Tuesday, November 07, 2006

No more mess

If you occasionally despair about the mess and clutter and utter PIGSTYNESS of your surroundings - and of course you don't, being an upright citizen of firm virtues who never puts a foot or an item out of place; but let's just pretend for a moment that you did, okay? - and I do, all right? It's about me, this is all about me - then... help is at hand.

I've discovered a new way of looking at mess. It's a term, not a way of cleaning things up, but it turns mess into something else, and that is A Good Thing. It happened because I'm working in a plastics factory this week, assembling jars, and yesterday I learned about the two methods of packing them into boxes.

The first method is to arrange the jars neatly in rows and columns, filling the box layer by layer. We only do this if the client specifies it, because it's silly and annoying and slow. This method of packing is called "stack filling".

The second method is to throw the jars into the box. Throw 'em in. That's the method. When you reach the total number of jars required (counted by electronic scales which calculate numbers by weight), you stop throwing them in and close the box. And this method of packing is called "tumble filling".

This is my fantastic discovery: if something looks messy because you've just chucked everything in and left the scene of the crime - whether it be a room or a cupboard, a car, a bag, a pocket, a bookcase, a garden, even your brain or your life - look again. That thing is not messy at all. No. Look again. It's not messy. It's tumble filled.

Gold, reader. Gold.