My Spatula Doesn’t Need to Spark Joy

Discovering my path to decluttering

Julie Russell
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readSep 3, 2021
Photo: LukaTDB/Getty Images

Somewhere in the flotsam of my bathroom vanity drawer is a decent pair of tweezers. Somewhere in the deluge of paper bags in my hall closet is a reusable one. Somewhere in my clothes closet is a pair of jeans that still fit.

Crap. It’s time to declutter.

Usually moving is the impetus for me to declutter, and I used to find pleasure in the sorting, deciding, and purging process. Moving may be impetus again, as some seismic life shifts are forthcoming. But I don’t want to move and I’m still recovering from the last time I asked my stuff if it sparked joy.

Today, I bought an average, low-end scale. As I sat eye to display screen with it, the word THINNER above the display didn’t sit well with me. It did not spark joy.

The scale was tilted up against the bathroom wall. “If we’re going to do this,” I told the scale, “you’re going to need a happy AF name.”

Half-formed, masculine-ish names appeared like smoke bubbles in my head and dissipated as I tried to grasp them. Then, suddenly, Daisy appeared.

“Daisy?” I asked the scale. Daisy, I heard firmly. It was so silly, so incongruous, I shook my head and laughed. “Okay. Daisy.”

The first thing I had to do, even before I brought Daisy to life, was cover up the declaration THINNER. I popped batteries into my label maker and chose Courier 18, all lowercase:

Nice to meet you, Daisy!

Did Daisy spark joy when I picked her off the shelf? Oh hell no. Did she spark joy when I brought her home, unboxed her, and had our eye-to-screen convo? Nope. Before she had a name and a pronoun, I was prepared for battle, not amusement.

Daisy’s a scale. Which means she’s bound to be as capricious as my daily water retention. But if I have any desire — and I do — to lose of some of my perimenopausal-not-helped-by-Covid-19 weight, I need a scale. It needs to tell me how much I weigh, not pass judgement.



Julie Russell
Human Parts

Member of Alabama Street Writing Group | Previous Eng Manager at Medium | Past Board Member of NaNoWriMo nonprofit | Opinions are all & always mine.