Unclutterer interviews host of Clean House, Niecy Nash

I had the amazing pleasure to interview the beautiful, funny, and Emmy-award-winning Niecy Nash on Friday about the latest season of Clean House and the work she’s doing with Clorox and the World Toilet Organization’s Ode to the Commode campaign. She’s a woman who takes time management to a new level — she was on the Clean House set when we spoke — and had a great deal to share in just a few minutes of her time.

Here is the inside scoop she gave me about Clean House:

Clean House has been on the air since the fall of 2003, and the ninth season of the show started in July with The Nelson Family. When new episodes of the season air, they’re on Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT on the Style Network. (I don’t believe there is a new episode this week, but there are numerous reruns. Next week looks to have a new episode with The Ryan Family.)

The crew will be at a house for a week, and cameras roll with Niecy typically three of those days. There are between 50 to 100 people responsible for producing a single episode — from writing scripts, lighting the rooms, filming, and helping with the uncluttering, garage sale, designing, decorating, and organizing.

I asked Niecy what is the most valuable thing she has learned while hosting the show. She said, “We have a responsibility to each other. I’ve learned that I’m my brother’s keeper.” When she said this, it was obvious that she takes her work on the show very seriously. Although she’s all laughs and smiles in front of the camera, she genuinely feels committed to helping the people who have been selected to appear on the show.

The inside scoop on her work with Dancing with the Stars:

In addition to her work on Clean House and her daily appearances on CBS’ The Insider, Niecy was also a contestant last season on Dancing with the Stars. She ended up in an impressive fifth place and said that dancing live in front of more than 20 million viewers while wearing a leotard was the hardest thing she’s ever done, “definitely harder than taking on the messiest homes in America.”

The inside scoop on her work with the World Toilet Organization:

Niecy is also the national spokesperson for Clorox’s Ode to the Commode campaign, which supports the World Toilet Organization. “Nearly 2 billion of the world’s population does not have access to clean toilets and basic sanitation,” Niecy said. She went on to explain that every day water-related diseases claim the lives of 5,000 children under the age of five.

She said that on Clean House she and the crew work to improve the lives of people who need help, but not the kind of severe help others in the world need. This campaign helps the WTO make toilets accessible and affordable for people who need basic and working sanitation.

Niecy said that you can help, too, by going online to OdetotheCommode.com and flush the virtual toilet for free. For every flush, Clorox donates $1.00 to the WTO.

The inside scoop on all things Niecy Nash:

As I was wrapping up the interview, I asked Niecy, who is also a mother of three, how she manages all of her commitments. She laughed, paused for a moment, and then recited the famous Warren Zevon line, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

17 Comments for “Unclutterer interviews host of Clean House, Niecy Nash”

  1. posted by Lee on

    She is always fun to watch. It’s obvious that she wants the best for the families she works with. I admire her for her volunteer work.

    I hope she considers taking care of herself as something very important, too. It’s easier to keep up when a person is healthy, rather than run down or ill. If you want to do the things that are important to you, it has to be important that you make sure you are able to do them. That includes eating well, getting exercise and rest, and having some times for yourself. These aren’t options, they’re necessities. Sometime we realize this too late.

  2. posted by Donna on

    Thanks for the insider’s peak at Clean House. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but Clean House is one of my indulgences. Niecy and the crew are fun to watch, and I’m always fascinated at the mess (literally) that people make of their homes and lives.

  3. posted by Lindsay on

    Oh my gosh, wasn’t she on Reno 911?

  4. posted by Jess on

    @Lindsay: yes, she was on Reno 911. Hilarious.

    I must say, Clean House is one of my all time favorite “guilty pleasure” shows. Though a lot of their final designs are a little too hotel like for me, I love the process they go through with families. Of course, as your interview alluded to, it takes A LOT more work than they show on any given episode– it’s not a weekend deal, it’s many days and a big crew doing that work.

    The only thing that ever bothers me on the show is when they are with someone (esp. on Messiest Home in the Country) who clearly has a severe hoarding problem (not just garden variety messiness). When you see people that can’t acknowledge they have a problem and don’t like what Clean House did for them, it makes you wish the show had some sort of treatment to offer to clinical hoarders.

  5. posted by Sandman on

    Interesting, but ultimately futile. I am willing to bet that 90%+ of the houses are back to the starting point shortly thereafter.

    Uncluttering, like weight loss, is a mindset, not a one time thing. No one can change your mindset for you.

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jess and @Sandman — The “Messiest Homes in America” episodes are technically a different show. I’m not as big of a fan of those as I am the regular show, for exactly the same reasons I have issues with Hoarders. I think the people receiving help have to want the help for it to be effective or a good idea. I like regular Clean House because the people have to apply to appear, therefore admitting they want the help. For the Messiest episodes, other people could nominate them.

  7. posted by henave on

    I love Niecy and her work (on all her shows, including Reno 911!). Clean House is a great show to watch w/ the kids- lets them see what happens when things get out of hand…the most recent Messiest Home in the Country episode involved a family who was submitted by the son in the family who was appox. 14 yrs old- again, an excellent episode to watch w/ the kids.

  8. posted by Andrea on

    I think she is fabulous!

  9. posted by Joseph Silva on

    Odd that somehow she connects dirty water for children to use with toilet water?? Am I assuming that she means that the families of third world nations are either bathing in their toilets or drinking out of them? Also, granted these people may not have clean toilets and sanitation standards as we do.. then again we waste a lot of water that these nations can not even imagine! The average person in the USA uses about 50-200 gallons of water per day (food, drinking, showers, lawns, toilets, industrial uses that benefit us)… the average third world person anywhere from 1 – 20 gallons. There simply is not enough water to run toilets like we do here, nor the energy needed to waste water like we do. Eg…would you rather not flush until the water is brown, or not be able to water your crops for food?

  10. posted by Beverly D on

    @Joseph Silva, many people in this world don’t HAVE toilets. The unsanitary conditions in which they live is deplorable, and is a major reason for a high childhood mortality rate in these countries. The water they drink is contaminated by their own waste. They aren’t drinking out of their toilets, they are drinking out of contaminated streams and rivers.

  11. posted by Joy from Just Plain Joy on

    I’m a huge Niecy fan! Awesome that you were able to interview her!

  12. posted by gypsy packer on

    As a commercial cleaner, I’d love to see a Niecy Nash/Mike Rowe annual calendar, since you can’t hide from/forget the simple paper calendar. It’d be a great nonprofit fundraiser.

  13. posted by Green on

    OK, so I am going ask what I’m sure a few thers have on their minds- how is this entry helping readers? Niecy is great but I am beginning to think of this write-up as a PR stunt for her and not what I expected to read here.

  14. posted by Green on

    PS: None of your other interview have given me this feeling.

  15. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Green — Do you watch Clean House? What interested me most was that one room takes almost 100 people a WEEK to redo. Viewers sit down to watch a 60 minute episode and then are upset when redoing a room in their own home doesn’t take 60 minutes like it appears to on TV.

    Also, I thought it was interesting that when I asked her what organizing tip she’s taken from years of doing the show, she didn’t provide a tip in response. Instead, she talked about how she feels responsible for the families on the show and that it’s her calling to help them. This definitely wasn’t what I expected. She’s more of a big-picture sort of person. In front of the cameras she’s all jokes and laughs, but there is something deeper going on with her. I was really pleasantly surprised.

  16. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Green — And, just so you know, the only time the big-name people really want to talk with us is when they have something to promote. I try my best to work in questions around what they want to discuss, and most of the time the folks are willing to go off-topic (especially Peter Walsh, he usually answers anything I throw his way). But … that’s not always the case.

    Let me know if there is anyone you would like to have interviewed on the site. Every once in a blue moon someone will agree to an interview even when they’re not promoting something. Rare, but not unheard of …

  17. posted by Joseph Silva on

    @ Beverly D.

    I agree that many people do not have toilets, nor do they have the WATER RESOURCES to run them, which is why they are drinking from streams that are contaminated. My point is that they do not have the toilets because they can not afford to waste the water in the first place. A simple well planned community can make composting toilets that use no water cheaper then installing pipes, septic systems (or major water treatment facilities) and the motors to run them. Giving people access to a clean working toilet is pointless when the amount of water needed from the nation is more then exists in their nations. It’s akin to an Eskimo telling a man in Bermuda that he is hot because he has not placed his igloo in the right direction. Great advice, wrong location to implement it.

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