The CleanHome Room Sweep Technique©

First get a couple of boxes for items that don't belong in that room, a recycle box, a garbage bag, and a bag or box for donation items.

Next, start with the floor. Pick up pure garbage and put it in the trash bag, sort recyclables, and box things that belong elsewhere. Dirty clothes go into the correct hamper for that laundry day, and dishes go to the kitchen to be washed up next time your doing dishes today.

Get a timer and set it for an amount of time you can handle cleaning in your room of the day.

Don't leave the room while your cleaning to put stuff away, this gets you side tracked and sorting socks in your bedroom! This is what the boxes are for. Use the boxes or baskets for each room of the house you’re not cleaning today. As your sorting, the stuff that belongs in other rooms go in them, and then to the right room later when you’re finished your room sweep for the day

Remember, don’t get overwhelmed and make it enjoyable, sing to some music, talk on the phone to a friend, or watch your favourite show while you doing it. Take ample breaks so you don't get bored, and do what you can for today in that room.

After the floor, start on surfaces, one at a time. If it is so cluttered it takes you a few weeks to complete a room sweep, at least on the first day your floor is clean, and you will be able to start sweeping/vacuuming on your chosen daily maintenance routine days.

This is how you do the Room Sweep technique. When a box is full for a particular room your not working on THEN you can empty it into that room and where the items belong. In no time everything will have a place and be in it.

Letting go of the CRAP

In order to let go of the CRAP (can't really achieve peace), you must be prepared to throw out, donate or sell things you have held onto for no reason for all those YEARS!!

Prepare your inner pack rat for a cleansing!

At CleanHome, we Do NOT IMPULSIVLEY through out things as fast as we can! Remember SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. Reducing your unwanted stuff is an everyday thing. If you find it hard to get rid of stuff you don't need, consider how happy someone else will be getting and USING your old things. It really does feel good to let it go, it is literally like lifting a weight off of your shoulders.

Pictures are not enjoyed in a box, full of dust. Old clothes that don't fit anymore and are out of date, are not giving you any peace of mind. It just takes up space for the things you do need, use and want. It can be hard, but really getting rid of stuff you never use or forgot you owned, won't hurt you, and will help others if you donate it.

This is how I release the CRAP in our home.

When I wash the laundry I go through the clothes and whatever are rags and no more good I throw away or give to hubby for fixing the car, they always come in handy that way.

Same with the ripped up underwear, holey socks that are beyond repair (like I would darn a sock anyway!!) Those old “cheese cloth” underwear hubby has had since you have ever known him. You know the ones I mean...they are so thin you could use it for straining soup, or making cheese!!

Then I have a box/bag in the front hall closet that houses everything I am donating. Once it gets filled, I drop it off on my next trip out of the house. I chose to donate to a local store in my town that is raising money to help make seniors lives happy and fun in seniors homes, by paying for concerts, dinners, and games etc.

My children are still young and growing fast, so I go through their clothes as I wash them too, and I have three bags in their closets. One is for keeping for another baby, second is sell to a hand me down baby clothes store, and the last one is for rags. As they fill up, I do with them as I had set out to do. I put away for another baby, or take to the store and sell them, or chuck them.

Except during my child birthing years, I don't keep any clothes that are too big for me hanging around. I don't want to be tempted to grow back into them (see The CleanBody© Principle under the “Body & Mind” section when your ready to declutter your body too)

Anything broken gets tossed. No excuses. No more "fix it "box or pile for hubby. He never gets around to it anyway, and that just adds to his CRAP. For the time it saves, and the stress it reduces, it is easier to buy a second hand one of the same items again, if you need it again. Good bye broken toaster ovens, clocks, and radios.

I donate old magazines that I no longer want to hospitals, elderly homes and doctor's offices for patients to read. If you do this make sure to take your name off the front cover if you subscribe by mail for them.

I have started to save on growing piles of CRAP coming into my home by taking out the magazines I like to read from the library when I take the kids to the library every couple of weeks, and signing up for e-fliers for my local stores sales, and reading my local newspaper online.

Since we are clearing the CRAP as we go, instead of spending a week to see how much we can throw away all at once, be proud of your decluttering accomplishments daily for your own personal satisfaction.

How do you know if you are holding onto it for NO GOOD REASON?

If you honestly have not used it in a year (barring off season or pregnancy) then chances are you never will again. IF you have boxes in your garage that you have not unpacked in 3 years from your last move, chances are, you not missing that stuff too much and it is forgotten items. Now, don’t throw it out without looking in it, in case it has your great grandfathers old coin collection, or your grandmother’s wedding photos, but make sure you then organise and keep that stuff in way where it can be enjoyed rather then sitting in a box never being used.

IF it causes you great anxiety to throw something out, leave the things you're not sure of, and wait a month. If you still don't need it, use it or know what to do with it, you are probably holding onto it for emotional reasons that hold no purpose other then to sooth your obsessive need to keep stuff.

It is ok to have a box for keepsake items, but be selective in what your keeping. I have four keepsake boxes, one for each person in our home. If they get full, I start to go through the box and see what really is important. I don't NEED every single drawing or painting my daughter has done, so I'll keep a few as a representative of a certain age or ability artistically, and then get rid of the others.

NOTE: If you have serious panic attacks at the thought of getting rid of ANYTHING, talking to a doctor about that anxiety would help you. It's ok to want to keep things that have special meaning, but the inability to throw out anything at all without serious anxiety is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.

Throwing out three broken vacuum cleaners when you have one that works, is not something that should cause anxiety or anger in you. For your own peace of mind, don't be afraid to ask for help from a professional. When my grandmother died, we found dozens of bags of cigarette packages neatly bound by elastics, in a closet, and she never even smoked!

A fire extinguisher for " just in case purposes" is a good idea. A roll of busted up garden hose for " just in case this might come in handy one day" purposes, is keeping CRAP in your life.

I KNOW a lot of men (and women too) who have a deep seeded need to keep "things" on hand for these reasons. To solve this, allow a "just in case" closet or trunk, to keep them happy, and feeling like they have some control over their stuff, while containing the amount. If it spills out beyond the set confines of the box or room, and your tripping over it, or have no space to store the things you DO use regulairly, it's time to downsize their stash, and throw out some CRAP.

If your town has a recycling program, and you don't recycle yet, go out and get yourself some blue bags/boxes, and start recycling :) it is a great way to rid of clutter, and saves a tree and the land fill sites!!

I throw out so much paper on a daily basis, that recycling alone has de-cluttered my home beyond belief. Not only is it a great way to de-clutter, but it also makes me feel good knowing I am doing something good for the environment.

Sign up for E-fliers for your favourite grocery stores, and stop getting the paper ones in your mailbox, to help cut down on clutter.

Don't run around trying to declutter as fast as you can, just look at what is in front of you as you clean each area, and as you room sweep every day, decide if it is trash, treasure or donation, and put it in it's place. If you have so much stuff that you still have no place to keep it, or display it, you still have too much stuff and need to keep going.

Today is...

a day to enjoy life!