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So, I was talking about starting a blog / site about cleaning up big messes, so I loaded up my secondary domain and decided to go for it. I have two blog posts on #cleaning  up already. I'm going to be queuing in a lot of tips of the day so I have a lot of daily content. I don't have photos up yet to go with the posts, but I will. I'm going to shame myself and take photos of some of the bad areas in my house and add them to the future posts. (Shiver!)

For your convenience, a copy paste of the one post -- but if you're interested in cleaning up your home, please feel free to follow my blog <3 Show me some love!

#shameless  

The post -- 

I’ve never been a tidy person. By nature, I can ignore the mess until it is a health hazard. This isn’t a good habit to have. Neither my husband nor me are inclined to pick things up as we go.

I got tired of not being able to invite people over. I got tired of the shame, the embarrassment, and the hopelessness of seeing my home an inhabitable disaster area.

I decided to change myself, my lifestyle, and reclaim my home.

I started this blog because I tried to find information on how to clean a huge mess like my home. All of the sites I saw dealt with keeping your home clean after it was in tolerable condition. If you’re anything like me, these tips and tricks are useless. How can you make your sink sparkle when you can’t even reach it? How can you clean your counters when you have to traverse your room through set paths?

It isn’t easy. A big mess takes big effort, and the tips and tricks for tidy folks making their homes prettier just doesn’t work! Not when you’re wading in junk from floor to floor.

In some rooms, from floor to ceiling.

Where to start? 

Cleaning up a big mess is scary. Start small. Reclaim a section of your floor — any section! It doesn’t matter where. Use the 1×1 square method to begin. All large jobs start with one small step.

What do you need?

Like the 1×1 square method, you will need the following materials:

Garbage Bags — Lots of them!
Boxes
Rubber Gloves
Garbage Storage Space
Box Storage Space

Garbage Bags

Don’t shirk on your garbage bags. Get strong, durable garbage bags. I prefer glad. The bags don’t rip, are reasonably priced, and easily acquired. Kirkland Lake, Costco’s brand, sells an excellent garbage bag in industrial and standard sizes. The industrial drum size bags are perfect for large-scale cleanups. They can get quite heavy when full, but they use less bags and can even handle liquid without spilling.

If you don’t have a Costco membership, go glad. The last thing you need is a cheap bag breaking on you when you’re trying to clean up this sort of mess.

Boxes 

Boxes are a temporary measure. Put anything you absolutely cannot get rid of in your box. Put the box in a corner — temporarily.

Rubber Gloves 

Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning big messes. You don’t want to get sick.

Garbage Storage Space

Dedicate a part of your home to garbage until your trash day. You’ll clean this section last so don’t be too shy about piling things up there. If possible, store your garbage bags on  ceramic tiles, not on hardwood, carpet, or linoleum. If you must store your bags on these surfaces, lay down plastic first.

Box Storage Space

Use this dedicated space for storing boxes of things you’re keeping. You’ll deal with them after the clutter is thrown away.

Things to Do

Complete what you start
Select small tasks — DO say, “I will clean off this section of counter space!” or “I will clean this 1×1 square section of floor.”
Reward yourself for milestone targets
Don’t give up
Allow yourself to cry — it is a great way to vent the frustration
Write down the things you’ve accomplished, not a to do list.

Things Not to Do

Set big goals. Do NOT say “I will clean my kitchen today!”
Clean for 10-20 minutes a day. That is how long it takes to maintain, not to catch up.
Focus on the big picture — when you have a big mess, you need to concentrate on completing tasks, not the state of your entire home or apartment.
I've never been a tidy person. By nature, I can ignore the mess until it is a health hazard. This isn't a good habit to have. Neither my husband nor me are inclined to pick things up as we go. I got t...
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14 comments
 
Can I do a guest post? :D
 
Neat idea! Best of luck with your cleaning. We just threw a big party, which gave me the incentive I needed to do a major overhaul of the house. I even paid my minions children to help. We'll see how long the tidiness lasts. :P
 
I could be your "before" example. 
 
I know a young woman. Her parents are pack rats perhaps. They have instead of storage units, two houses. One for them and one for the "extra" stuff. lol Yikes
 
+Rob Gordon If you want to donate photographs for the cause, I'd be happy to make comments on the blog on how I'd approach cleaning the space in exchange. :)
 
I'd have to think about that - it is quite the disaster right now. 
 
+Rob Gordon There is a space in my house I can't even bring myself to photograph. Believe me, I know the feeling. I'm going to use my guest bedroom for my next post. It is a prime example of a hoarder...

If you decide you want to let me comment on the photo / use it in a post, let me know and I'll shoot you my email address. :)
 
+Rebecca Blain I think that would be too embarrassing for me.  I live in a studio and also work here, and it has become quite the disaster.   The thing is, I think "simplicity" is a value of mine and I am not sure why I can't pull it off.   I will share one thing that has worked though - the pomodoro technique typically used by programmers.   Just spend 25 straight minutes cleaning or organizing, and do nothing else.   It is amazing how much can get done in 25 minutes.   See: http://orkanizer.com.

p.s.  I just followed your blog and will reshare this post. 
 
How funny!  I began a massive cleanup/throw out on Saturday and it continues.  Starting vacation tomorrow and decided to devote my first three days to cleanup and ditching "stuff"!  Bought 100 "memory boxes" all the same on a special sale this weekend at Michaels and every single thing that can fit into such a box (shoebox size) is going into them and labels too.  Better use of space now in my closets and shelving.  All the "old" boxes just got recycled for use in the garage/outbuildings for all tools and outdoor things.  It's liberating!  Goal is 2 or more bags of stuff thrown out or piled for donation to thrift center, EACH DAY.  So far, so good and I have 3 more days reserved.  Woohoo!  Thanks for your post, a treasure to receive today from Rob and PE
 
Hah! Well, read it with more gentleness in mind, perhaps. 

I just covered the areas I think are the most common problems that, when they're cared for, allow you to concentrate on other matters. :-)
 
+Lily Alice I liked that post.  I didn't do any of that stuff though, but I did feel guilty about it.

+Rebecca Blain I think "before" pictures are a good idea.  That is what they tell people to do who are starting a diet.   I think I will snap a few but I can't share them, because there are a good number of people who don't like me here, and some are pretty nasty trolls. 
 
+Rob Gordon That's a pity -- trolls are such a waste of time and breath. Just block those who don't like you and forget about them. They're not worth your time anyway. :)

I ended up putting a way people can support the site if they want to... hopefully that'll pay for the hosting costs for the site and the domain fee at the very least <3
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