I am in the middle of spring cleaning. I had a sudden urge to de-clutter. You see, when I do get these urges, I become ballistic and clean in mad spurts. After an hour of it I get tired and leave it for the next burst of energy. My method is to dump out the contents of a whole drawer, stare in horrer and despair at the worse mess I’ve made and reassess the stuff. How did I ever accumulate so much junk. Upon closer inspection – but those are good junk!
The worse bit is the dust. I am allergic and it makes me sneeze and I feel that it’s getting into my eyes as well. To be honest it’s just a little, but even a little dust drives me crazy. That’s why, even though I love the breezy look of open shelves I have chosen closed cupboards with loads of drawers instead. But even that makes me gripe. Why can’t all drawers be airtight and not allow even a speck of dust in. I wonder if this has something to do with our weather – the dustiness. Is Singapore air not as clean as I think it is? Is there a dust problem in countries with pristine air like Iceland and New Zealand?
Anyway a dust-free cupboard would be something I would pay for. OCD much? Luckily, so are most of the people I gravitate towards. My friends are all really clean and neat people. Much better than me. E in Australia, S and U in Singapore and my partner as well. I aspire to be as clean, neat and organized as they are. I am only organized in spurts. After that it all goes pear-shaped as Gordon Ramsey likes to say.
The hardest part is getting rid of things with sentimental value that you tend to hoard even though it’s from years ago and occupies loads of space. I still keep all the cards and letters my friends E sent me from Australia. She wrote such kind, lovely things that still make me happy today as I slowly re-read them. My friends and aunts and uncles used to send me such thoughtful and pretty cards. Way better than the e-cards and Facebook messages I am guilty of sending myself these days. Sometimes being connected that way may not be such a good thing. It’s just less personal. Somehow when something is convenient it just seems less thoughtful. Now I feel so guilty because I tend to be lazy and end up sending e-greetings even though I intended to send a lovely card or letter. There’s also a paranoia about it getting lost in the mail or going to the wrong address, but those are just lame excuses.
I am still only a quarter way through, but the more I do the happier I get. I think it will take me at least a week or more to get everything sorted out. Sorting your stuff makes you realize that you do have three extra toothbrushes or you need more clothes hangers, and now you know exactly how many more you need – otherwise I would have winged it and ended up with more stuff I don’t use.
For me, decluttering my physical stuff is a spiritual exercise that allows me to feel mentally decluttered as well and that’s a nice feeling.