A Perfect Mess Part 3 - Reading Wednesday Week 10

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A Perfect Mess Part 3 - Reading Wednesday Week 10

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nov 4, 2009, 7:15 am

Does perfection exist in real people's homes? Perfect mess or perfect organization? Where do you draw the line between perfection and good enough? I can't answer that for you, but I can ask more questions to help you figure it out for yourself.


1) One concept that is discussed by the authors is called "...confirmation bias: when a person wants and expects something to be true, he tends to pay special attention to and to remember whatever confirms the expectation and is more likely to ignore or forget what contradicts it. In other words, the brain steps in and tidies up our view of the world so that it jibes with how we expect the world to behave." (Ch. 11, p. 255) Have you ever experienced confirmation bias? What role does confirmation bias play in your own home and life? What role does it play in how you feel about any of the books in the series thus far?

2) Another concept discussed is the idea that mess is relative. "While scientists can sometimes measure disorder according to objective, technical criteria, our everyday assessment of what makes for an unpleasant mess and what doesn't must be attributed to a vaguer and more subjective process...Simply put, pathological mess often turns out to be in the mind of the beholder." (Ch. 12, p. 283) Is mess in the mind of the beholder? If so, why would someone ever want to change their behavior or their stuff when they could just change their mind about what mess is?

3) The title of the book is A Perfect Mess which, to me, implies that there is an ideal standard of mess to strive towards. Can perfection in messiness (or order) ever be attained? What's the effect on people's lives who strive to do so and always fall short? What role does perfectionism play in your home?

It's All Too Much by Peter Walsh - Part One p. 19-56 The Clutter Problem

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For the full Fall 2009 schedule, please see Reading Wednesday -- Week 1.

Happy Reading!