What came out of the cupboard!

Mum was a reading a book over Christmas …

This book.

Right after we came home form Christmas, she bought a shredder! She said she will start over the weekend to take down all her scrapbooks and tons of files.

Then Julie gave her another book along the same line!

Uh-oh! The power of two messages has got to be powerful!

And then before we knew what happened …

Our world turned upside down!

All these things came out of one cupboard in the study.

Yes, it was a rather large cupboard …
Can you believe how she managed to put all those things scattered all over the living room in this one cupboard.

I think that’s good enough evidence for her to be reading those two books. Some rather interesting things emerged … things she had long forgotten about.

A tennis racquet – she once aspired to be a good tennis player. A putter – yes, she did try her hand at golf but being in London made it difficult to practice – unlike those days when she practiced at a Singapore driving range. A walking stick from her trek in Nepal – signed by her sherpa. She said she’s keeping that for the future. An artist chair – ahhh, yes. She did think she would sit out in the fields and paint. Not! And last but not least a vuvuzela souvenir from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Bet you didn’t know she’s quite footie fan!
Oh no!!! She sounds like an elephant!

May’s comment: I wanted to do declutter last year but got distracted. I did do my wardrobe but didn’t get any further and that’s not what Marie Kondo suggests.

I am having a go at it again but I am not doing it the MK way, i.e. by categories. I am starting with a cupboard which probably has the hardest items to discard – boxes of letters, diaries, scrapbooks. I don’t have the time to appreciate the items either – no time for “does this bring me joy?” I had intended to start the process this weekend and do it properly – to declutter my life rather than just discard things. I had even thought about hiring some rubbish removal services but I have’t got round to that yet. But the ongoing renovations for the coming year plans gave me no choice. I think the Universe is pushing me forward. Anything is better than not.

I was told on Thursday to clear that cupboard as the guys were coming on Friday to fit new cupboard. I spent all Thursday evening emptying it out. All Friday they removed and rebuilt the cupboard. Today I spent all day shredding and discarding boxes, photos, mementoes that no longer have space in my life – I wasn’t going to just put everything back!

The other book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning gives a perspective on why we should do it. Basically, do your clearing out instead of letting someone else do it. Its not kind to others. Live with the memories, not things. You can’t take things with you.

I have reached a stage in my life where I have no need to look back. Have done what I did for 25 years in the corporate world. All those things in that cupboard are full of the past. I don’t need to save all the things I had done when I was working in the corporate world.

By decluttering, I feel freer and have room to be more creative. I can see the colour charts and I can see space.

I am loving this process. It does take up a lot of time. All of today was shredding, selecting and discarding. By no means done – still have Sunday to finish off but I sure did find some interesting things.

That vuvuzela!!! Have forgotten all about it. Went to the World Cup Finals in Joburg, South Africa in 2010. It was the Vuvuzela World Cup!
Never been used! No wonder! LOL!
Four this New York Times magazine from February 2007!!! I completely missed this – as I had no interest in dogs back then. I kept it for the one of the company ads that I had done.
The Veneto – a luxury condominium in NYC – was one of my projects!

And then I found this – not proud of this at all. 🙁

“He” wasn’t so keen to be photographed with me but we were sponsoring the event! LOL!

Tomorrow, Sunday, I plan to be done as much as I can and then start clearing out the wardrobes. By next weekend I should feel a lot freer! Lighter! Happier!


  1. Maureen Dell

    How inspiring! I’ve been attempting to do it for a while now. Reading this has given me what I need so will definitely get a move on from Monday. Lost my husband a couple of months ago and it’s a good distraction too. Thank you.

    • Miss Darcy

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Yes, it is really quite therapeutic. Doing this, keeping in mind that there’s nothing we can take with us while they bog us down, weigh us down – getting rid of things can help free us mentally as well as physically!

  2. jacqui

    every year i start doing a bit but never finish and it can become overwhelming. I will try again! Thank you for this great blog

    • Miss Darcy

      I wish you good luck! In a way I have procrastinated too but because of circumstances, this is making me do it at speed. I will be moving in one and that will be another cull!

  3. Sara Cormack

    Oh May I too am living in a space with too much stuff. I have two copies of the Marie Kondo book as one of them is lost somewhere in my 3 bedroom cottage! I am a hoarder of ephemera to do with my life but have realised it is time to rationalise! Do let me know if you have any tips! Creepy Spacey! Xx

    • Miss Darcy

      Yes, I feel tainted looking at that pic.
      Read the other book – the Marie Kondo is about a process and she is saying about the same thing – by clearing you clear your head, mind and body. It changes your life. The other book gave other suggestions – get a shredder, be ready to let go. There are so many scrapbook but some of them go way back to when I was about 18 – and I look at them and say, what on earth am I still holding onto this. The other book also suggest you can give away some things which I am starting to do.

  4. Cheryl

    Wow, good for you! Though I’m amazed that all that came from the one cupboard! You could have lost George in there. I really need to do this. We have lived in our house for 30 years and have accumulated way too much stuff! Keep us posted on how the cleaning goes.

  5. Daniel Hall

    I had never heard of Kondo or her book until I read your house clean up blog. From research today, I found out that the Japanese author has become famous worldwide due to the book and a TV show. And here in New York City, she apparently has motivated many persons to tidy up and then donate lots of clothes to thrift and second-hand stores! I am now inspired to tidy up my apartment. I bought a shredder several years ago. Great and safe way to get rid of loads of papers. Thanks for a very informative clean-up blog.

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