our art supplies.

Let us not forget the joys of creativity. Often when we become adults, we think we are not creative anymore. We put away our paints, brushes, and pencils.

However, we are meant to be creative in so many different ways. Not only can we create art, but we can also be creat by cooking, programming, writing, singing, making videos, and more.

It is so beautiful when you stand back and look at what you have created. Your life, relationships, works of art, and so much more are always in the process of evolving.

Give yourself grace when you create a mess. Know that chaos means that you are embracing creativity.

Your routines and habits will be there when the project is done to help you get organized once again. I have learned over time that I can go back to my routines with ease.

When you create small steps to develop secure habits, you do not fear a mess or a little chaos.

For example, I love to do what I call a daily sweep in my home. I have a simple to-do list in the notes app on my phone. Every day after I do my daily work, I go to my list. I find it very satisfying to check off the items as I go.

Here is my daily list. I can usually accomplish these within forty-five minutes to one hour:

  1. Do dishes
  2. Sweep the main floor
  3. Mop main floor
  4. Clean the main bathroom
  5. Do the laundry
  6. Make bed
  7. Feed Squirrels & Birds

This list takes care of the basic cleaning of my home on a daily basis. I love having this list on my phone because it keeps me on track.

My promise to you is: You are a continually evolving, eternal being. You are always in the process of becoming.

In conclusion, you are a creative being. Do not let a little mess stop your creativity. We need your art in our world.

Day #40: How can you give yourself grace for the messes you create?

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I am a local food and drink adventurer! Find out the latest about delicious food around Portland, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Oregon, and beyond.

Hillsboro, OR
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