Susan Kress

The Mind-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up

Imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy – Marie Kondo

Things were slipping badly I was losing
things losing track of things losing track of track
of things so I turned to tidying up getting things
you know decluttered bought a stack of folders
in orange and cerulean with little jars to match in
ascending sizes the label-maker was expensive but
definitely worth the money because naming is the key
I’d lost it was important to spread things out on
the carpet in three piles things to throw away things
to give away things to keep and there must also be
a pile called Things Unclassified because so many
things just don’t fit anywhere I find so first I threw
away the names of all my friends especially the ones
I couldn’t remember then went all the streets and
places I had visited I was going to keep some presidents
but it was easier to let them all go after a good talking-
to and I dumped the kings and queens as well the plots
of books I’d read could go to grandchildren equally di-
vided not making gender distinctions of course I
knew my daughter would want all the meals I’d eaten
and I gave her some blue jars to keep them in with
lovely decorated labels I was going to give her old
lovers too but that wouldn’t be right probably though
who knows why so in the end I put those in the un-
classified pile once I found the swing of it there was not
much at all I wanted to keep and most of the new folders
were nice and empty I put smells in jars labeled day-old
socks and new-baked scones but I got them mixed
up and set those loose too and I felt so light when
almost everything was gone and all I had was grudges
back stabs family fights wounds scars and acres of free
space for things that would you know spark joy


Published in “Salmagundi” Fall 2019- Winter 2020.