How to find ideas in organized messes

Do you know that a major part of creativity is existing things (ideas, experiences, objects, and so on)? In order to create new things (ideas, experiences, objects, etc.) your brain relies almost entirely on existing things already stored inside of it.

Your brain works to collect and sort through everything you encounter every day. From sounds and objects to people and experiences, it’s all stored in our brains and later filtered when we may be able to use the same inputs to output something new, exciting, or useful.

While the brain’s ability to organize and store nearly everything around us subconsciously is great for creativity and problem solving, it can start to strain your thinking ability and hinder your creative capabilities. Fortunately there are ways you can help your brain with organization and all that.

One thing you can do to relieve a bit of the strain on your brain is to organize your clutter.

Clutter allows you to pull something from a pile and present it to your brain and have your mind build connections between the random objects in your clutter pile(s) and the problem or project you’re working on now. Clutter is, in this scenerio, a pile of potential ideas and solutions. But clutter itself can be dangerous. When you have unorganized clutter your brain has to work in order to memorize where everything is stored (pencils and paint brushes are over there, unimportant papers are over here, car keys are somewhere beneath it all – hopefully).

Thus the important idea of organized clutter.

Organized clutter means you embrace clutter, messiness, and random order in a way that can help fuel creativity, but do so in an organized way.

This means that you have a dedicated room for messes, or a set area of your desk where things are allowed to pile up and be thrown around. Designated a “clutter drawer” in a dresser or a set “pile‒o‒junk” where you can go whenever you need a bit of personal inspiration.

If you feel too messy, or too organized, try organizing your clutter a bit. It’s a great way for you to create a specific place/area for finding inspiration from time to time.

Original photo by Kerry Woo.