Clean Sweep - love it!

mommabirdJanuary 8, 2010

I am home sick from work today and watched Clean Sweep for the first time ever. I WANT ON THE SHOW!! I love how they take everything out of a room & force the people to get rid of stuff!

The couple they showed today looks a lot like us - their public rooms in their house are fine but the bedroom & offce were disasters. Ditto for me - those are the 2 rooms that are disasters. I would love to get DH to agree to do our own "clean sweep" and take 100% of the junk out in a day, sort it, paint the walls, then put it back! I guess that's a dream but I can dream, right!

Do other people watch this show? I don't know why I've never heard of it before - I guess because I'm usually at work at 11 am. I will have to start taping it to watch later.

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Don't try to do it all in a day. Pick one room and a place to start. Get 3 boxes or bins--one for things to keep, one for trash and one for donations. Start in one spot. It may be a closet, dresser, shelves, or desk. Remove everything from 1 drawer or shelf Then go through things sorting into the boxes or bins. If that's all the time you have right then, then wait for the next day. Once you have cleaned out whatever space you picked then place all you saved items back. Chances are you will be so proud of yourself the rest will go smoothly.

One word of caution--Sometimes it is hard to discard things. When you find yourself wavering ask yourself these questions and answer truthfully and with thought. Do I need it, If I haven't used it in the last year, will I ever use it. Am I saving it for sentimental reasons or do I just think I am. Most people save some things for sentimental reasons but usually they will fit in a small tote. Get one and determine that when it is full the rest goes.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 3:30PM
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". I would love to get DH to agree to do our own "clean sweep" and take 100% of the junk out in a day, sort it, paint the walls, then put it back! "

You don't want to take it all out, sort it, "then put it back".

You should WANT to get rid of ALL the junk and put back only what you use or love.

You CAN do it yourself... no TV show needed. That's how DH and I remodeled several rooms.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 4:00PM
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I was inspired by Clean Sweep too. I don't know if they are making new shows. You probably saw a rerun.

My husband and I sort of did our own version of clean sweep. Four times a year the city has what they call "free overflow week. We decided to ramp up the decluttering efforts, so we went room by room pulling stuff out and putting by the curb. We were taking out so much stuff the neighbor came over asking if we were moving. There are some people in the area who make the rounds during free overflow. One guy will take anything metal, and there are the rummage sale people who take what they think they can sell. Within an hour or so, the only thing left was a few scraps of wood.

We have also done the same thing, only filling up the car taking things to charity. When the car was full, he'd drop off the stuff and I'd keep looking for more.

It can be difficult though. One time I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the money I had spent on things I cared to little about. I got over it quickly, though. Now I can barely remember what we got rid of.

Of course, there was no crew to paint our walls, but once the bulk of the unwanted things were gone, we were more motivated to do things like paint.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:24PM
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The one thing that sticks with me from that show was an episode when Peter (is that right? the one with the accent - Australian?) asked a woman how she felt about making her Mother stay in this room filled with junk and what she thought it said about how she felt about her mother. The tears flowed.

It's a question I think about often when I watch Hoarders - particularly the episodes that involve young children.

I can't believe it's still on - I don't think it has been in production for years.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 1:00AM
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Removing everything from a room to give it a good cleaning and painting, then putting back ONLY what the room needs is a good strategy, for that room.

The problem is that the junk is then in another room until you get rid of it. she says this as she looks at the 5 boxes of computer-related stuff that didn't go back int0 the roommate's office, but sits in the living room over a year later

Have a plan for getting rid of the things you are not actively using or use sporadically. And have a deadline for doing it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 9:39AM
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I've been inspired by that show in the past. I don't have their crew to do it all in one day. They gave me a new perspective on stuff just taking up space in a person's life. Getting rid of junk is sometimes like working through grief. If you can get rid of clutter, you can move forward.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 12:10PM
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emptying out a whole room and trying to sort it all at once would be so hard to do. I've been sorting our office and it's taken me at least 6 or so goes at it so far doing a small area at a time. It's a very time consuming room to sort because you can have lots of papers to sort through and after an hour or two it gets tiring and I need to walk away and come back another day feeling fresh and ready to tackle it again. To do it properly it's best to take your time and really go through everything instead of just reshuffling things. Take your time, pick a drawer or two and start there, empty them out and get rid of as much as you can, then organise as you put things back and over time it will come together.

Im getting much better at doing this and it really is making a difference as I work my way through cupboards and storage and open up some space but it's gradually getting more organised too.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 8:30PM
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Our bedroom is not calm and attractive. One of the things that bothers me most is DH's desk, with all the magazines slithering all over the place. Since he is away for a few days, I bought a rectangular basket, perfect for keeping the mags in. Spent about an hour dusting and sorting - looks better already, and now there's room for him to do his paperwork (or read a mag if he wants to). Sometimes just doing something small makes a big difference - I hate visual clutter!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 11:51PM
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What I really want from these shows is the CONTRACTORS they use! Where are these possibly mythical carpenters who can customize just the right set of shelves for your home's wasted corner?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Hi, Mommabird
Hope you are feeling better!

I love that show too, but we don't have cable yet. Whenever we travel in the US, we watch TLC and HGTV in the evenings. I told DH that it is time to get cable. Now he says I have to wait until Spring so he can wire the house for fios. Guess I'd better clean up so I can relax once we get it, LOL!

Stuff piles up so fast. I get some magazines because I love the articles, but then they are hard to get rid of. I am trying to convince myself that if I take them to the local hospital (where the waiting rooms have OLD magazines) then I am "stretching" the life of the magazine. Wish the articles were on-line, though.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 6:41PM
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I just discovered the ultimate reason to clean sweep: bed bugs! Yup, we've got 'em. We emptied the bedroom in a hurry to enable the regular checking and vacuuming of crevasses that will be required to get rid of them. My husband is so glad to see the space in the bedroom that he is making jokes about "rent a bed bug" to motivate de-cluttering. I have to admit it is nice, even knowing that all the stuff is now in bags in the basement (you're not supposed to bag it until you've checked/washed/vacuumed it, but we had to get 'er done, so we'll deal with it later). And even if all we are using the space for is being able to take the bed apart and check and vacuum its many cracks and gaps.

So anyway, if you need to clean a place up, try an imaginary bed bug - it might do wonders, and make it way easier if a real one comes your way.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 2:49AM
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Mommabird, hate to steal and run away with your post, but I just gotta ask, Karen, what all are you supposed to do to get rid of the bugs? A neighbor of mine is going through the same thing and the woman is CLEAN!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 8:04PM
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LOL Thought about my post and came back to say....I wasn't inferring that you weren't clean! LOL

It just surprises me that those things are getting to be so rampant in the last few years. Read in the health publication that I receive that there are so many more cases of them in the last few years than ever before.

Wonder what the deal is? I had always associated "varmints" like that with surroundings being dirty, etc. Now, when people have more resources to help them stay cleaner than we've ever been - why are they getting worse now!? Sounds like a plot for a horror movie to me.

Hope you eradicate your problem soon. I'm gonna tell her tomorrow that she's not alone.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:33PM
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We're using less toxic pest control. :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:39PM
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I'll actually start a new thread to avoid hijacking, but yes, it's because we stopped using DDT, and yes, it's apparently getting pretty common (thank heavens, since that means there's a lot of info out there). And I wish I were as clean as your neighbour, but clutter makes that hard to do. But I really do sense this will be a corner-turning experience for me in that regard, which is why I added it to this thread :-)


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 2:15AM
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Melissa Houser

In regard to magazines, I've been dropping mine off at the local pack and ship to be sent to the troops in Iraq. One of my best friends is over there and she says they read old mags from here in a completely new way. Her tales of the guys drooling over a picture of a hamburger are side-splitting!!

I love Clean Sweep as well. Peter Walsh, the organizing guy, has a book out that addresses all areas of organization. It's fascinating reading for me! I do a lot of what he talks about already, but there is always room for improvement.

I'm not sure if Clean Sweep is still in production, but they show episodes of it here all the time. I like the recap shows they do, mostly because they show how people develop similar hoarding behavior because of diverse reasons.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 8:32AM
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I love the show too!!!!I come from a long line of packrats and have found that decluttering is an ongoing process. I even declutter raggedy looking plants! When I begin a room, I start with drawers. This way when you need to put something away, there will be space to put it in! I've also found when you're going through ANYTHING that can be worn (even shoes and belts) try it on first. If something doesn't fit, give it to charity. I used to "save it for when I loose weight." Now I know how nice it is to go buy something fresh when I do loose, and it rewards me for doing so. It also helps me dress faster because now EVERYTHING in my closet fits!

My last tip is for when you are having trouble deciding if you should save something. Try asking yourself several questions. #1-"Would I remember this item and REALLY miss it if, say, the house burned down? #2-"Would I go out of my way to replace it?" Sometimes those questions help me decide. Oh, one other thought: If you are saving something with a story or an antique, write down what is special about it, when it was acquired, where it came from, is made of etc... then put it on the bottom of the item with a Post It Note. My Mom and I have been doing this at her house. Some day it will be helpful when she is gone and all the relatives need to divvy stuff up.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 11:49AM
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Rent a Bed bug! Ha! I could recommend "Rent A Spider". Those crawly things give me the Skeeves. I had a small pile of papers-empty grocery bags, junk mail flyers, a couple of magazines. Decoded to throw thing out, and out poppede a spider! Boy, did that pile DISAPPEAR FAST!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Amazing how seeing bugs really makes you want to clean everything out! I had a box of disposable tupperware stored on a high shelf in a corner. I took it down once and found a whole bunch of baby spiders in there. Did that whole set of shelves get cleaned out or what. Now I really have to think twice before I store anything. I've really been able to easily get rid of things I was just storing before. The new house we are in now doesn't have much storage, so it is forcing me to go through everything with new eyes. A good thing I think!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 12:11PM
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I know for certain that creepy crawlies like bedbugs and head lice can suddenly overwhelm even the cleanest and neatest house. I remember when one of my girls came home from school with healice, I stripped all our beds, washed all our towels and linens in hot water, put all the stuffed toys in the dryer on high heat, and vacuumed every surface. Truly motivated to do an off-season Spring Cleaning. Oh, and I applied some kind of lice shampoo to evreryone's head, including myself and DH.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:11AM
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it does sure give you ideas of what you might be hanging onto that you shouldn't be keeping (like my totes of regular lightbulbs after changing over to cfl's and led's)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 1:20PM
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