I Believe In Dirty Rooms

Shane - Manhattan, Montana
Entered on June 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in dirty rooms

I constantly see people becoming more and more organized as they mature. When they begin to pass the “my parents totally suck” stage and they enter the “I can’t believe someone actually let me into college” stage, I notice a shift in their outlook on efficiency. Students organize, categorize, systemize, summarize, visualize—and every other “ize” word there is—as they grow up. Living in our fast-paced world makes efficiency a requirement. However, there is a point where organization can take too much control. As the adage goes, we need everything in moderation. Too much organization leads to a categorized and “filed” life—which is often times a boring life. I love variety, spontaneity, and unexpectedness. Therefore, I attempt to avoid mind-numbing systems and paper-pushing secretarial work. It is for this reason that I believe in dirty rooms.

I consider a dirty room to be an area with no preconceptions, no hassles, and no worries. In essence, it is a place where no responsibilities lay. They allow even the most organized person to have a small amount of imperfection within their lives. A dirty room enables me to truly relax because I know that when I enter this area that is a complete and utter disaster, I don’t have to care about it. I don’t attempt to sort out the thirteen dirty socks on the ground or pick up the underwear lying on top of the stereo or even clean out the two-week-old pizza under the bed. When I walk into my post-bomb-explosion zone, it offers me a chance to relax. I can brush off the problems of the day onto the un-vacuumed floor.

My dirty room is the equivalent to some people’s junk drawers or chaotic closets. It is a portion of my life that is allowed disorder and untidiness. By having this small piece of chaos in my life, it actually stabilizes my mentality. It balances out the organized part of me. My dirty room gives me an area where I can lose myself and not have to focus. This place is where I can allow frustration to be expelled, organization to be lost, and relaxation to be welcomed.