Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Does it spark joy?

Asian leaf; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2016
This leaf is twenty-years old, collected while I was living in Singapore. I found it nestled in an old address book while sorting through my dross during a Marie Kondo moment.

Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up entered my life in early 2015 and it has changed my life, but not in the way that Marie Kondo intended. Yes, I have a better curated bookshelf. I removed those books that didn't "spark joy" and replaced them with new books that do. I've managed to keep one space in my office clear of paper clutter to balance the messy areas. Unlike Kondo, I love paper and books and notebooks and sketchbooks. They hold ideas and knowledge. Claudia from Proper Tension and I have had several conversations about stuff and Marie Kondo. We are both makers and need a certain about of material to work with. Going Zen and minimalist will not work for what I do, but too much clutter is a liability. It's a fine balance not easily achieved in my work spaces. 

Read Austin Kleon's response to the book here.


Judy Martin said...

Thanks for the austin Kleon link. Enjoyed it.
Happy new Year! x

india flint said...

I agree. Cannot do without my books
Or stones
Thread ends
And so on.
Happy new year

Claudia said...

I believe the ladyfriend and I will be scheduling monthly purge days (which sounds more like a cleanse than a search for joy in our belongings). Here's my question, though - did you keep the leaf? And what about the old address book?

Karen said...

I kept the leaf. It's source material for future work. The old address books are gone. Looking through them sparked lots of memories, but I need space for new memories to emerge. My desk drawers are now better organized. This means that stuff that was piled on top of my desk are now in drawers!

Good luck with finding a balance. We need source material to work with, but too much can mean cluttered thinking.

Rini Ronckers said...

Hello Karin,
I following your blog for a while know.
In January this year I started my own blog and to keep my on track I committed myself to make 1 jewelry piece each week and post about it.
Your picture of this leaf inspired me to make a jewelry piece. May I post the picture, of course with the mention of your name and blog post, in the post about the jewelry piece i made?


Karen said...

Hello Rini,
Thank you for asking! You are the first to ask permission and I appreciate this very much. Yes, you may post the picture if you credit me and my blog and link to my blog. I look forward to seeing your jewellery piece! all best, Karen

Rini Ronckers said...

Hello Karen.
You can see it on