Throughout the world, people have different methods when it comes to keeping their respective homes clean and tidy. Indeed, regardless of how taxing it might be, doing the housework is one of the biggest responsibilities a homeowner can have. However, there are a few individuals who neglect that particular duty.
For Mary-Ann, who is a resident of Garden City, New York, one of the rooms in her house required a lot of work due to an incredible amount of clutter. The space itself belonged to her daughter Christina, who’d finished her university studies just a few months before. And with stuff scattered all over the bedroom, the graduate had to make some unusual adjustments to her daily routine.
As the mess continued to accumulate in Christina’s room, it got to a point where she couldn’t even reach her bed. As a result, she started to sleep in her brother’s bedroom instead, making a space on his floor. In November 2016 though, mom Mary-Ann decided she’d had enough – and finally asked for some help.
Peter Walsh from the Rachael Ray Show answered the call, with the famous organizer looking to put his skills to the test. Over the course of a day, he began to clear out the stuff from Christina’s cluttered bedroom. However, as they progressed through the different piles, the latter then revealed why she found it hard to throw certain things away.
Walsh was born in 1956 and grew up in Victoria, Australia, ahead of an interesting period in his young life. After completing high school, the future television personality became a university student, eventually earning a psychology master’s degree. Then off the back of that, he started a career in the education sector.
Indeed, Walsh plied his trade as a secondary school teacher at that point, covering a variety of subjects. In addition to that, he tried to push forward certain topics within the school system as well, such as health and drug prevention. And following that intriguing spell, the Australian then made a significant decision.
In the mid-1990s, Walsh packed his bags for Los Angeles, California, leaving his homeland behind. And upon his arrival in the United States, he started his own business, which specialized in assisting other companies. Specifically, he looked to help out their respective workforces, hoping to better their output.
After Walsh established himself in the world of business, his career took another interesting turn in 2003. That year, he attracted the attention of a television production crew from the TLC network. And thanks to his organizational expertize, the Australian was offered a position on a new program titled Clean Sweep.
For its part, the reality show charted the work of a group of experts who were tasked to clean messy rooms in just 48 hours. Walsh was one of the organizers, while carpenters and designers filled out the rest of the team. And over the next two years, he starred in over 100 episodes of Clean Sweep, before it ended in 2005.
Walsh remained a regular fixture on the small screen after that, though, as reruns of the program were shown on The Learning Channel from 2007. Then from there, he bagged a position on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he continued to showcase his skills as an organizer. However, 2011 proved to be a pivotal year.
During that period, Walsh was given a television show of his own on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Titled Enough Already! with Peter Walsh, the program hit the small screen in 2011, with the first season running for eight episodes. But while it returned for a sophomore season the following year, that proved to be its last.
Despite that disappointment, though, Walsh’s television work didn’t end there, as he featured on shows such as Good Morning America and The Talk. Now firmly established in the media, the Australian joined another program in 2013. Indeed, the Rachael Ray Show recruited him at that time, making him a frequent guest.
Hosted by the famous chef Rachael Ray, her self-titled program first aired in September 2006. And unlike most daytime talk shows this one has a unique twist, with the host utilizing her cooking skills every episode. Alongside that aspect, she also interviews a number of different celebrity guests throughout the season.
The show proved to be a big success, with an average of 2.6 million people watching the debut season. Since then, Ray’s program has picked up three Daytime Emmy Awards, the latest of which arrived in 2019. In addition to those gongs, it also won a Creative Arts Emmy award back in 2016.
As the Rachael Ray Show continued to grow, Walsh then joined the ranks, offering up his organizational expertize. Each month, the former secondary school teacher fronts his own segment on the daily program. But in November 2016, his skills were put to the test by one family in particular.
At the beginning of the segment, the camera cuts to a shot of an incredibly messy bedroom occupied by two people. Surrounded by piles of clothes and cardboard boxes, the older woman asks, “Christina, what are we going to do with all this?” At this point, the audience sees several close-up shots of the cluttered room.
From here, the two women then introduce themselves in another room of their house. The mom says, “My name is Mary-Ann, and this is my daughter Christina. We live in Garden City, New York, and my daughter’s room is a disaster!” And this assessment is certainly backed up when the camera cuts to a shot of the bedroom from its doorway.
The floor of the room is completely covered in clutter, while a stack of different items engulf Christina’s bed. Alongside that, the mess also extends to the shelves and her bedside table, filling up all the available space. The camera then transitions to a shot of Mary-Ann’s daughter digging through one of the piles.
“I walk in [the bedroom], grab whatever clothes or things I need for the day, and then [at] night I throw the stuff back in there,” Christina explains. “I’ve just gotten to the point where I don’t even know what to do with it, because I have to climb over stuff to get into the room. So I just don’t deal with it.”
After that, the camera cuts to a shot of a different room, with Christina setting up what appears to be a makeshift bed on the ground. Mary-Ann then says, “Christina’s room has gotten so bad that she’s sleeping on her brother’s floor, and it’s just awful. There’s just no space [in her bedroom].”
At this point, Mary-Ann then provides a bit of background on the situation, before revealing her overall goal. She continues, “Christina just graduated from college in May. And I want her to get her act together. I think that if she cleans her room up, it’ll set a trend for the future.”
As Christina dives into the pile of stuff on her bed, the camera then cuts to a shot of Walsh walking down her street. With the winter sun beaming on the sidewalk, the professional organizer poses the audience a simple question. He says with a smirk, “It’s just a cluttered bedroom, how bad can it be?”
From here, Walsh arrives at Mary-Ann’s front door, greeting the two women with a warm hug and a kiss. The segment then transitions back to Christina’s mother inside the house, as she can barely contain her joy. In her mind, the Australian was the right man for this particular job.
“I’m so excited that Peter Walsh is here to work on Christina’s room,” Mary-Ann admits while standing next to her daughter. She adds, “I just know it’s going to be amazing when it’s done.” After that, the camera cuts to a number of other shots of the bedroom, highlighting the task ahead for Walsh.
As Walsh gets a glimpse of Christina’s room, he makes a humorously blunt assessment as he tries to climb into the room. He says, “Wow!” This is terrifying!” Eventually, he makes his way in, which leads to his first question. He asks the graduate, “What am I looking at?”
Standing alongside Mary-Ann, Christina begins to explain how all this mess accumulated in her room. She tells Walsh, “When I was at school, I had my school stuff and my home stuff. But when I moved back home, everything kind of just got dumped together here.”
At this point, the segment transitions to a shot of Walsh outside the house, as he makes an interesting observation. “Clutter just accumulates over time, and it gets to the point where it’s so overwhelming [that] you just don’t know where to start,” he says. “If you overload a space, you can never be happy in that room.”
From here, the camera cuts back to Christina’s bedroom, with the Garden City resident admitting that she feels “disheartened” looking at the mess. Walsh then offers her some words of wisdom regarding living spaces, before explaining what he is going to do. However, this wasn’t a challenge that he would face alone.
Walsh tells Christina, “[You will always feel disheartened] if you don’t respect the limits of the room. So today we have a really simple game plan. We’re going to sort everything in this room into one of three categories. Stuff you want to keep, stuff that you want to donate and stuff that’s trash.”
The segment then transitions into a montage, as Christina and Mary-Ann assist Walsh in clearing the clutter in the room. Together, they work their way through the piles, following the Australian’s previous instructions. But as the clean-up continues, he sheds some light on a helpful method for other homeowners.
“I’m a big fan of what I call the ‘rule of five,’” Walsh explains. The presenter continues, “Every five years you need to completely reassess everything that you own, and let go of things [that] you no longer need, use or want.” After that, he goes through a number of different items in the room, asking Christina if they need to stay or go.
During this period, Walsh eventually uncovers a large white blanket from the bed, which subsequently brings Christina to tears. Curious as to why she reacted that way, he asks the graduate what happened. Mary-Ann’s daughter responds, “I think I just want to make sure it wasn’t from my [late] grandma.”
Following this exchange, Walsh makes a significant breakthrough regarding the clutter. He says to Christina, “This is really important, because our stuff has power. The stuff you own has the power to evoke this incredible memory of your grandma. And you’re terrified that if you let something go, you will lose the memory.”
As Christina tearfully nods her head in agreement, Walsh then offers another observation. He continues, “Now the tough me is about to turn up. If this reminds you of your grandmother, it is absolutely not okay that it is buried in the clutter in your room. That is so disrespectful.”
Despite those stern words, though, Walsh makes a suggestion to Christina and Mary-Ann. He adds, “So what we need to do is take the things that are important, and display them in a way that makes it really wonderful and happy for you. You okay? Good. You’ve just learned a huge lesson!”
At this point the clean-up resumes, before the camera cuts to a now-empty room. Walsh then asks Christina and Mary-Ann to leave, as he invites his team in to transform the space. Indeed, not only do the walls get a fresh coat of paint, but some of the graduate’s special keepsakes are hung up as well.
Walsh switches his focus to some other areas of the room after this, as he puts up vertical shelving in one of the corners. In addition to that, the organizer also introduces a number of “cascading hangers” to Christina’s closet, holding up all her clothes. But the hard work doesn’t end there.
As for some of Christina’s other items, Walsh stores them in clear plastic containers under her bed. And following all that effort, the room is now completely tidy, unrecognizable from just a few hours before. The Australian then invites the pair back in, with the results leaving Mary-Ann’s daughter shocked.
“It’s really simple,” Walsh explains to the mom and daughter. “We’ve removed all the clutter of the excess stuff, and we’ve highlighted the things that say, ‘Christina.’ [We included] your incredible achievements academically, your friends and family and photos [and we’ve put] the dolphins and other things you love in the shadow boxes. [We also put up the] original artwork by you!”
From here, Walsh then directs Christina and Mary-Ann to the now-visible bed, drawing a laugh from the pair. A few moments later, the segment comes to an end, as the grateful graduate receives a hug from him. The clip was subsequently uploaded to YouTube via the Rachael Ray Show’s official channel – and has since earned over five million views.