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Things to Bring/Supplies on Hand

With You to a Clean-Out:

Bottled Water!

Cell phone

Aspirin for headache relief

Eye drops

Allergy relief

Nasal relief

YOUR medications

Lower back support brace if a problem area for you


Bactine spray for any cuts while cleaning

Change of clothes

Paper plates/cutlery for eating

Microwaveable healthy meals

“This is a marathon, not a sprint. We spent at least 30 man days working on it. If you are working against a time crunch it is tough to not try to panic. I wouldn’t recommend going more than 3 days straight.”



Supplies/tools/equipment to have on hand


  • Murphy’s Oil Soap (for cleaning walls/paneling)
  • Simple Green (for cleaning walls/paneling)
  • Vinegar (less expensive option for cleaning windows, walls, paneling)
  • Comet/Abrasive cleanser
  • Air fresheners (along those lines: Baking soda, vanilla, Ammonia)
  • Pine Sol
  • Windex
  • Sponges
  • Goo Be Gone (gets rid of lots of things “stuck down)
  • Gloves (heavy-duty and plastic—see “Gloves Section”)
  • Squeegee
  • Rags (Costco sells large packs of them in white, fairly inexpensive)
  • Buckets (for cleaning floors)
  • Stainless Steel (heavy-duty) scouring pads (if tackling old dishes)

 “You can pre-soak nasty areas, while busy cleaning other dirty areas. Move trash items out the door soon.” 


 “If the bathroom is not usable, have a plan for people to have somewhere to go. Convenience stores, fast food places, and even neighbors if they know, and are sympathetic to your plight are options.” 

  • Paper Towels
  • Extra vacuum cleaner bags (for *after* you use Shop Vac)
  • Toilet Paper (if bathroom facilities are an issue)
  • Paper plates & Plastic cups/cutlery
  • “The water can’t be turned on, so I can’t use a Camp Toilet. But I did go to the Sports Authority today and bought a Coleman Self-Contained Portable Toilet. I’m going to buy some gallon-size bottles of water to use with it and I’ll keep it at my mom’s house till we’re done with the project. Just in case anyone else needs this info, here’s a link to a site with recommendations for five top portable toilets.”


    • Dolly for moving heavy items (regular & appliance)
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Rake (heavy metal rake too)
    • Broom (regular & push-broom)
    • Mop (if sponge-many replacement heads!)
    • Dustpan—don’t forget this! (the kind with handle ideal to save back bending)
    • Shop Vac!! After that, Vacuum cleaner (don’t forget extra bags).
    • A putty knife to open painted shut windows
    • Screwdriver
    • Hammer
    • Tarps (for piling things on and dragging for quick transport)
    • Tool kit
    • Fan(s) —More than one, preferably, for fresh air circulation, along with the opening of door(s) and windows, while cleaning is in progress.
    • Duct tape (good quality)
    • Scissors
    • Knife(s) or box cutter
    • China marker/grease pencil
    • Photo boxes*
    • Banker boxes (usually come in packs of three at an office supply store and can be flattened later)


     “If you’re trying to organize things, filling plastic storage containers/tubs, go to a craft store like Michaels and get a ‘china marker.’ It’s that waxy kind of pencil that will mark on plastic but not permanently. This is maybe a petty thing to think about, but we spent a lot of money on plastic tubs and it seemed stupid to mark them all permanently with weird indications like Reader’s Digest Home Remedies—27 volumes’ or ‘Church sermons— audio tapes.’ One day, hopefully those plastic tubs will be emptied and maybe someone else can use them”


    Photo Boxes: “Maybe more difficult to plan ahead and purchase, but they are cheap enough that maybe you could guess a logical organization. E.g., my mom’s envelopes of photos are all about the grandkids, so I bought three boxes, one for my kids, my sister’s kids, and my brother’s kid. Wasn’t perfect, but MUCH easier than anything else.”

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