When I first saw the episode of Oprah where she invited clutter expert Peter Walsh to help de-clutter some viewer’s homes, I shuddered when I saw the amount of things/junks in the houses he visited. The closets, garages, and tables were filled to the brink. How can people accumulate so much stuff and not be bothered by the clutter? Every time after i watched it (they repeat it so often), I have an urge to quicky go and do some tidying around the house.
When my aunt was away on holidays, Grandma asked if I could go clean her house before she returned.
Grandma : She (my aunt) had asked my maid to go, but my maid is very busy.
Me: Your maid is very busy but your grand-daughter is not lah!
Nevertheless, I obliged as I know first hand how nice it is to come home to a clean house and fresh bedsheet.
My aunt’s house is not as bad as those I saw in Oprah, but it’s not very much better. The dining table is the only table that do not have any thing on. The cupboards all full and the clothes had to be hung outside rather than inside. Plastic bags of stuff, magazines, books are piled along the wall, on every table top, bench…Some are so old the papers have turned yellow. It’s probably been there for more than ten years.
It’s my husband’s and I’m not allowed to touch, she moaned when I commented to her.
My mother’s house is just as bad. Mom is not the neatest person around. Despite building her shelves and buying her organizers, her toiletries are still all over her sink. Her karaoke tapes lies all over the table that I had to stick a note to the wall to remind her to put everything in order after use. Now that my brother has moved back home with her, it’s even worse. His family’s stuff are everywhere, babies stuff, shoes, diapers, boxes, etc, and yet he goes out and buy even more stuff without consideration of the storage space. What was once my sons’ bedroom has turned into a mini store room, and soon, it may not be mini but a full fledge storeroom. The store room, meanwhile, is so full I can’t even open the door yesterday. This despite the fact mom had thrown away most of my stuff without my permission, and I have cleared my son’s clothes from the cupboards. My sister, upon hearing my complaints, shuddered to think she has to use the room when she returns. Lucky her – I’m the one who is always clearing before and after her when she comes.
Last Saturday, I went to my MIL’s house to help her spring clean. First, I vacuumed her Simmon’s mattress, then her magnetic mattress on top, and finally tackle all the dark corners in the bedrooms. She wins the queen of clutter award. Plastic bags are stuffed into every corner, behind the bed, under the bed. And I did not even bother to go into the third bedroom at the back of the kitchen as there is no walking space in there.
Why don’t you just throw the things away if you’re not using? I asked her, pulling a turn-table (like a lazy suzi) coated in a layer of dirt from under a cupboard.
I’m using, see, (she stands on the lazy suzi and starts twisting her body) this is how I use it to exercise. Peggy (my deceased SIL) bought it for me. She defended.
In her 3-room upgraded HDB flat, she has a roller-foot massager (in a plastic bag), a infra red heater, the lastest shoulder massager and a full massage chair that is now used to store clothes and stuff. Then, there are the shoes, and the toiletries on the two shelves as well all over the sink. Yes, and her clothes are also hung outside the cupboards.
After seeing all these, I swore I’m not going to buy anymore things in my own house for myself or for the boys. No more books or clothes, and for Aaron, lego and bionicles.
Psychologist in Oprah show said that people hoard stuff because they want to fill the emptiness inside themselves. It’s difficult for them to part with stuff. But when they eventually do it, they feel immediately lighter and happier. I don’t live in their homes and I already feel so cooped up everytime I visit.
After writing all this, I feel the urge to do some decluttering now.