Wednesday, August 6, 2008
My Messy Life, a documentary by Josh Freed, seems like a companion piece to the book A Perfect Mess. Indeed, David Freedman, one of the authors of A Perfect Mess, gets a fair amount of air time in the film.
And like the book, the film is a mixed bag; it's both amusing and aggravating. The most annoying part is the false dichotomy, where the speakers act as though the only alternative to an office with piles of paper (or piles of CDs) in such disarray that they keep tumbling to the floor is one of the pristine homes (with no signs of life) shown in so many magazines.
Professional organizers, contrary to what you might gather from the film, understand that some people are highly visual and need to have everything out in full view. That can be done in an organized way - so things aren't tumbling to the floor. And no organizer I know would try to change someone's space if they felt it was working for them (except perhaps in cases where the space truly puts the person's health or safety at risk, and even that gets tricky). If Freed likes his messy office and feels it works well for him, he doesn't need an organizer!
Like the Perfect Mess book, the Messy Life film strays into issues of messiness that have nothing to do with organization: the messiness of nature, the messiness of a yard that isn't the typical orderly garden, etc. At one point, David Freedman says that "Education should be messy," and I tend to agree.
The film was originally shown on CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster, but Freed is now selling DVDs of My Messy Life for $20 (Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars), including shipping. If you live somewhere other than the USA or Canada, you'd need to check on pricing. There's an interesting interview with Freed on AOL.