I live in chaos. Actually, I should say I live in the midst of chaos--Me, personally, I'm not in chaos.
There isn't a surface in my studio that isn't full of something. I have to clear out a place on the worktable to make anything. Doesn't bother me. It would drive some people crazy. And Thank God I don't have to clean it up every time I quit working. THAT would be work! Some time ago, I was comforted by seeing photos of Warren McKenzie's studio--just as messy as mine. I'm off the hook.
I also remember Paul Dresang saying in a workshop/demo that he had to clear out the 'detritus' to a 2-foot square in order to work. This is a man who makes wonderful, incredible, meticulous fool-the-eye clay pieces. Seeing his work, you would think he worked in a studio that was like a scientific lab.....
The mess functions as an index. I have shelves full of things that 'worked' and I want to be reminded of that in order to repeat it--shapes to repeat, glaze combinations that sing. What is referred to as "The Artist's Collection", as in the....
There's also things in other places that didn't work. Ideas in progress--things to do again, but with a different glaze, a form problem to solve, a piece that worked, but the glaze ran or the form cracked:
The bastard children of a good idea.
Besides, if I didn't keep them out, I'd forget them.