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Why It Can Be Hard To “KonMari” Your Stuff

This month has been pretty bad for blogging – it’s already the 17th and I’ve only made two posts. Partly it’s because Malaysia is currently undergoing another ‘lockdown’ due to the rising number of cases (and deaths, which is worrying), so I haven’t been able to go out much; but it’s also because I’m in a writing slump again.

We had a four-day weekend for Hari Raya, but celebrations have been subdued as people have not been able to go home to visit their loved ones, some for the second year in a row. As for my fam and I, we took the time to rest. My mom has been very worried throughout this entire pandemic, and with cases on the rise, she won’t even let us go out to buy food unless it’s absolutely necessary, preferring to cook all of our meals instead.

But enough gloom and doom – I did something productive over the break, ie cleaned my workspace!

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I am currently working from home full-time, so having a proper workspace is important. But I’m also not the most organised person in the world and my workspaces (even when I had an office) tend to get messy with bits of paper and notes. To tidy up, I took some of my books to the shelf outside so there’d be more space, wiped down the dust, and put away smaller accessories that were contributing to the clutter. Also gave away two Apple mouse units that I’ve been keeping for the office (company told me to get rid of them coz they didn’t want to ship it to Singapore, but I didn’t want to throw them).

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While cleaning up, I sorted out my accessories and trinkets, thinking to throw away the older ones that I no longer use.

I ended up keeping everything lol.

A couple of years ago, there was a lot of hype over the KonMari method, attributed to Japanese consultant Marie Kondo. In her approach, Kondo advised people to keep only the things that ‘spark joy’, and let everything else go.

The thing is, all of these things have sparked joy to me at one point in my life, and in some small way, they still do. I still feel nostalgic and happy when I look at them and think back on the memories associated with each object. I know some people would call it silly and sentimental, and maybe it is, but it’s also vulnerably human.

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Some people enjoy collecting fridge magnets or keychains as souvenirs from the places they’ve traveled to. For me – and I did not realise this until I looked over my ‘collection’ – I apparently enjoyed collecting accessories. Some of these were given as gifts, which makes them even more meaningful.

On the left is a bead necklace that was gifted to me by my hosts on a trip to Siniawan, aka the Cowboy Town of Borneo. The ‘town’ is really not more than a dozen traditional wooden shoplots along a main street, a town hall and a nearby temple – but I enjoyed the experience tremendously. I got to ride a sampan across the river (which has crocodiles, by the way!), experience a Gawai festival with the local Bidayuh community, eat amazing kolo mee that was just RM3 ffs, and take in the sight of a gorgeous pink sunset for a few nights in a row.

On the right is also a bead necklace, which I bought from Auntie Sina Rang at the Bario longhouse where I was staying. This trip was an unforgettable one because I got stuck on a hike for 11 hours in the Borneo rainforest, and the longhouse residents were so worried they sent a search and rescue team because it was already dark and we were supposed to have been back like 6 hours ago lol. You can read about it here.

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Me and my fellow members of the media before everything went to hell (for me).
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Hardcore hiking
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Siniawan, the Cowboy Town of Borneo.
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Also from the Bario trip: woven bracelets which I bought from a visiting Penan tribe. They are nomadic and only come to the longhouse occasionally so it was fortunate timing!
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Coconut shell bracelet from a 2014 Bali trip. It was my first time visiting Indonesia. Since then I’ve been to Bandung and Yogyakarta. Can’t wait for the pandemic to be over so I can travel, to different parts this time.

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Decorative necklaces from Venice, from my 2012 graduation trip to Europe. Venice was gorgeous in is own way, but it was also extremely crowded with tourists, and the canals smelled. Still glad I got to see it in my lifetime, before the city sinks.
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A brooch from Fuhu, Genting. Also a Sarubobo doll from Japan, which Japanese grandmothers make for their grandchildren for their safety and wellbeing. On a trip to Tokyo, I got to write my own well wishes for the sarubobo’s clothing and pin it onto the doll.
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A Catholic necklace with wooden crosses and a carving of Jesus, which I got from a shop outside Antipolo Church in the Philippines. I was there with my ex on Ash Wednesday, and it was interesting to see the rituals and sit in on mass. I didn’t get the necklace because of religious reasons, but because one of the ladies manning the shops insisted we buy something, I didn’t know how to say no lol.

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A necklace inspired by Aboriginal art. Got this from the shop at Tower Hill Reserve in Victoria, where we saw a bunch of koalas hiding in trees, and encountered a rogue emu blocking the van that we were travelling in.
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Of course, travel memories aren’t the only things that makes it difficult for me to throw stuff away. I also have a lot of random accessories that I have fond feelings for – like these wooden bracelets. One of them is falling apart, but I can’t find it in me to just dump it because it was my favourite bracelet to wear in college and through the early years of my adult life (back when lots of accessories were a thing).

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The evolution of my earrings – from a sharp, rebellious-looking stud in my college days, to the ‘elegant’ ones that I wear for social outings today. By today I mean like two years ago, when we could still go out for gatherings. lol
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And other, assorted bracelets.

So you see, it’s not easy to KonMari your stuff, when there is so much to reminisce on each time you look at them. I think this is also why people find it difficult to let go or throw things away. They are all reminders of a happier time, and form a part of your life’s story.

I guess I’ll be holding on to some of these things for a bit longer.

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Moving To A Co-Working Space: Tour of WORQ KL @ Glo Damansara

While still a fairly ‘new’ concept in Malaysia, co-working spaces have been around for some time in many Western countries – where workers from different companies share an office space and infrastructure such as equipment, utilities and receptionist services, in order to save on cost. The arrangement also allows for freelancers, independent contractors and remote workers to have a dedicated workspace of their own, since working from home/ telecommuting can be quite isolating or distracting.

Before the movement control order came into place, my colleagues and I went on a tour of WORQ, a co-working space in Glo Damansara. Since the tenancy for our current office expires soon, the plan is for us to move here in the third quarter of May – but seeing as how we’re still under quarantine, not sure if it’ll still go through.

Co-working spaces might not seem like the best idea given the coronavirus pandemic, but I guess we won’t have a choice. Just gotta be extra vigilant in washing our hands, wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, etc. Until we can find a cure/vaccine, this will be our ‘new normal’.

Coming back to WORQ, the place is actually quite cool, with lots of facilities.  The entrance has a friendly receptionist, a few glassdoor meeting rooms and a sofa. Walking into the main foyer, there are ‘hot desks’ (more on this later), more sofas where you can conduct casual meetings and brainstorming sessions, a playroom with games and pouffes, and more meeting rooms.

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The pantry has its own refrigerator (although I am a bit apprehensive about using a fridge/microwave shared by so many people), with free flow of coffee and snacks.

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Printing facilities are shared. You get a card with a certain amount of credit each month. There are a few common printers at WORQ, but you can have your own printer in your private suite as well.

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Another hot desk section.

When it comes to membership categories, there are four to choose from:

  • Hot desk – allows you to sit at any desk at an open space (RM400)
  • Dedicated desk – Dedicated desk at an open space (RM700); includes lockable filing cabinet
  • Private suite – Private, lockable room (RM700) – seats around 4 to 5 pax depending on size of room
  • Lite Membership – RM60: ideal for those who come in as and when; you get a day pass worth RM40 plus a few other benefits like RM50 meeting room credits

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Our private suite which seats five. Dibs on the corner seat because I like to have my own little corner. It’s not exactly ‘private’ though since you can see through to the adjacent suites.

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A tiny gym. There’s also a cycling gym on the same floor, but you’ll have to pay for that.

WORQ is pretty well equipped, so aside from all of the above, they also have stuff like nap pods, private booths where you can make telephone calls, powder room for freshening up, etc.

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GLO Damansara itself is pretty dead, though. There’s a grocery on the ground floor and a 7-11, but food choices are limited to a canteen-like resto, mamak stall or Malay food stalls across the road. There aren’t many other shops except ones selling furniture and carpets lol.

Not sure when the MCO will be lifted (Tentatively: April 29) or when we’ll be able to move in – I still have a tonne of stuff to clear out from my current office.

 

Do you work from a dedicated office, or a co-working space? How do you find the experience?

 

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