As a new expat to Singapore, you may have found that the distinction between the seasons is not as marked as you are used to — this is a fairly common realisation. However, this is no excuse for avoiding your spring cleaning!
In particular, you may have found that you need to reassess and reorganise your wardrobe and clothing as you adapt to Singapore’s rather unique climate. To help you get ready for the summer and to make the most of a spring clean, one of the best ways is to clear out the old and make way for the new.
Reorganising your wardrobe
Are you one of the many expats who has arrived in Singapore with winter clothes that might get six months’ use each year at home, but will likely never see the light of day here? If so, what can you do?
Taking the time to reorganise your wardrobe and properly store the outfits like overcoats and woollen suits that you’re rarely going to wear is highly recommended. However, there is always the risk of moths damaging clothes that are left unworn, so before you put away those seldom-worn garments, it is a good idea to seal them in airtight bags (or ideally, vacuum-sealed bags). Moths can’t get to them in this way, and so you can safely leave them hanging on a clothes and garment rack until you next need them. (Tip: there are ultra-thin clothes hangers that can help you to maximise your storage in this way.)
For clothes that aren’t really suited to being hung up on hangers, like sweaters and casual jackets, the best solution to prevent moth damage is to seal them in airtight or vacuum sealed bags and then keep them out of the way on storeroom racks rather than in the drawers you use all the time. Storeroom racks are a good solution because you can configure them to suit the room that you have available in a way that you can’t with a conventional chest of drawers, and so if space is at a premium, these types of racks make for a versatile and convenient storage option.
Use a Spring Clean as an Excuse for a Re-stock!
A good way to motivate yourself for a spring clean is by rewarding yourself with a shopping trip to re-stock your wardrobe for summer and spring.
There are very few cities in the world that give you as much choice and variety in couture as Singapore. Many expats tell us that the fashion scene is one of the aspects of living here that they enjoy most, and so reorganising your clothes and deciding what you need now, what you want to keep for later, and what you want to get rid of, is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of what Singapore has to offer in terms of the latest fashions and styles.
But of course, in order to do this, there needs to be a trade off — it’s hardly a spring clean if you’re simply adding to the clothes that you already have rather than replacing them. A closet purge can be a brutal process, but it is a necessary one. This is the time to be honest, in particular with regard to the clothes that you are never really going to wear again. A good rule is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, you’re unlikely ever to wear it again. In this case, it should probably go.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should simply throw away clothes that you no longer want. There are many charitable organisations in Singapore that value donations of second-hand clothes. If they are still in a wearable condition, you can donate your unwanted items to the New2U Thrift Shop operated by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO) at 96 Waterloo Street, or the Metta Welfare Association at 32 Simei Street 1.
If your unwanted clothes are not really in a condition to be worn, they can still be useful through being repurposed. The H&M Global Garment Collecting Initiative accepts worn-out clothes at various locations across Singapore which are then reprocessed as textile fibres or insulation materials.
Knowing that your clothes are being put to good use and helping someone who needs them more than you, rather than simply ending up in landfill, can help to make the effort of a spring clean and reorganising your closets feel worth it.