Back to Blogging (Since the Kids are Back to School) and my Summer 2016 Home Report!

Our summer break is over. I’m sad. As always, though, I feel some excitement about getting back into a routine. Yesterday was a little stressful as the boys are starting in new buildings as they go into Jr. High and High School.

No more little kids for me.

I thought I’d start back to blogging with the traditional What I Did Over the Summer essay. Just don’t grade me on it.

We stayed pretty close to home for the summer, and while we spent quite a bit of time at the local pool, we’ve definitely arrived at the time in our lives when the pool isn’t the end-all-be-all of our summer world. With the kids involved in all sorts of different things (one was in a play, one was in summer workout or full-on practice for both football and band and one was on a swim team), they weren’t always available to go. And when they were, we had to check to see if their friends would be there. I’m so thankful texting is a thing as we hit this phase of life.

But enough about that. You care about the house, right? And how the loosi-goosiness of summer affected it.

It did.

Here was my view as I sat here typing yesterday:

Summer Survival Home Report from

Things about this photo:

I didn’t move a thing before I took it.

I wish I had stopped the crazy backpack loading and clothes checking Sunday night long enough to do a five minute pickup.

I wish my view was of the kitchen instead (since I cleaned it up yesterday morning) or a before and after of the laundry piles, since yesterday was Monday and that meant it was Laundry Day.

Or even of my master bedroom, which had a nice cleaning to get it ready for the delivery of a new mattress.

But alas, this is my reality. Y’all, it could be so much worse.

This is nothing compared to any day of the year pre-blog.

If you’re completely horrified by this photo, you are probably in the wrong place.

So what worked well over the summer?

Five minute pickups. 5 MINUTE PICKUPS, y’all. They’re magical.

Did I do them nightly, at a certain time, like clockwork? Ummmm, no. Not even. But as soon as I started to get that eye-rolling, panicky, this-place-is-a-mess feeling, I announced it was time for one. Or when I tripped over something.

I even, get this, would text my kids from the grocery store (or the doctor’s office, or wherever) to do a five minute pick up and clean the bathrooms before I got home.

For real.

Mamas Whose Kids Are at the Age When a Five Minute Pickup is More Hassle than Help, take heart! The day will come when your kids will actually sleep past 6:45 a.m. You’ll be able to grocery shop alone, even in the summer. And if you work hard to make five-minute pickups normal now, one day they’ll be able to make a positive impact on the house without you micro-managing.

What didn’t work well for us?

It wasn’t all feather dusters and roses. My kids have also hit the age when “getting to” do laundry isn’t thrilling and when cleaning a mirror isn’t their idea of a fun Tuesday morning. They cleaned bathrooms when it occurred to me to tell them to clean bathrooms. No routine or schedule whatsoever on that.

But we managed. It was worse than the rest of the year for sure, and the dining room (which just so happens to be what anyone who comes to the front door sees first) was a disaster pretty much the entire summer.

But . . . we survived.

Mondays were Laundry Days, and even though I re-washed at least two loads each week and rarely finished until Thursday, the fact that Laundry Day existed meant we almost always had clean clothes to wear.


And even though I never did quite get on the rhythm of running the dishwasher at night and emptying it first thing in the morning, I did run it at some point every day. And that fact alone meant we almost always had clean dishes and more often than not didn’t have dishes piled in the sink and on the counters.

Perfect? No. But as I looked at the old posts scheduled to go out on Facebook a few weeks ago, I noticed this one that’s classified as “summer” focused. For each of the past few summers, I purchased a jumbo pack of paper plates at Costco and used them for survival. I was proud of the fact that we made it with only the one package, since pre-blog, paper plates ( lots of them) were a necessity in our house.

This summer . . . I didn’t use a single paper plate. We might have eaten a sandwich off of a paper towel once (or twice), but we survived. Three meals a day for four-to-five people, and clean dishes (almost) every time? Go me!

Fine. I did occasionally drink icewater out of a cereal bowl, but my cereal bowls have handles. Technically, they’re humongous mugs. So if I wrapped my hands around it and closed my eyes and acted like I was smelling it, an unsuspecting passerby would totally think I was drinking a big cup of coffee.

Not that we had many unsuspecting passersby in our kitchen, but whatever.

My point is that we survived. And instead of digging out of a mess, I just need to get back into all of my routines to make it pretty.

Yay me.

In addition to surviving, here are some other things I got done this summer (posts coming up soon about these projects!):

I decluttered the master bedroom (always a dramatic project).

I helped my mother-in-law declutter her linen closet.

I decluttered the kids’ rooms.

I decluttered half of the gameroom.

I painted our half-bath.

I had meetings with publicists, marketing directors and PR people about my upcoming book launch in November. I met deadlines for edits and even opened a box full of Advance Reader Copies of my actual hold-it-in-your-hands book, live on Facebook.

I also put out three videos! Two were ones I did before summer, but hadn’t posted. I’ll share them here soon, or you can go to my YouTube channel and watch them now!

If you’re feeling left out, you’re probably not signed up for my free email newsletter. That was pretty much my only reliable communication over the summer. Sign up here and you’ll get my best decluttering solutions delivered to your inbox!



Mr. Clean’s Classic Jingle Gets an Update! (Sponsored Post) #mrclean #fbf

A sponsored post!
Mr. Clean's Jingle Gets a Flashback Friday Update

Are you a jingle lover, too? I may not remember a thing from Algebra II, but I can belt out catchy commercials that I haven’t heard in 20 years, word for word.

When I was a freshman cheerleader (yes, really), I volunteered to write and direct our squad’s skit for cheerleading camp. I took a great idea from a friend and had the Generic Family speak only in commercials. It was a huge hit because everyone knew every word, and as soon as they realized which commercial Kerry (or Jerry or Terry or Mary) Generic was reciting, they joined right in and said it (or sang it) with us. Such fun memories.

I am happy to join in the fun of sharing the update to Mr. Clean’s classic 1958 jingle for #FlashbackFriday! Same recognizable jingle with a modern twist for millennial households.

I wasn’t around in 1958, but I either remember some version of the jingle or it’s just catchy enough that after about 15 seconds, I feel like I remember it!

Do you recognize the tune? Do you remember the tune?? How many seconds before you started singing along?

Mr. Clean changed how people clean back in the 50s, and I’d say he’s done it again in my generation with Magic Erasers. I’ve been trying out some of Jonathan’s tips and am working my way through de-griming my kitchen cabinet knobs and icky by the doorknob grossness! That doorknob in the pic below was so ridiculously quick to clean with no muscle oomph required.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on icky doorknob areas.



My Book Cover!! And You Can Pre-Order How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

As I head into my blog-free summer (ideas of how you can get your deslobification inspiration needs met are at the end of this post), it’s time to reveal something exciting!!



That’s my book cover, y’all!!! I love it so so so much. My main request was that the cover show that this book will be funny. I think my publisher nailed it.

And . . . I’m excited to let you know that How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind will be released into the world on November 8th, 2016! It’s available for pre-order now at the following sites:


Pre-Orders Available at:



A few reasons to pre-order:

  1. So you’ll be sure to get it right away! I’ve looked around, and the general info seems to be that pre-ordering gives you a pretty good chance of receiving the book ON release day. Not a guaranteed chance, but a good chance.
  2. So others will be more likely to find out about it! I’m speaking to those of us who once thought there was absolutely zero hope for our homes. Then we stumbled upon our people, and learned we weren’t alone in these struggles. I stumbled on my people by starting this blog/deslobification journey, and so many of you have told me you found your people when you learned about this community of kindred spirits. Pre-orders help bookstores determine how many books they need to put in their stores, and they also help with rankings that will give the book more exposure. More exposure = more people finding hope!
  3. In case you’re not a fan of politics, you’ll know you have something to look forward to on November 8th, which just happens to also be election day.

How to Keep Getting Deslobification Inspiration Over the Summer

It’s officially summer around here. If you’ve been around a while, you know I take summer off from blogging/podcasting and such to focus on my family. I love this job (that I created out of thin air), but I love my family more.

While I’m on summer break, you can still keep up with things. I’m sending out a weekly newsletter sharing what I’m getting done (or struggling with) and links to some of the most helpful past content from the archives. Sign up here, and you’ll also get my best decluttering solutions delivered to your inbox over the next few days.

Or you can try out podcasts. Just click on one that sounds interesting to you and then look for the grayish bar with a play arrow on it. Click that play arrow and you’ll hear my voice coming out of your computer! I’m told again and again that this audio format is perfect because it lets people actually clean while they’re being inspired to clean!

I also have some videos ready to be uploaded soon, so subscribe over on YouTube!

Or if you’ve always wanted to read from the beginning, go here to find out how (and why) I recommend doing this. You can read it for free here on the site, or you can purchase the first three years of the blog in e-book form here.



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