The Container Concept: I Can Keep It! It Fits!!

Using the Container Concept to Declutter (The Story with the Happy Ending!) at

Yesterday I shared a Container Concept Story with a sad ending.

Today, I’m sharing a happy one!!

While decluttering, I unearthed some tablecloths.

Tablecloths stuffed in a cabinet

Ugh. Tablecloths. A reminder of how I once thought I’d be a Tablecloth Type. Y’know, back when I assumed Future Me would host bi-monthly dinner parties and have a beautifully decorated table at all times.

Reality Me gave up on tablecloths when she accepted that it’s waaaay easier to wipe off a table than to add another unnecessary item to the laundry pile.

But it still caused a little ache in my heart when I found these tablecloths and assumed I needed to stick them in the Donate Box.

I went ahead and asked my first decluttering question, though. “If I were looking for this item, where would I look for it first?”

I headed to the Tablecloth Drawer in my china cabinet.

And guess what I found there?

Room. Empty Space.

Cluttered Drawer at

Once I removed the how-in-the-world-did-those-end-up-in-here-when-they-have-a-designated-spot-somewhere-else gift bags, the Tablecloth Drawer had room for two more tablecloths!! I was able to keep two!!

Photo - The tablecloth drawer

(What? you’re wondering about the not-a-tablecloth-but-a-sheet-with-writing-on-it? This should explain.)

And to prove it:

A closed door at

A closed-all-the-way drawer.

That’s a big deal ’round here, y’all.


Please note: I’ve never claimed to be a Proper Folding Blogger, but even I was rather horrified at the you-call-that-folding?? of the tablecloths in the picture. I’m always amazed at how I see things in a picture that escape my Slob Vision in real life. Neither amazed nor horrified enough to go fold them properly, but whatever.

Not sure what The Container Concept is? Here’s a post and a podcast about it.


The Container Concept in Action: Glasses I KNOW I Love

Decluttering Something I Know I Love Using the Container Concept at

Grasping what I call The Container Concept has changed my life/home. Many of you have told me it has changed yours too.

Today and tomorrow, I’m going to share a few examples of how it works.

While decluttering recently, I excavated the glasses in the photo above.

My first decluttering question is: “If I were looking for this item, where would I look for it first?”

I’d look for glasses in the cabinet where I keep glasses.


So I took them to that cabinet immediately. (That’s the second part of the first decluttering question.)

But when I got there, there was no room for these glasses.


I looooove these glasses. They’re polka-dotted!!! They’re big!!! They’re perfect for my ice-water obsession!!! I know this because I recently decluttered their Ugly Siblings. The ones I’d used to death.

I knew I loved these glasses. I was so excited to find them.

But once I arrived at the “place where I would look for them first” . . . there was no room for them.

My Glasses Cabinet has just enough room for the glasses I have. The grown-up ones I’m so proud to use. There isn’t space to add three (even three stackable) cups, no matter how loved.

The cabinet is my container. Its size is finite.

A container is meant to contain. The size of the container determines how much/many of something I can keep.

Really. If I try to put more into a cabinet than it can actually hold . . . doors don’t close, stuff breaks, and/or items fall on my head.

And even if I avoid those three pitfalls, it’s just plain hard to get to what I need.

So at this point, I had to make a decision. Should I get rid of some glasses that are already in the cabinet so I can keep these re-discovered ones? Or should I stick these perfectly-good polka-dotted beauties straight into the Donate Box?

Because I can’t keep both.

They don’t fit.

It was tough, but I purged the polka-dots.

Something had to go.




Removing Soap Scum From My Shower Without Chemicals (In Four Short Weeks)

Removing Soap Scum without Chemicals! at

It’s Earth Day.

We’re not doing anything to celebrate, but I thought it was a good day to write this post that has come to mind at least once a day for the past few weeks.

It comes to mind while I’m in the shower.

I could have titled it: Why I Keep a Giftcard in My Shower.

Because keeping one in there (a used-up one) reminds me to do a little scraping each time I take a shower.

As I shared on the Home Depot site recently, you can scrape off soap scum with a plastic gift card. In case anyone was under the impression that I share cleaning tips because I’m awesome, this should explain that I share them because I need them.

I need tricks to help me remove soap scum that’s gotten out of hand. Soap scum that escaped my Slob Vision for way too long. Soap scum in a shower that I chose to delete from my bathroom cleaning list too many times.

Oh, the four short weeks part? It’s a joke. Not a joke because it isn’t true, but a joke because four weeks isn’t short.

But a minute or two of somehow-extremely-satisfying scraping each day while taking a shower is short.

Way shorter than the hour-or-so it would take to get it all done at once.

Oh, and if you put off cleaning your shower because you don’t like getting your clothes wet, try this.



© 2009 - 2013 A Slob Comes Clean All rights reserved. | Blog Header and Button design by Many Little Blessings.