Hi there! I’m Josephine Yap and I’m a clutter liberation expert. I help people by making decluttering easy, so that they can kick start their decluttering journey, make a difference in their life, and feel empowered after doing so.
I’m a coffee lover and a tea drinker too. The smell of mocha coffee and peppermint tea keeps me going when my days get tough.
I’m an avid reader and I mainly love self-improvement books and anything related to organizing and decluttering.
I love jigsaw puzzles. Something about putting together jigsaw puzzles makes me feel relaxed and calm.
Currently, I’m studying modern calligraphy and I hope someday to be able to write very well because I’ve always been fascinated by writing styles.
I used to be an IT consultant and my job was to bridge the gap between programmers and business users. I collected the requirements and studied the business users’ work processes. From there, I worked closely with the programmers to put together the analytics that the business users desired. Also, in a previous job in the banking industry, I worked as a data analyst where I studied work flows and data to generate analytics and reports. Because of my work experience, I am very familiar with processes, orders, and systems.
My Struggles as a Mother
I’m currently a mother to three active six-year-old triplet boys, Jun, Hao and Jie.
So, how did motherhood go for me during my boys’ early years?
Flash back to five years ago. From the corporate world to motherhood, it was like Heaven to Hell. If you talked to me about motherhood five years ago, I would tell you, “MOTHERHOOD – I absolutely hate it!” Yup, that’s right! I used to hate motherhood, right from when my triplet boys were born. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved my children, but I hated the situation I was facing at the time.
Before having children, my married life was bliss. However, after the children were born, instead of enjoying being a mother, the motherhood I had dreamt of was robbed from me because my whole motherhood role was being outsourced. Instead of taking the boys myself, they were sent to daycare and separated from me. As a result, every day I battled with terrible feelings within me: guilt, sadness, shame, being overwhelmed, frustration, stress, exhaustion, powerlessness, depression, pressure, feeling like I had no choice and being completely burned out, because I thought I was not doing my best for them.
Everything in the house was a mess. Piles of laundry to be washed, folded, and put away. Milk bottles to be washed. Food to be prepared. Rooms to be cleaned and sanitized. Toys to be cleaned and arranged back. And the list went on…
I was fighting a losing battle daily. Every day, I felt I was being consumed by negative emotions. Despite having help from an assistant, daycare center and family members, on a daily basis, I was always complaining and whining about the things I couldn’t do, things that were beyond my control, the decisions I couldn’t make. I felt powerless with all the emotions running through me.
Then I started to slowly spend time organizing my children’s things. From watching tips on Youtube and reading books about organizing, I started my own small projects for organizing sections of the house. After organizing each space, I felt empowered and that everything was in my control. I felt everything was in place, neat and easy to retrieve by myself and other family members, including the boys.
Soon I discovered my own way of coping with my postnatal depression and being organized became therapeutic to me. My husband has always been the first person I’m proud to show my organizing system to. Also, with my active triplets, I had to be fast to grab the things they needed. There wasn’t any time for me to search for the required things. I need “shortcuts” to get things done fast. Also, because I needed help from so many parties, from my husband, daycare, assistant, family members to their pre-school, their stuff had to be arranged in a systematic way to ease delegation with others to help out. The delegation also included with the boys. I arranged the things they would need to retrieve at their heights and trained them to be more independent by allowing them the time and space to practice their independence.
I created a system for everything, from the clothes to my recycling bags! I could not live without a system. Somehow, I could easily categorize and group things and then, I would gladly create a system for it.
My Decluttering Story
As the children were getting older, the things in the house were multiplying. Their baby stuff was still in multiple boxes. I continued to buy more by going to every warehouse sale and expo, and bringing more things into the house. As a result, I had the tendency to buy more storage boxes to organize the things I purchased. One day, I started to feel exhausted from organizing. Why? Because there were just too many things in the house to be organized. As a result of so many things, clusters of stuff started to mushroom in every corner of the house.
Frustration also kicked in, because I was constantly finding places in the house where I could keep things. I began to stuff things into storage spaces instead of nicely arranging them.
When everything got too overwhelming, I could not take it anymore. Then, I found out about decluttering. I discovered that without decluttering, organizing was pointless, because I had limitless things to organize and most of the things organized were junk. The organizing process was made redundant by the fact that I was organizing junk. I felt trapped in an organizing cycle with no end.
With decluttering, I took purging to a whole new level – purging ruthlessly!
Again, I did a massive decluttering through every category and section of the house. I cleared half of my wardrobe. I cleared almost seventy percent of my boys’ wardrobe and toys. Can you believe I also purged most of my children’s artwork, keeping only the nice ones, while other parents have been diligently keeping all their children’s masterpieces? And the storage room, which was previously stuffed with things to the point nobody could get in, was cleared too.
It was not easy. I went through a couple of breakdowns before I was able to declutter completely.
Decluttering taught me a lot about myself. Instead of letting things drown me, I viewed clutter as a sign of what had been bothering me instead of seeing it as a problem. Once the decluttering journey started, I began to discover more about my strengths and weaknesses, and to start to get to know myself all over again. I understood that the things I owned did not define who I was. I learned to love myself, appreciate people around me instead of getting things, because people matter over things. Thanks to organizing and decluttering, my mindset changed for the better, and I became an improved version of myself.
A casual coffee session with my mentor and good friends helped me to discover my passion and hidden talent. As they were talking about having a hard time finding things in their handbags, they could not believe how I fast I could find things in my own bag. My mentor even challenged me to do it blindfolded. When they saw my organized handbag, they could not believe it and were super excited for me. With their support and encouragement, I’ve decided to help more mommies with what I am good at.
Organizing and decluttering are parts of a journey and not a final destination, because of our changing needs and our organic space. As my boys are growing up, their needs are constantly shifting. Hence their spaces are also constantly changing to match their needs.
When I first started organizing, I didn’t know where to start. I felt overwhelmed, demotivated, and distracted. That’s why I understand that organizing and decluttering can be difficult to start and hard to sustain. What I gathered from my journey and the experience I gained along the way is that I would like to dedicate my passion to help mommies who wish to declutter as a way to improve their lives.
Motherhood is tough, and after what I have been through, now I can be honest with myself and honestly tell everyone that I am enjoying motherhood.
So, my wishes for mommies after they have decluttered are for them to:
- feel empowered to do it themselves
- feel satisfied and gain a sense of achievement
- have self-confidence and be proud to live in their homes
- feel good when the family sees a clutter-free Zen home
- and, lastly, enjoy their motherhood with their children
Hi! I’m Josephine Yap and I’m a clutter liberation expert, a wife, a daughter, a homemaker, and a mom to my active triplet boys. I’m super passionate about decluttering. My wish is to share my decluttering journey so that everyone get inspired to reduce the clutter, make their life at home easier, and enjoy the comfort of their space at home with the people their love.