A little clutter is good for the soul

Nearly nine weeks ago, I began to pack up my office where I work and my studio where I create things. Our fireplace malfunctioned over the winter and left a layer of soot on our walls and carpet…to get things clean again, I needed to pack and store the contents of the two rooms.

I knew the upheaval was an opportunity to lighten my load…I sure wouldn’t do any of this for fun. I keep a “stash” of fabric, paper, beads, fibers, and lots more. Handling everything was a good reminder of what I have. I employed the Marie Kondo concept about letting go of items that don’t bring me joy (editor’s note: I find joy in all kinds of stuff.)

Life went on over the course of these 9 weeks, but it was a different way to live. With all my creative materials put away, I often felt sad and stressed. It was also apparent how much I rely on visual reminders…for me, out of sight is truly out of mind.

After the last work crew finished, I furiously carted my treasures up the stairs and reassembled my creative space as fast as I could make it functional. It’s not completely finished, but enough so that I can find things and work in the space again. With a little spontaneous puttering, a new project started to form last night…an altered journal, starting from a Daytimer cover I found at the Salvation Army:

I remember lusting after these fancy calendar binders back in the day (1990-something) when a perfect paper calendar system seemed like the key to high productivity. This one is going to have new life as an art journal.

I’m grateful to have my space back, yet I know that the disruption has caused a re-shuffle. Inevitably, some projects that were on the top of mind two months ago will be lost or “aged” before I see them again. Other ideas that were buried may re-surface and be bumped to the front. I am newly aware of how much I’m a passenger in this creative journey, when most of the time I think I am driving.

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