Question by Morgan: Extremely messy house…where to start?
So ever since my father has moved into my grandfathers house, its become a disgusting, dump. Every room is outrageously dirty and there is stuff EVERYWHERE. My poor grandfather is 77…he can’t handle this. But then again, they are both slobs…and just stopped caring about the house. SOME of it is my doing..but I am barely over there and my mess is in my room, and our spare room. I’d love to get Clean House there, but I am pretty sure the Search For the Messiest Home is already over…where do we start? What steps should we take? I know we should have a yard sale..and rent a dumpster…but ahhh, it’s so stressful, and I do not know where to begin. I need to convince my dad and grandfather to clean up the house- of course with me helping. I don’t know how to do this and how to get the cleaning process going. PLEASE help. 10 points for best answer.

Best answer:

Answer by Callisto
Do you have any friends or family you could convince to help you? lol

I would start with the small stuff first, and then work to the bigger things. Start with a room, and focus on it. It might be overwhelming to tackle the whole house at once.

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4 Responses to Q&A: Extremely messy house…where to start?

  1. Vern says:

    I was, and still sort of am in your situation and at first it was daunting and all I wanted to do it is bang my head against the wall. I can give you tips more than I can a rigid guideline to follow.

    1) clean from the top down. In my house, there was barely any visible floor space. For now, don’t worry about finding any. Worry about surface cleaning of furniture, ceilings, walls, etc first, and work your way down. 2) create a sanctum. Pick a room to work on first that you can retreat to and clean it first (I’m assuming your bedroom). The best way to tackle things is one room at a time, and once you have this room clean, you can go to it in between difficult tasks or after a day scouring and feel accomplished. 3) After your sanctum, work on rooms where being sanitary is most essential (probably the kitchen) and then the rooms that are most visible (living room). Remember: one room at a time or you’ll go nuts. 4) Now, clutter time. When you feel buried in clutter, I suggest you use every available empty surface for sorting. In my instance, I stripped down my bed, and used it as a sorting space. I then went through the room in quadrants, throwing away loose papers, mail, and plastics first, and then going through bigger stuff and putting it in boxes: keep, toss, give away (by which I mean sell or find a friend). Always check yourself and make sure you keep box is the smallest. 5) As you go through your quadrants and discover floor space, run it over quickly with some carpet foam/ vacuum. It’s actually better, at least in my opinion, then doing it at the end. 6) For all the keep stuff that’s not immediately necessary, either put it in a corner with a sticky label of what’s in there, or put it in the garage according to which room it came from. It might give you a second wind just not to have boxes in the way and things looking less cluttered. 7) Reward yourself and the family who helps at the end of the day with good food and drink (because if this is done right, you all will be starving), 8) While it doesn’t make sense to bring new clutter into your home, spring for a two-drawer filing cabinet for important books and papers, and good looking baskets of bins to store the stuff the your not get rid of, but that you don’t want in plain sight.

    Like I said, not so much an itinerary as a set of useful tips to keep your sanity. Oh, one more: think marathon, not sprint.

  2. lil_faery_girl says:

    Ok where to start. I am often in the same boat as you and it can get so over whelming that you may just wanna give up and i often do lol
    Ok this is what i do 1) go and get my friends and we all pitch in. Depending on your house depends on what to do first. eg when people walk in your house what is the first thing they see? That is the room i would start on have some garbage bags and as you come across rubbish toss it. I normally vacuum each room as i finish. 2) I would do the kitchen as you eat there and it is a breeding ground for all sorts of germs. After you do the kitchen again vacuum.
    3) have a break and have something to eat and drink you need to recharge or you will burn out
    4) attack the bathroom then the these are your wet areas they are sort of easier to clean.
    5) this is now when i would do the bedrooms. I usually leave them to last as no guests really see the rooms. Just work on the littlest room first then work your way up to the biggest room.
    I would also if you have the money invest in some vacuum bags for storing all bulky stuff as it is sucked down to near nothing.
    Hope this helps and good luck and remember don’t be to hard on your self there is other adults in the house that can help you as well just cause your a woman doesn’t mean you have to do it all :)

  3. srbyn1 says:

    The best thing to do would be to pay for a cleaning service to come in & do the initial clean-up; then you could go over & clean once a month for them. If you do hire a cleaning service, be there when they do it. When they get that age, they have other things to think about, such as their health, or they could just be in a very bad rut & don’t care. Take them out to eat every few weeks to give them something to enjoy. Also, visit them regularly & let them talk all they want to. Take the Mrs a pretty houseplant; just let them know that they are being thought about.

  4. rockinrobin664 says:

    Check out This is a web site with a yahoo group that teaches you in 30 days how to establish a routine to help declutter and clean a house in 2 ,5 ,10 ,15 and 45 minute increments. It didn’t get that way in a day and it won’t get cleaned out in a day. It takes steady work, but it’s really easy doing it with a timer and for short bursts so you don’t get burned out.

    Perfectionism keeps a person from starting because they are overwhelmed with where to start, what to do and thinking they don’t have enough time. Flylady teaches differently and boy does it make a difference!

    On the site you can learn how to do a crisis cleaning session for the main living areas or learn how to do a 27 fling boogie. Even just taking a garbage bag into one room at a time and tossing all the trash can make a huge difference and most rooms can be done this way in 15 minutes.

    The thing is, you can show them the site and see if they are willing to try it, or you will have to do it yourself “IF” they give you their permission. That’s the problem, you can’t force another to do it and if you can’t and they won’t, or they won’t allow it, you’ll just have to let it go because it’s not really your problem and there is nothing you can do about it.

    Good luck!