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  1. #1

    deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    When I was too sick to do my housework, it piled up. Then after I was better, it seemed like such an insurmountable task that I kept putting it off.

    Finally fate forced my hand. This water heater drain thing got clogged up, unknown to me, and water kept flooding into my living room, soaking the carpet. At first I thought I had spilled something, but it just kept getting worse until I finally called maintenance. Then when it dried, it got all mildew smelly. The cat didn't like it, so she pissed on it. Then it was REALLY awful.

    The smell was chokingly awful at that point, so I had to do something. I therefore rented out one of those Bissell Green Machine carpet cleaners. The whole place was a mess due to my previous neglect, so I threw out all the crap and organized stuff, making way for a thorough vacuuming. Finally, when the way was clear, I cleaned all the carpets, not just that one problem spot.

    That set in motion getting the rest of my place in shape. I totally overhauled my kitchen, down to polishing the faucet and other stainless steel with stainless steel solution. It's been a multi-day project. It was bad enough that it could not be taken care of in one day.

    I've gotten the whole house done, except for the bathroom. I'm not worried because I've got a 3-day weekend coming up, and I'm on a roll. I'll get that final room in great shape.

    However, after that, I still won't be done. I've got deep-level organizing to do. I'm going to go through all my shit, and set aside whatever I no longer use, then I'll either donate it or sell it. Right now, except for one room, I have a clean place. But it's still not at a high level of organization. Once I've jettisoned whatever I don't need anymore, I'll be able to create a highly organized place that serves me better.

    The clutter has built up over years. This experience has convinced me that it's worth it to keep up with the housework, but it's also important to do high-level organization at least once a year. When my brother came to visit, he commented that my car was like a new car. At least once a week now, I'm washing and vacuuming it. I have a subscription to a car wash now, which makes that easy.

    The house still has work to do, but at least it's livable now. The super-cleaned bathroom is coming soon, as is the super organization level. My goal is to be able to grab anything I need within 2 minutes, and oft-used things within 30 seconds.

    I've found a Youtube channel with great tips on how to clean and organize quickly and efficiently. I haven't set out to become one of those ďPutzteufelsĒ who is obsessed and therefore has no life outside of cleaning and organizing. My goal is to do regular maintenance, and to do it quickly and efficiently, leaving plenty of time left over for my interests.

    It's not perfect yet, but the boost to my self-esteem has already hit. It's amazing how much better I feel. I had put it off for a long time because it was bad enough to seem overwhelming, like I had no idea where to even start. The carpets changed that. My starting point was urgent: to get the carpets clean and no longer stinking. After that I just took it once piece at a time. For example, I devoted a whole day to the kitchen and didn't worry about anything else.

    This is part of my building up a great life. The purpose is not to become a cleaning nut, but rather to have a place that serves me well. For example, if I need to go do a workout, all my workout stuff is already well-organized in a workout bag. There's no need to waste time finding shit. And if I need to cook some high-quality, healthy food to help me improve my body and health, my kitchen is now in great shape to support me in that. I'm not trying to get featured in Better Homes and Gardens. I'm building a place that supports my life goals.

    This project has already helped me to feel better and to have less frustration. I'm also busting the stereotype that men are always shitty at housework. I'm already a good cook. Now I'm becoming good at keeping my place in shape. And I'm doing it, not because someone ordered me to, and not to impress anyone, but to help make my life work. I've organized my workouts, my language learning, and my guitar playing. It helps me to live how I want to and to keep improving my life.

    In going your own way, you CAN build a great life. Make your surroundings support you in that.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Good thread, I pulled 5 doors off their hinges to fit them better, but only after repairing or replacing the hardware that wore out prematurely from all the yanking and kicking the stuck doors every time the humidity rises.

    Now they go ka'click opening and closing with no effort. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while ignoring the results! It's nice knowing I won't be jerking off any more door handles or kicking the doors where they're jammed! I'm glad I was never like that with oil changes! Replacing engines instead of filters!
    Bundle up, boys, it's gonna be a long cold endless winter.


  3. #3
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    I need to get off my ass and do a deep clean of my house too Tig I have neglected it for way to long. Been in a bit of a funk for the last 6 months or so mebbe a good cleaning will help.

  4. #4

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Good job man. Iíve found that when at my lowest mentally I was also living in disorganization and a dirty house. Part of digging out mentally has always been getting things organized, clean and repairs made. I think our surroundings definitely have an impact on us.

    My last relationship/nightmare was with a woman that was a lazy slob and that definitely took a toll on my mental health. Part of getting back to finding my inner peace has been doing what you did. Itís something small but it also spills over into other stuff like dressing better, deciding to work out and going to church. Iím really wanting to get a snowball effect going.

  5. #5

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwardhaskell View Post
    Good job man. Iíve found that when at my lowest mentally I was also living in disorganization and a dirty house. Part of digging out mentally has always been getting things organized, clean and repairs made. I think our surroundings definitely have an impact on us.

    My last relationship/nightmare was with a woman that was a lazy slob and that definitely took a toll on my mental health. Part of getting back to finding my inner peace has been doing what you did. Itís something small but it also spills over into other stuff like dressing better, deciding to work out and going to church. Iím really wanting to get a snowball effect going.
    Yup, good luck to you, bro. Also remember: It's not an all or nothing sum game. Each change for the better helps. For example, when I did the first step, when the carpets were finally clean, they immediately quit stinking, they looked nicer, and were more comfortable. I still had a lot else to do, but that one step was an immediate improvement. Soon I'm putting up a coat rack to be ready for winter. The closet is far from the front door, and so bringing a coat all the way over to it and on the other side of the bed is too much of a pain in the ass, so I was just throwing coats over the sofa or over a chair. No more. I'm installing a simple, 4-hook coat rack onto the wall right by the door. When I come in, I can immediately hang my coat on it in winter. In summer, the coat will go back into the closet. It's a simple change requiring a minor amount of handyman work, but it will make a big difference. I already have another set of small hooks where I hang my keys. Even when my place was a mess, I never lost my keys. Lost keys create a level of frustration that can drive you mad.

    Each little improvement makes things a little better. You don't have to wait until you're totally done to enjoy things being better. You also beat procrastination by dividing everything up into smaller tasks. One day just do your messy desk. The next day, clean just your kitchen, etc.

    Jettison the tradcon bullshit that housecleaning and organizing is a woman's job. It's your place, and you'll enjoy it more if it's in shape and setup to serve you well.

  6. #6
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by TigPlaze View Post
    Yup, good luck to you, bro. Also remember: It's not an all or nothing sum game. Each change for the better helps. For example, when I did the first step, when the carpets were finally clean, they immediately quit stinking, they looked nicer, and were more comfortable. I still had a lot else to do, but that one step was an immediate improvement. Soon I'm putting up a coat rack to be ready for winter. The closet is far from the front door, and so bringing a coat all the way over to it and on the other side of the bed is too much of a pain in the ass, so I was just throwing coats over the sofa or over a chair. No more. I'm installing a simple, 4-hook coat rack onto the wall right by the door. When I come in, I can immediately hang my coat on it in winter. In summer, the coat will go back into the closet. It's a simple change requiring a minor amount of handyman work, but it will make a big difference. I already have another set of small hooks where I hang my keys. Even when my place was a mess, I never lost my keys. Lost keys create a level of frustration that can drive you mad.
    Yep, and thanks your new rack, and the convenience of not having to carry or wear a wet coat across the room to the closet will keep the room looking nicer, longer... compounding benefits.

    Man, I love having my coffee in the cabinet closest to the sink just above the hotpot. Repurposed some narrower coffee cans to hold the over the cup coffee filters, also within hand's reach.

    It makes it your place for your lifestyle and your convenience. Stupid little things like putting up coat hooks next to the door or keeping coffee stuff close to the sink for regular drinkers...

  7. #7

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by Montauk View Post
    Yep, and thanks your new rack, and the convenience of not having to carry or wear a wet coat across the room to the closet will keep the room looking nicer, longer... compounding benefits.

    Man, I love having my coffee in the cabinet closest to the sink just above the hotpot. Repurposed some narrower coffee cans to hold the over the cup coffee filters, also within hand's reach.

    It makes it your place for your lifestyle and your convenience. Stupid little things like putting up coat hooks next to the door or keeping coffee stuff close to the sink for regular drinkers...
    Yup, that's exactly it. Little things that serve your habits and how you live make a big difference. My apartment somehow came without a medicine cabinet. I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but most American bathrooms have a medicine cabinet either right beside the mirror or the cabinet itself is the mirror in front of the sink. Despite the name, it's not necessarily for medicine, though it could be. For me, I keep oft-used items like my toothbrush, toothpaste, my razor, etc., in it. There was no drawer under the sink either, so it was driving me nuts not having a medicine cabinet. The existing cabinet was on the other side of the room by the shower, well away from the sink. Drove me bonkers, so I ordered an inexpensive medicine cabinet from the online Walmart store. When I got it, I had to assemble it and mount it to the wall right next to the mirror, but it was so worth it. No more digging through the cluttered cabinet on the opposite side of the room just for my tooth brush, toothpaste, razor, and shaving gel. It made things quicker and easier.

  8. #8

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    My philosophy is A.B.C., always be cleaning. When I'm moving through my house and I see one little thing that can be picked up, thrown away, or cleaned, I do it right then and there. This makes it only a minor annoyance some of the time, but it keeps the house from getting so bad that it's too daunting to clean. I'm never living in a house that makes me miserable. Also, my goal is not to have a perfectly clean house, not only is that impossible but the task to accomplish that is extremely daunting. Instead, I only aim to clean things to be 'good enough', because if it's good enough, why clean anymore? I also don't do things like fold laundry or make my bed, because there really is no point, these things just get messed up again right away. And on the rare occasion when things do get pretty messy, I always tell myself that I only need to clean up a little bit of it right now, not all of it. This makes it easy to start and get some work done, and half of the time, I get in the groove and end up cleaning all of it anyway.

  9. #9
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Could this be considered a 4th concurrent thread on Peterson...he does have something to say about cleaning your room before changing the world....

    In all seriousness - this is a great thread - I've done the same with both my farm and house over the last 6 months (as my ex moved out)...not that she was a slob or anything, but certainly not much of a home-keeper, and had a lot of clutter.

    What was worse is that I had just let things go myself because I didn't give a shit anymore.

    As TigPlaze states - this does wonders for self-esteem and clearing up your mind to focus on making other areas of your life better.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chris007's Avatar
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    I have always preached that your home is your castle. You should always maintain it so that you're looking forward to being there. Keep it clean, get it set up exactly like you want it, get all creature comforts that will make your existence at home pleasurable. There's nothing better than closing your door behind you and truly enjoying every moment of your existence with the rest of the world closed out behind you.

  11. #11

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    An update:

    This weekend I hit my bathroom, which was a disaster area. The sink, floors, and toilet are now immaculate. It was a lot of work because it had gotten really awful with scum all over the floor and sink. I had ordered a special kit specifically for cleaning filthy toilets. The toilet is now totally immaculate. I found a new trick for cleaning up really bad scum, but you have to be careful. If you pour boiling water over it, it quickly loosens it up. I have an electric kettle that I make my tea with, which boils water quickly, so I used it. Like I said, be careful. You could really hurt yourself with boiling water if you're not careful. But if you take your time, and use caution, it's a great tool.

    I still have the bathtub/shower to do, as well as the medicine cabinet. Everything's not done yet, but that's okay. I've made good progress, and I'll hit the other problem areas as soon as I can.

    Something important that I've learned: Sometimes a project is too big to be completed in the time you have available. That's okay. You then split it into multiple smaller projects. If you keep hitting it, piece by piece, you'll eventually have the whole thing done. You also don't have to wait until it's completely done to benefit. As soon as I had just my carpets one, my place was already a lot more comfortable.

    Another thing: Celebrate every improvement. Now I'm celebrating the fact that my sink, my toilet, and my floor are all super clean. I'm not lamenting the fact that the bath tub/shower is still bad. I know I'll do a great job with it soon as I can. And I'll have great focus on it, because it will be the only thing I'm working on.

    If your place sucks, don't get down on yourself. Make a plan. And put it into action.

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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by TigPlaze View Post
    An update:


    Something important that I've learned: Sometimes a project is too big to be completed in the time you have available. That's okay. You then split it into multiple smaller projects. If you keep hitting it, piece by piece, you'll eventually have the whole thing done.
    So much truth to this - I've beaten myself up over the lack of progress on certain projects around here...and I sometimes get pulled in many different directions going from one 1/2 finished project to the next (based on interest or need).

    Breaking things down into manageable pieces is helpful - but so is the celebration part. It's important to recognize any progress here, and to sometimes take a step back and look at all that you have accomplished.

    That goes beyond just cleaning/organizing of course and could be applied to most goals in life!

  13. #13

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by KRFJames View Post
    So much truth to this - I've beaten myself up over the lack of progress on certain projects around here...and I sometimes get pulled in many different directions going from one 1/2 finished project to the next (based on interest or need).

    Breaking things down into manageable pieces is helpful - but so is the celebration part. It's important to recognize any progress here, and to sometimes take a step back and look at all that you have accomplished.

    That goes beyond just cleaning/organizing of course and could be applied to most goals in life!
    Exactly! I can't tell you how many times, I meant to clean up my place, but procrastinated because I was just so overwhelmed. It was a wreck in every part of every room. I would try to start and then be like, "Where do I even begin?" I even consulted advice from Youtube videos, and that's where I got the "break it up into smaller goals" idea. It's great advice for any big project, not just cleaning.

    I'll celebrate again when my tub/shower is done.

  14. #14
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Great job Tig.

    Surprisingly these things take much less effort than many think. As you say, if everyday tasks are left unaddressed they soon mount up and become a burden. They bring you down.

    I applaud the bit-by-bit approach. Concentrating on one goal at a time eventually gets the job done. All it usually takes is a couple of hours a week, say every Saturday afternoon and in the evening you can celebrate your accomplishment in whatever form suits you, e.g. indulging in a favourite meal or pigging out in front of the telly.

    Cleaning as you go makes this whole thing a lot easier. Cooking your evening meal takes a while so put this time to good use. Spend these waiting minutes wiping down surfaces or pulling out the vacuum cleaner.

    You say you bought a specialised toilet cleaning kit? I’m intrigued. Personally I gave up on bleach for the most part although I do still use it occasionally. It costs about a euro a bottle here, for 2-3 euro a bottle I buy limescale remover (I live in a hard water area and it causes a nasty looking yellow build-up). It eats through everything and a quick once over with a toilet brush leaves my loo sparkling.

    My bugbear though is going through the mass of paperwork I’ve collected over the years. It just keeps growing and the thought of tackling it is daunting.

    Knowing what to keep and what can be shredded is difficult. For example, I recently had to undergo police vetting for the first time for my job, where I had to list all my residencies with dates since birth. There have been quite a few of them.

    Thankfully I had the documentation to help me in this, most of which most people discard and have to rely solely on memory.

  15. #15

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackoff View Post
    Great job Tig.

    Surprisingly these things take much less effort than many think. As you say, if everyday tasks are left unaddressed they soon mount up and become a burden. They bring you down.

    I applaud the bit-by-bit approach. Concentrating on one goal at a time eventually gets the job done. All it usually takes is a couple of hours a week, say every Saturday afternoon and in the evening you can celebrate your accomplishment in whatever form suits you, e.g. indulging in a favourite meal or pigging out in front of the telly.

    Cleaning as you go makes this whole thing a lot easier. Cooking your evening meal takes a while so put this time to good use. Spend these waiting minutes wiping down surfaces or pulling out the vacuum cleaner.

    You say you bought a specialised toilet cleaning kit? Iím intrigued. Personally I gave up on bleach for the most part although I do still use it occasionally. It costs about a euro a bottle here, for 2-3 euro a bottle I buy limescale remover (I live in a hard water area and it causes a nasty looking yellow build-up). It eats through everything and a quick once over with a toilet brush leaves my loo sparkling.

    My bugbear though is going through the mass of paperwork Iíve collected over the years. It just keeps growing and the thought of tackling it is daunting.

    Knowing what to keep and what can be shredded is difficult. For example, I recently had to undergo police vetting for the first time for my job, where I had to list all my residencies with dates since birth. There have been quite a few of them.

    Thankfully I had the documentation to help me in this, most of which most people discard and have to rely solely on memory.
    I would say a specialized toilet cleaning kit isn't absolutely necessary, but it was affordable and was designed especially for cleaning toilets that have gotten really filthy, which, sadly, was the case with mine. It was affordable, so I have no regrets. Now that my toilet is in great shape, regular maintenance will be way easier, and ordinary cleaners will be enough. I will probably still need to use the kit's pumice stone, as the water is rather hard here, and so barely cleanable rings often develop.

    This is the kit:

    https://donaslett.com/products/compl...h-pumice-stone

  16. #16
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    Strong Successful Male has a ton of Marriage (some Live in Girlfriend) stories from men in their 20s to 50s.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/StrongSuccessfulMale

    Mostly cheating, but some other kinds. After a while, they all bleed into each other. Though confronted with actual proof of texts/video/audio/photos/caught in the act, they always turn on the Waterworks and Gaslight and Deflect, in any order.

    Literally story after story where the woman caught red-handed will Beg Forgiveness, Blame the Victim, Bawl out Uncontrollably, and then go right back to Blaming or Begging.

    "It's your fault for not being around/I didn't do anything/Waaaaaaah Sob Sob/I'll do anything for you to stay" all back to back.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    My latest attempt to appear presentable is in painting my car, a clean shiny car is a happy car because he's not being pulled over for shitboxitus!

    Sanding down the faded and chalking clear coat is like tryin to dig through the Niagara Escarpment with a plastic spoon!

    Why not buy a new car? Have you seen the price of cars? Today's used and abused shitbox cost more than yesterday's electric cars!

    I guess that's what happens when the wrong people steal an election.
    Bundle up, boys, it's gonna be a long cold endless winter.


  18. #18
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    I have an answer for why used cars suddenly got so expensive in the USA.

    They actually sell decent ones overseas in Developing Countries. So the only ones they don't bother with are accident cars or ones that have too much mileage on them for their age or are just too old.

    After Katrina, they sent a huge number of cars to South America with the parts and had them brought up to snuff there to save on labor, then sold them at a good price. Now it's regular.

    How do I know? One day I was sitting on my balcony there (leaving out the city because it'll almost dox me since few Americans go there), having a coffee and a smoke in the evening.

    A Red Ford F150 from the 2000s era was driving slowly and a small compact car pulled out in front of it and the guy slammed his brakes and came to a stop. Dude was shocked, so it took him a few seconds to recover that somebody would do that (little car almost sideswipped him turning onto the road). I saw him slam his horn from about half a block away.

    I didn't hear F#.

    I heard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUbakT7fQZ0

    Then it was my chance to be stunned. Keep in mind this was in a landlocked city deep in South America. A year later, I heard another car, and I had asked around and people told me they had an influx of cars in 2006, before then only the very rich brought cars and the very lucky positioned to get a decent car when the very rich sold theirs for a new one. Also found out the delivery and repair of used cars from the US and occasionally Europe happens all over SA now.

  19. #19

    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    An update:
    The last room not deep-cleaned was my bathroom. That is now done. I didn't just clean it. I made it immaculate. I watched online videos for tips on how to clean very effectively. I needed help because there were gross patches of mold growth in the bathtub/shower. I used a cleaning product designed specifically for mold, and I poured boiling water onto those areas. Then for the grout between the tiles, I used a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, mixed together as a paste. It worked great. That got it a ton better, but there were still little patches of mold that would not scrub away, not even with Comet and that mold cleaner together. Per advice from a repair worker at my apartment complex, I filled a spray bottle with pure bleach, not cut with water or anything else: pure bleach. I sprayed that on the whole shower at just let it soak. That got rid of any remaining stubborn mold or other crap. It worked great.

    I did the bathroom floors, sink, and toilet. For the toilet, I had a special kit just for toilet cleaning. Now the whole room looks like a professional cleaner hit it. I still have some clutter under the sink and in the cabinets, but that's my next weekend project. Now my entire place is super clean, but there's some clutter on my desk and in the closets and cabinets. So that's my next project: Declutter everything.

    Gonna go through all my shit and just get rid of anything I don't use anymore, like clothes I never wear, gizmos that are out of date or I just don't like, etc. I may have stuff I don't want that's exactly what some other person needs if it's still good. So I'm donating all that stuff to thrift stores. Get it all out. Then reorganize everything I'm keeping so that I can always find it easily.

    I also installed my coat hooks onto the wall near the entrance. Now there will be no more just throwing my coat over the sofa or over a chair. I'm on the home stretch now. Declutter and I'm done. I'm probably also putting up hooks in the kitchen to hang pans on. They're hogging up a lot of space in the cabinets.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mgtower's Avatar
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    Re: deep-level cleaning and organizing to build a great life

    You're making me feel like;





    Bundle up, boys, it's gonna be a long cold endless winter.



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