Detox Your Home During Lockdown

By Eve Wee-Ang 2022-07-09 16:51:57

The lockdown has turned me into a reluctant hoarder. If you’ve been locked in since March and are still going strong, you know what I mean. Stocking up is paramount to survival now. My fridge and pantry are bursting with food from bulk buys, like I am prepping for an impending famine. My storage room is filled with amenities and antibacterial detergents like I am running a bed and breakfast. Before lockdown, my Ayi shopped for us daily at the wet market and I only bought maximum two of anything, because this is Shanghai, nearly everything can be delivered to our doorstep in 30 minutes. Remember those days?

Still, I am resolute that lockdown is the best time to reset our home, especially if we haven’t done so in a long time. Think of it as an annual house detox to get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose. Here’s why:

1.   Everyone is home during lockdown. Space is precious real estate. It’s so annoying to keep bumping into things we no longer use. Imagine how free we will feel with the freed-up space.

2.   Most of us welcome way more things into our home than we let go. Multiply that by the number of years we reside in our house. That’s like stuffing ourselves with food everyday but rarely excreting.

3.   This is the best time to offer our preloved items to our neighbors who need them. We never know, someone out there may be looking for what we have and here we are appearing like a genie!

4.   Home detoxing is a huge project that is better done in one fell swoop - when our energy, spirit and determination align and we are unstoppable. Lockdown is indisputably the best time since we have nowhere to be except home.

5.   When I say detox the house, I mean our own belongings. Hands off our kid’s and spouse’s stuff unless we have their permission. But don’t be surprised if we catch them copying us because a detoxed space is seductive.

Now that we’re all hyped up, let’s roll!


Mental Visualization Rehearsal

Remember when we first visualized our dream home before moving in? As years passed and things accumulated, our dream home started to resemble a warehouse. Before you start detoxing your home, curate a mental visual of your ideal home. Ex. I wish to meditate in my room, surrounded by candles. Or, I wish to adorn my balcony with plants so that I can enjoy alfresco dining. Be clear and detailed about your dream and imagine yourself living in the vision. Put it in writing, make a mood board or anything that will inspire you. Don’t skip this step.


Clothes, Accessories, and Shoes

Gather everything you own and build a mountain. Refrain from fainting from the reality of how much you own. Pick out those that make the heart skip and that you love now, not a decade ago. You have moved on and so must they. Release them with love and gratitude. Make it a mission in life to wear what you love whenever and wherever you wish. No need to save anything for a special occasion because every day that we are alive is special.


Books and All Reading Materials

For book lovers, this can be hard to crack, but I encourage you to give it a go if your collection is cluttering the home. Gather and separate them into categories ie. magazines, recipe books, parenting books. Keep the ones that you feel excited, curious, and eager to read. Those that you wished to read or re-read a decade ago should be let go. There is no lack of great authors in this world waiting for us to discover and learn from in our lifetime. Imagine the places we could go if we give them a chance.



We are so blessed to be living in these digital times where most papers can be purged with an e-copy backup. Hence our goal for detoxing paper should be extreme minimalism, and only save important documents like contracts, certificates, living will, etc. Go ahead and toss all instruction manuals. Relax, they are Google-able. 



Everything that doesn’t fall in any of the categories here. This is where we tackle our kitchen, hobbies, sports equipment, toiletries, storage rooms, CDs, electronics, makeup: Every. Single. Thing. This is typically the tipping point where energies wane, and spirits dwindle. Rest. Our antidote to revive ourselves is to return to our Mental Rehearsal Visual and continue at our own pace. We are at the halfway mark where our house is looking like a tornado, but remember, first the pain, then the pleasure. Only keep things that are useful, meaningful, eye swooning and spark joy for us. Let the rest go.


Sentimental Items

As we detox, we may come across things that are hard to process emotionally. These could be photographs, journals, heirlooms, gifts, belongings from a loved one who has passed. Save these for the last lap and only when we are ready. Acknowledge and accept that everything that happened in the past is over. The experiences we had, the people we met in our life, our past choices, our preloved belongings – thank them for their roles of molding us into the way we are today.

In essence, detoxing our home is giving ourselves grace and releasing those that no longer serve us. What remains is what feels the truest and most beautiful to us today. This can change as we navigate through life - just like the accidental, but grateful lockdown hoarder I am now.