This Retiree’s 3-Room Flat Is Full Of Clothes She Hoards, She Has No Space To Sleep In The Bedroom Or Cook In The Kitchen — Here’s How She Turned Things Around - 8 Days Skip to main content

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This Retiree’s 3-Room Flat Is Full Of Clothes She Hoards, She Has No Space To Sleep In The Bedroom Or Cook In The Kitchen — Here’s How She Turned Things Around

The kitchen has more clothes than it has food.

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Retiree Sun Ai Lian lives alone in this three-room flat, but she has so many clothes that the two bedrooms aren’t enough to store them. In fact, even the living room and the kitchen are brimming with bags and racks of clothes, turning the entire home into one giant makeshift walk-in wardrobe. Or should we say, clothes warehouse?

This was brought to light in the latest episode of House Everything?, when Mdm Sun’s daughter Elayne wrote in to ask the production team for help for her mum, who sleeps in the living room as there isn’t any space in her bedroom.

Elayne’s hope is that the show’s tidying experts, alongside hosts Chen Hanwei and Jernelle Oh, can help with her mum’s clothes hoarding problem, and to impart home organisation skills to her so that she can have a clutter-free home.

“It didn’t feel like a home. It felt like a store room or even a laundry shop ’cos there are so many clothes around,” Hanwei reveals his first impression of the flat.

Indeed, there are clothes strewn everywhere in the flat, from the two bedrooms to the living room. Even the kitchen has racks of clothes lining up on side right next to the fridge.

Kitchen or walk-in wardrobe?

It doesn’t get any better in Mdm Sun’s bedroom, which is the focus of the makeover mission this episode. It’s engulfed with bags of clothes, and even the bed has disappeared under all that mess. There’s so much stuff, the bedroom door can’t fully open, nor can any of the eight doors of the built-in wardrobe.

She’s been sleeping on a recliner sofa, partly due to the lack of space, but also because of a back problem that arose from a fall she had years ago. “I can’t sleep flat down due to my back problem,” she reveals.

“I’m worried that after we do the makeover of the room, the bed will be used to store clothes again, and it’ll all go back to square one,” points out Hanwei.

Spot the bed.

He reckons up to 80 per cent of the clothes can be donated, but that’s not the main issue here. Mdm Sun protests vehemently when the tidying team asks for permission to throw or donate an item, whether it’s a piece of clothing, jewellery, bags, accessories or beauty products that expired 10 years ago. “I really value all these things!” she says.

“But we want to let her know that you just need to keep a few nice and exquisite ones, that’s enough,” says Hanwei.

“Just keep the style of clothes that you like,” advises tidying expert Ouyang Hao Shan, who imparts decluttering hacks along the way. Eventually, they make headway as Mdm Sun relents and the team clears out bags of stuff.

They later pass the baton on to the family, where Elayne, her husband and her mum continue with the tidying on their own over the next few days, using the tips and tricks from Shan.

It’s a resounding success as the family manage to pack away quite a few bags of clothes to donate to a thrift store. Mdm Sun even makes a promise that she will curb her impulse shopping, and is determined to turn over a new leaf and to keep her place tidy.

As the interior design team takes over the makeover with the newly cleared out bedroom, they start work on a brand-new bedroom with loads of wardrobe and storage space, and even a custom bed to help alleviate the retiree's back problem.

Watch the full episode here for the grand reveal:

The House Everything? crew conducts spot checks months down the road to see if homeowners continue keeping their homes tidy — find them here under ‘Extras’ to see how Mdm Sun fared.

Catch House Everything? Season 2 on demand for free on meWATCH, and every Thursday, 8pm on Ch 8.

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