Woo hoo! For years now, the prevailing aspirational aesthetic being promoted by shelter magazines and other upscale stores and publications has been the impossibly bare “zen” look of huge white spaces. They make for pretty, glossy layouts, but I’ve just never seen how they’re possible in an everyday sense, and I’ve grown to resent the messianic proponents of “clutter-free” living. Don’t get me wrong–I like clean, modern furniture, and I have little use for decorative tchotchkes, but I get nervous in a house that gives no sense of its occupants. I want to see art, weird collections, lots of books, music, toys, etc. I want to see magazines stacked on side tables and old postcards taped to the fridge.

Finally, this week’s House and Garden section of the Times validates those of us who have been apologizing for our messes all these years. It validates much of what I’ve felt, wordlessly, all along:

Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.

Hah! Next time any of you visit, I’m not apologizing for the mess.