No, this isn’t a touchy-feely post about something kind or touching a loved one did for me. Neither is it a post about some earth-shattering situation that I’m facing in my life. This is quite a first-world problem I have. It’s quite frivolous, really.

I am in the middle of an attempt to clean my room (for the umpteenth time) because my mom says the airconditioner service guys are coming some time next week. So I have to clear the space under the airconditioner and basically the space around it so that there’s space for them to walk around and so that my stuff doesn’t get dusty / dirty from any debris. And it was right after rearranging my *counts..1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7* seven(!)  medium to large bags (with paper stuffing, in their dustbags) in order to fit into an Ikea cardboard box, then looking around to see just how much more I have to do, that this thought crosses my mind.

I have a lot of things. A lot of everything. Lots of bags, lots of shoes (yeah I keep some of them in boxes in a hanging shoe organiser on a standalone rack / pole in my room; the rest that I wear more frequently are outside), lots of scarves, lots of inner/under scarves, lots of tops, lots of bottoms, lots of dresses, lots of traditional clothes, lots of underwear, lots of brooches, lots of papers,  lots of books (I have some in my room, others in a bookshelf  in the study), lots of skincare. The only thing I don’t have a lot of is space. And discipline to keep everything neat and organised. And makeup – that, I’m pretty sure many ladies out there have more than me because the only makeup I stock up on a regular basis (like once or twice a year or two) are eyeliner, lipbalm and maybe foundation.

It’s so bad that I am so ashamed to admit that my room is clean probably only a few months in a year, or even weeks! It is messy like 80% of the time! I have rarely had friends over to chill out in my room (ok, mostly because I hardly ever have friends over in the first place – the twice or 3 times being when it was hari raya visiting, wayyyy back like 10 years ago zaman muda remaja but now I totally can’t be bothered to go – not like it’s ever organised any more). Don’t talk about friends, even second-tier related family like my SILs, nephews and nieces aren’t allowed to hang out in my room (except hari raya) because the door’s always closed to hide the mess. And right now I am procrastinating because I am just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the things. Lots of things. Lots and lots of things. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of things.

I know I have a problem. I’m not just a shopperholic. I’m a pack rat. A lazy ill-disciplined yet perfectionist pack rat. Quite the oxymoron, I know, but let me explain. When it comes to cleaning my room, I know everything has to have a proper place so that everything’s neat and tidy. That means sorting, arranging, folding etc. Now, since I’m a pack rat, I have many many things, right? To sort through them, to decide whether to keep permanently or keep to take a look again or throw takes time. A lot of time. When arranging stuff, sometimes things don’t fit in a certain space or I just feel like changing where they’re placed so that they fit better into my everyday living. That takes time. The only thing I actually like doing is folding. But that takes time too. And because I’m perfectionist,  I can’t just do a half-assed job as long as things are put away somewhere, anywhere, so I take an even longer time, but since I’m lazy and ill-disciplined, I can’t see it through til it’s done at one shot. In the end I give up or procrastinate, like what I’m doing now, rambling on and on online about my room-cleaning challenge.

Le sigh.

How do you ladies out there do it? I know I have to get rid of stuff, but pat rack tendencies, remember? I love all my scarves, for example,  even if it has been some time since I wore some of them. But I can’t bear to let them go. There have been times when I am cleaning when I tell myself: Ok no more shopping Zakiah, you have enough already! More than enough! But when shopping is just clicks away, I have found myself falling to temptation oh-so-easily.

The mister has some inkling of the mess I literally am in, because I tell him about my cleaning woes and overwhelmed feelings. All he’s done is chide me for it, telling me to be more disciplined. And to stop shopping.  I honestly don’t know why he’s stuck with me all these years, with my many shortcomings. I know I have to clean up my act soon, before we get married and he moves in (I insist on shuttling until our place is ready), but I’m just. Overwhelmed.

How now brown cow?


7 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. I trash things I haven’t touched in 6 months, or max 12 months. And when the mister is coming, u will naturally trash things. It is liberating! Loom through your bags and shoes, those that are worn out, and you have sth similar that is new (erm ok maybe I’m the only one who buys very similar items!), trash the old. Maybe you just need to fold/store in a different way to save space 🙂 I use ikea wardrobe/drawer organizer. I can squeeze things in the compartments 😀 but really, the key is to trash or give away things u don’t use/need anymore.

    • Fatma, if you see the usual condition of my room you’d faint! Or scream in horror! Actually, that might scare / embarrass me enough to quickly clear things up haha. More intimidating than my mom’s nagging.

      And yes, I know, I have to trash / give away things! I’m actually looking around for a flea market I could participate in, so that I can sell off stuff that I hardly use anymore but are still in good condition. And brand new stuff I’ve never used because they don’t fit well or look nice on me *guilty of impulse online shopping*. Preferably near my place lah so I don’t need to haul all my stuff across the island. In the meantime, I. HAVE. TO. STOP. SHOPPING.

  2. 1. Prepare 1 bag for donation, 1 bag for trash (you have those big blue bins at the bottom of your block right? they take old clothes!), 1 bag for keeping (to wear or sell. Sell on Facebook?).
    2. Everyday, put 2 things into each bag. My criteria for:
    – Donation: good enough to wear, but I don’t wear it anymore or never ended up wearing it.
    – Trash: holes, tears, that meant to fix but never did.
    – Keep: Stuff that I can wear with lots of Other Things, and I’ve proven that I’ve worn it. If I am still intending to wear it, it has to go into Donation.
    3. Repeat and slowly plough through those piles. 🙂

    I cleaned out most of my cupboard in Dec last year. This is more than 2 years after moving out!!

    Good luck! Blog about your progress 😀

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