Spring Cleaning

Feeling: Accomplished yet unsatisfied

it is NEVER easy throwing out stuff. or even getting started on throwing out stuff… Or even thinking about throwing out stuff. Especially when everything is sitting very nicely in its place, and has been for the longest time.

I don’t throw things away easily and I think that a lot of people who have come to see my house or my room would definitely classify me as a hoarder.

Not like those crazy TV hoarders who keep bodily excretions and that kind of gross stuff, but I’m sentimental as heck, and I have a tough time learning how to give or throw things away because at the back of my head I worry that I’ll need this or that thing again one day (which HAS happened before when flare skirts came back into fashion.)


but as I grow older, I find it SLIGHTLY easier to say goodbye to things that I haven’t touched in a while, but just barely.

When  we were getting ready to renovate our home and had to move out, the husband and I had a BIG PURGE of items and clothes that we had been keeping from the yesteryear and we participated in our first ever flea market (Flea for good @ City Square).

It was a very liberating experience. And a bit sad too, since a lot of the stuff we were giving away was actually in fantastic quality. It was just that we couldn’t wear that stuff anymore, and neither could we foresee that we would EVER be able to wear that stuff anymore.

Stop laughing.

But yes. Purging can be rather therapeutic.

I’m bringing this up because every year, when Chinese New Year comes around, tradition calls for us to do a big sweep of the house, out with the old and in with the new and all that.

And as I mentioned last week or the week before, I’ve actually exacerbated the problem by shopping for more decorations for the festive season and adding to my already growing pile of crap in this house.

I had to make up for it this week by really cracking down on the last few boxes of unpacked items that have been sitting under tables for the last year since we’ve moved in and I’m proud to say that finally, after a year of living in our old house again, we are finally FREE of moving-in boxes! Woohoo!


I felt very determined to keep my new house clean this year – we hired an industrial cleaner to come and wipe down every possible surface, the window shades, windows themselves, the ledges and cupboard doors and handles, giving the upholstery a good beating and vacuuming and heck, we even went to polish some of the stainless steel fixtures in the bathroom as well as our front door knob.

I dare say that I’m feeling quite pleased with myself and my husband after all that work we put in to get rid of unnecessary clutter about the place.

Our home has never been one of those brand new build-to-order flats either. Having lived together before we got married, we accumulated quite a lot of couple items, bought with a joint share, and when we finally moved into our own house, we added our couple stuff to our own individual amounts of stuff and ended up with an apartment nearly filled to the brim with THINGS.

I’m also glad to say that we had a lot of donations from well-meaning relatives. The quality of some of the furniture that we’ve inherited is definitely way above a standard that we could have afforded for ourselves, and that definitely added to the fray.

We are in fact very pleased with our house, we have always been so, and for some reason, the lived-in atmosphere that you get once you step into our home just adds to that feeling of belonging.

I do worry though, that we’ll never have a showroom flat finish to this house, despite the fact that we spend a bomb on a renovation that’s impeccable from the parquet flooring to the false ceiling, but at the end of the day, while we admire the minimalist style, it’s not something that’s “us”.


Add to the whole mix a kid, and another one the way, and well, I don’t see our status quo ever changing. Not for a long while.

When we first moved into this house 3 months before our wedding, we had a spare bedroom which was sparse and it held barely more than a King-sized bed, a cupboard and 2 side tables.

After our renovations, and moving back into the house with the baby in tow, that spare bedroom now consists of a junkyard full of toys (very generously gifted by friends and family over the many birthday/birth celebrations we’ve hosted) and an interesting mix of other baby-related furniture – changing table, toy storage, cot…

And now that the baby is running all over the place to boot, you can be sure that more often than not, his toys spill out into the rest of the house. There’s nary a room which doesn’t have some Duplo block or car of some sort hiding in some corner since the bub has taken to stashing things in places and telling him he doesn’t know where they’ve gone.


We’re having a bit of a dilemma trying to figure out what we’re going to do to segregate that space once the second one comes – it’s always been on our mind that we would need to make sure that our kids have a private space of our own.

Thank goodness our second kid is going to be a boy. We’re going to be able to lump them together in the kids room for a long time to come and mama ain’t gonna have to give up her work/office/study room for a bit. Plus I hear that siblings sleeping in the same room over time are much closer and better friends for it.

I mean, we paid for the house, so we jolly well get to use it our own way for a while right?

In any case, we’re pretty sure that the cupboard situation will be able to sort itself out. It’s not something we have to worry about for a while since a large portion of the clothes are going to be hand me downs.

I’m just a little worried that while there’ll be a great size difference in the 2 sets of clothes that I’ll have a difficulty segregating the lot without more storage solutions for the room.


I suppose that in time, we’re going to see a whole lot more STUFF coming through our doors though. As our kids grow older, we’re going to see them go through different phases – different genres or toys, fashion, tastes, likes and dislikes. They may like board games or card games or action figures or gadgets.

Hell, I’ve gone through enough fads *cough* crafting *cough* to know what it’s like to end up amassing a whole bunch of pretty much frivolous crap at the end of the day, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from my kids.

Anyway, it’s like what I say all the time, that life is all about exploring a whole bunch of stuff and finding out what you REALLY like. Once you find that and make it your passion, then all that time you spent figuring out what you wanted would be worth it at the end of the day right?

Then you can really get down to whittling what you want to keep in your life and getting rid of the things that were just passing fancies.


I read a mum’s comment a little while ago on one of the mummy channels about how she was respectfully trying to teach her child to let go of something that was not particularly useful in the home.

This kid was rather attached to an orange donkey pinata or something like that and after a few days of discussion and explanations, he had decided to let go of the pinata on his accord, shedding many heavy tears when he brought the poor slightly bashed-up party favour down to the recycle bin.

The poor kid was so sad at the thought of losing his poor donkey friend, but because he had promised his mum he would get rid of it, he stuck by his decision and soon enough, he forgot all about the orange pinata in favour of his other toys which he spent more time with.

Far be it from me to force my kids to throw things away, but I look forward to being about to spend time with the kids and helping them find out what they like and dislike.

I hope that as a mum, that I’ll be able to teach the kids to learn about how important it is to remember to throw things out once they’ve outlived their usefulness but at the same time to recognize when they love something so much, that they would try their best to take care of that thing so they won’t ever have to throw it away.


It’s going to be an interesting journey for sure so let’s just hope that we’ll be able to tackle any hurdles when it comes to that!

Heaven forbid that we end up with little hoarders of our own right?

Hard lessons ahead,




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