Former hoarder pleased with her newfound floor space

Former hoarder pleased with her newfound floor space
NOW & THEN: (L) Madam Tang has managed to maintain the cleanliness of her flat following a cleanup by Touch volunteers. (R) Previously, she and her husband jostled with the clutter for space.

Looking at the clean and bright one-room flat, you would think the owners had just moved in.

But a little under a year ago, the place was a completely different picture.

Old, tattered and unopened boxes were stacked up against the walls.

Large, dirty buckets were placed haphazardly in the room. Mattresses were infested with bed bugs.

The room could barely fit two adults comfortably, let alone a slew of volunteers ready to clean up the flat.

The turning point came for Madam Tang, 75, when the Touch Seniors Activity Centre at Block 61, Geylang Bahru, offered to help clean up the flat in April last year.

"I am old already, I didn't have the time or the energy to clear it myself," she said.

The Touch spokesman says that it took convincing initially.

They eventually got the consent of Madam Tang and her husband Mr L.L. Koh, 73.

Madam Tang admits that at first, she could not bear the sight of things being thrown away.

"I didn't want to see them clean up. If I did, I would have wanted to keep the things that were being thrown away.

Today, she could not be happier.

"They cleaned up the flat and gave me new furniture. It is spacious, airy and convenient to walk around."

She recalls having to go downstairs for space and fresh air when the clutter got too much back then.

These days, she even takes charge of keeping house.

"I will clean the house myself. Even when I cannot really stand, I will slowly move around and wipe the floor," she says with a smile.

This article was first published on February 15, 2015.
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