Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Clean Sweep Your Own Home

I love the TV show Clean Sweep. First of all, the homes on this show are REALLY messy. They make my house seem neat and tidy in comparison. I may have piles of stuff on my desk, but at least I don't sleep on my sofa because my bed is covered with laundry. At least I don't have dozens of boxes of my children's outgrown clothes. At least my bedroom closet isn't full of boxes of stuff that I rushed through the house picking up before company came over. No, wait a minute, I actually do have those boxes. But not nearly as many as the people on the show have in their closets!

But I don't just watch the show to see how much worse other people have it. I also like the way they address the mess and the clutter. Instead of focusing on throwing things out, they take all of the homeowners' belongings out of two rooms of their home, and put them on the lawn. There the homeowners can focus on what they want to keep, not on what they need to sell or throw out. When the homeowners wail and gnash their teeth, claiming they absolutely need all of these belongings, Peter Walsh steps in.

Peter Walsh is Clean Sweep's Organizer. He is the person who convinces the homeowner that his Beanie Baby collection is not going to put his kids through college, and needs to go. He gives a woman who has been separated for eight years permission to throw out her ex-husband's jackets. When someone says they can't get rid of an item because it was a gift, he calls the person who gave it to them and asks if it is okay for the item to be sold. He is gentle when people get emotional, but very firm, and the homeowners generally feel great in the end about getting rid of two-thirds of their belongings. So of course I watch and think, "I need Peter to come to my house!"

Well, I was hoping that Peter Walsh's book, "It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff" would take his place. There is a lot of good stuff in this book. It explains why clutter is bad, some reasons why we hang on to things that we shouldn't, and then gives tips on how to clear the stuff out. The book is clearly written and has some funny anecdotes. For someone who needs this information, it could be a very helpful book.

Unfortunately, as a regular viewer of the show, I'd already heard most of the information found in this book. Other tips sounded much like things I'd heard from Flylady and other organizational and decluttering gurus. And this just reminded me that I spend more time reading about decluttering than actually doing it.

I don't need any more information. I know HOW to clean up my house - I just need to DO it on a regular basis. Or else I need to convince the entire Clean Sweep crew to come out to my house. If a team of people pull all my belongings out into the yard, I guess I would have to start sorting and tossing. And who knows what interesting things I might find in those boxes in the closet!


Kim said...

I need some help cleaning my house. Can you come over? I have this theory that if my house is too messy then I must have too much stuff. I get out a trash bag and my goal is to fill it before the night is over. Someday I think that all that nasty stuff that creates my mess will be gone. I have another theory that at least 1 bag full of new nasty stuff finds its way into my home on a daily basis. These 2 theories in effect seem to be canceling each other out. Do you have any suggestions or possibly newer theories that might validate or better yet tip the balance of these theories in my favor. yours truly,
feelin messy

STL Mom said...

Dear Feelin Messy:
Step one to prevent nasty stuff from entering your home is to get rid of all children. To do this, provide an excellent education and supportive home atmosphere for another 10 years so they get into college. As soon as they move out, change the locks. Good luck!