analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Contact Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

3 December 2000 Sunday

dry, crisp



Bon Journal:
February 2002
Drowning in Clutter


CLUTTER, clutter everywhere, and not a peace of mind....

After returning from Yasmin's clutter-free house, minimalist and modern, I felt the urge to purge. My clothes, socks, stockings, scarves, etc have taken up all of my closet space, unorganised, unrecognisable, and cluttered.

Each time I tried to purge, I ended up reclaiming the contents of my purge after decision dyslexia. It seems such a simple sequential decision, yet it causes me such pain and heartache.

The "keep" test is not so simple. When I was a student, short of money but not short of time or space, I would only purge if my clothes and shoes were too old and torn to wear. As a result, I've kept many items still perfectly brand new and intact. I've never worn them, because either I bought them on a sale (too good to say no) or was given the item as a gift. And presumably I 1) never liked them or 2) they became out of fashion or 3) they didn't fit. If they didn't fit, I'd tell myself that someday they would. If they were out of date, I'd tell myself that someday the fashion would return. This time, I told myself to face the truth: I will never ever wear them. So why keep them?

The "not keep" test is equally difficult. Some clothes are old and worn - even with holes - and I'm so reluctant to part with them. I feel good wearing them. Each item carries so many memories. How could I let go? For example, my cotton sleeveless summer top is torn on the sides and thin from wear. Only when I think about it, do I realise it is 12 years old. I had made it in 1988 from an old black skirt. Just holding it in my hand brings back memories of Singapore, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian adventures. But it's time to let go.

If my mother were here, she would find uses for everything in the purge bag. I'm glad she's not here to inspect my three bags of purged winter clothes, summer clothes, and shoes. Otherwise, next time I see her, she would hand back my purged items one by one.

Related diary entries:
16 Sept: save time or money
27 Nov: category C
Level One:
Keep or Not keep.
Level Two:
If keep:
  • wear (use)
  • re-use as rags
  • store.
If not keep:
  • sell
  • donate
  • give away (as gift)
  • throw away.
Level Three:
If not keep:
    • If sell, advertise, garage sale, sell to shop.
    • If donate, which charity to call to pick up, take to a charity or second-hand shop.
    • If give away, to whom? friend, family, colleague, or someone else who needs and appreciates
    • If throw away, put in trash or recycling bin.