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Book Review: A Perfect Mess

My Rating: 6 / 10

A perfectly messy book!

A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder – How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and on-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place is not intended to justify messiness, but the authors clearly demonstrate that over-organizing is an ineffective and costly endeavour that usually doesn’t bring as much benefits as is typically anticipated. In other words, in many instances the authors show that the cost of organizing is much higher than the resulting benefits. If you believe that being very organized is always best, you will be shocked when you read this book. Unfortunately if you are looking for reasons to be messy you may find that this book will support your condition.

Although this book was fun to read with plenty of anecdotes about the success of messy scenarios, it fails to provide valid comparisons for similar situations. For example, the book talks about situations where a positive outcome happen because of the surrounding mess but there is no replica of the same situation without the mess to determine if potentially a better outcome could have occurred.

Overall, the book was interesting with its many anecdotes and peculiar circumstances but the authors pushed it to such extend that the examples quickly became slightly exaggerated and inappropriate to demonstrate their point.

In my mind, the only conclusion to draw is to evaluate the need to organize and assess if the benefits call for the associated efforts. Use your judgement and determine how much organization is actually required and how much mess can be tolerated.

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