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Have you done your own "Clean Sweep"?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
You know that show, "Clean Sweep", where they pull everything out of a couple rooms, then purge, sort, and organize? I'm tempted to do this with my garage. But I can't help imagining that I'll pull everything out, get sidetracked, and end up with a backyard full of stuff all summer (and a really annoyed husband). Anyone ever done this? Any tips?
post #2 of 15
I haven't done it, but I do watch the show and fantasize about having a crew come out and help me move junk out of a room so I can purge it! The thought of making those decisions *right now* is hard for me. Plus, if I don't have a better storage system in place once I go to put things back in the house, then I'm going to be facing a mess (albeit smaller) all the same.

post #3 of 15
I did a big one with my dad about six months ago in my basement. It was great! I do mini ones every other months or so but still feel like I can't keep up. I LOVE that show!
post #4 of 15
Not in a long time, and the only place I've ever done it was in my closet at my parent's house. The last time was just after college/before my wedding. It always felt SO good to do, but it usually involved me being up until 3am (once I started I couldn't leave it unfinished), and the next day my mom would pick through the trash bag and get upset about what I was throwing out and insist on keeping it

I don't know how I'd do it now. My DDs would be into everything as I tried to sort, and I can picture everything getting into the wrong piles.

I've never seen the show, but I love Extreme Home Makeover.
post #5 of 15
We are getting ready to do a HUGE clean sweep this summer. Its hard to explain, but we live in an old, somewhat substandard house. We are completely disorganized and have way to much for our house. We are in "construction" on our house, trying to get ready for our first baby. We somehow ended up with 3 junk rooms. Well, one is more like an inclosed patio thing, one is a bedroom, and one is a random weird shaped room that couldn't really be a bedroom, I don't know what it is?? Anyway, we are in the process of moving all misc. stuff into the patio room. Once the other rooms are clean and have been cleared of clutter, we are going to "clean sweep" the patio room. The best part is, I'm pregnant & just get to be in charge! No lifting here. Then we are going to organize everything! I can't wait!! Its going to be crazy! The only bad thing is, where we live we can't really have a garage sale, so everything will be trash or donation. It going to feel soooo good!

#1 edd 10/29/05
post #6 of 15
do it with a friend who is not partial to your stuff. a garage is pretty easy actually, vehicles go in the middle so put everything there and put back on the edges only what you will keep.
last year my parents came and i started organizing a bit at a time while dad was fixing my garage door. then mom started helping and then dad when he fixed the door. it looked great.

i am going to do it again in a few weeks. once the big one is tackled, the little ones are easier.
post #7 of 15
I've done it, most recently on a semi-involuntary basis. I had to move, and my deadline got moved up (long story, my mother was dying), and everything was out of control for the month leading up to my move. I started out freecycling a lot of stuff, selling (or trying to sell) some stuff, being pretty organized, then packing away the stuff I wanted to keep for the movers. My father was paying for the movers, and I had a certain budget, a certain number of boxes and pieces of furniture. Anyway, I started going over my limit, weeded out stuff, repacked, packed other stuff in suitcases to take with me on the plane...then I just ran out of time. I left the apartment in a mess (wasn't going to get my deposit back anyway, still it bothers me), and left behind so much stuff I'd wanted to keep. All my artwork for my walls. My Ergo carrier. An expensive winter coat. One of those silly kid's foam rubber couches that my son loved. Et cetera.

All the while this was going on, I had been trying to get in touch with the friend who was storing my books for me. I wanted to go through them and choose a couple of boxes to keep, and he would have kept the rest. For months I tried to contact him, and he didn't have an answering machine, was never at home when I stopped by or called. I even mailed him a letter. I was afraid he'd died, and his kids hadn't thought to contact me. Then, two days before I was to leave, he called me, and apologized for not getting back to me. By that time, there was no way I could go through the books, and arrange to have them shipped.

I've done other purges over the years, but that was the most radical one I've ever done. It was pretty painful, and I still mourn some of that stuff, particularly the books. But I must say, it's really nice not to have to deal with all that clutter. That stuff really weighed me down, especially the books. I'd purged those books so many times over the years, and I swear they were multiplying themselves. I've solemnly vowed never to let that stuff accumulate again. As a matter of fact, I should probably do a mini-purge soon. My home is so much easier to clean, it's so much more manageable without so much stuff.

Oh, you know what show I love? It's called "Neat," with Helen Buttigeg (sp?). That show rocks, the woman is like a therapist. They really get into the reasons these people are hoarding stuff, and she's really sensitive, yet absolutely merciless.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'll have to look for that show, "Neat"- it sounds good! Why do I like watching shows about decluttering more than I like actually doing it????

I had to clean out my parents' house last summer, which was really hard. I somehow ended up feeling both that I had let things go that I already miss, and that I ended up keeping too much. Like you, I vowed not to let my own stuff get so overwhelming.

Anyway, thanks to all for the good ideas. I like the idea of piling all the garage stuff in the place where the cars park (rather than the backyard); at least it will stay contained while I go through it. I also saw an article that suggested dividing your garage into quadrants with duct tape on the floor and taking it one quadrant at a time, so I think I'll try that too.
post #9 of 15
I can only find the show Neat in Canada on HGTV.

Some other cool shows on HGTV USA though.....
post #10 of 15
We are also getting ready to do this. We have a giant pile of boxes in our garage, and are going to "clean sweep" them over the summer.
Hopefully we will end up with an empty garage, and some extra money from selling stuff!
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by 2GR8KIDS
I had to clean out my parents' house last summer, which was really hard. I somehow ended up feeling both that I had let things go that I already miss, and that I ended up keeping too much. Like you, I vowed not to let my own stuff get so overwhelming.
Yeah...part of my ordeal last winter was dealing with the death of my mother at the same time that I was moving...and I had to dissolve her household, find whatever important papers I could, and get her house ready to sell. Even though she'd purged a lot in the past, there was so much stuff. She kept every bill she ever paid, every card she ever got, every picture she ever had, everything. She'd told me she'd made a will...I never found it. I found the title to her car almost by accident. (I had to go through all this stuff while caring for a 15-month-old who was going through a very clingy phase, too, without any help whatsoever--not fun for either of us.)

It's made me realize how merciless I have to be. I have packrat tendencies, and I hope I'm nearly cured of it. I lived for years with a real packrat...I believe his packratism verged on actual mental illness. He's got a 4-storey, 6 bedroom Victorian house full to the rafters with junk. (Apparently his boiler blew up a few months ago and spewed soot all through the house, and now everything's coated with black dust.) It's got a 2-car garage that's also full, and the garage itself is large enough that lots of the neighbors have converted their garages into apartments. It's a gorgeous, charming warehouse. That's had an effect on me.

Having said all this, I've got a few boxes of stuff I never even unpacked, and I'm pretty sure I don't actually need most of the stuff.
post #12 of 15


I kinda did it when I moved with my living room! I had only 1 chair left and book on my book shelves. The problem is... I moved to a house WAY smaller then the one I had... but we are renting. I am BURSTING at the seams... Of course it would help if I could get RID of my business stuff, but I would just buy it all over again. I have so much stuff, but I hate to get rid of it only to buy it again when I move into a house..... UGGG!
post #13 of 15
The best advice I ever heard...don't take out more than you can go through in an hour. Then work an hour at a time. Eventually you'll get through even the biggest rooms full of stuff.
post #14 of 15
"I'll have to look for that show, "Neat"- it sounds good! Why do I like watching shows about decluttering more than I like actually doing it????"

Me too!! I LOVE Neat, it comes on DiscoveryHome, I think that's what its called. Anyway, it's a lovely, quiet, peaceful sort of show. Not all jazzed up and hollywood like Clean Sweep. I love both of them. I aspire to BE those shows,lol. My dh is always offering to do a clean sweep with me, he says he'll be kinder than Peter (Clean sweep organizer guy) and let me keep lots of my junk as long as I get rid of some of it. LOL. I tell him that's not going to help! It's all gotta go!!!!!
post #15 of 15
DId my grandmother's home after her death last month. It was lovely. Also triggered my own and mother's purging. Iwill keep up the momentum as long as I can.

But, I can park one vehicle in the garage, the second is only blocked by the donation pile as it grows.
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