I JUST decluttered. That’s it.

I Just Decluttered That's It - A Slob Comes Clean

A few weeks ago, I was attending a Harlem Globetrotters reenactment.

The reenactment took place in my boys’ room, and it was in the midst of the show that I finally grasped what was really going on during those moments when the answer to my yelled-across-the-house questions of “WHAT are you doing in there?” was a simple, “We’re just playing BASketball, Moooommmm!”

I’ve shared before that I tend to live in denial for long periods of time about the state of my kids’ rooms. The fact that the middle of their floor was clear (at least clear enough for a path that would accommodate a running-start-from-the-bathroom slam-dunk) had me subconsciously convinced that their room wasn’t that bad.

But sitting in the room for thirty minutes watching the game, I couldn’t help noticing it wasn’t that good.

Between the repeated and always-hilarious Globetrotter-esque Pulling Down of the Oblivious Brother’s Pants, I saw that although there was a path, the sides of the room were just one big pile.

So . . . yesterday I decided to do something in there.  SOMEthing.  (Is that a theme lately with me?)

I had neither the strength nor the energy nor the time to spend the hours in the room that would be necessary for (fleeting) perfection, so I decided to JUST declutter.

That’s it.  No dreams of alphabetized bookshelves or even of solved storage dilemmas.

I was JUST going to declutter.

So, I grabbed my handy-dandy decluttering supplies and got to work.  As usual, my supplies are a black trash bag and a Donate Box. I started with the black trash bag to remove the first layer of clutter . . . the trash.  Loose Star Wars coloring sheets or school papers that hadn’t been deemed worthy of tacking to the wall . . . I just trashed them.

Wire hangers (even though I do use them), went straight into the black trash bag.

After the trash layer was mostly gone, I started filling the Donate Box with things that I’m pretty sure my boys didn’t know they had.

In less than thirty minutes (thirty minutes which included vlogging), it looked like this:

Yes, I ended up just focusing on that one area.  No, it’s not perfect, and no I didn’t vacuum.

Partly because vacuuming didn’t fit in with the JUST DECLUTTER theme, but mostly because I can’t bring myself to touch this:

That’s Chuck’s skin.  Chuck the Chicken Snake.

Chuck no longer lives with us, but his skin is a reminder of what once was and I know for a fact that my boys would miss it terribly.

Honey, if you’re reading this at work today, could you please move that skin for me so I can vacuum?


And finally . . . another webisode! If you’re reading through email, click through to the post to watch the video.

I JUST De-Cluttered. That's It. pin at

I’m linking this up over at Simple Mom’s Project SimplifyShe alphabetized her kids’ bookshelf. Wow.  Just wow.





  1. 1
    Sarah Moya says:

    Reminds me that I have A LOT to do this weekend.

  2. 2

    I have been in the same denial over my boy’s room too. Every single day I ask them to pick it up, and everyday they say they did. At bedtime I learn otherwise. Today may be the day I clean it for them. I clean my kids’ rooms just like you do. 😉

  3. 3

    love the skin.. I dont think I would touch it either… maybe with a yard stick to vacumn around it lol way to go nony!!!

  4. 4
    ShannonP says:

    I don’t alphabatize the bookshelves, I line them up by size, biggest to smallest. Why do I waste my time doing that when there are 80 billion other things that need my time and attention? I. Don’t. Know. LOL

    Great job on the decluttering, though!

  5. 5

    Yeah, one project at a time… I remember my room looking like that. Until I was twenty. ^^ These days I try to be better – today I took empty bottles to the recycling bin. Tomorrow I will bundle up old newspapers for recycling. Or clean the bathroom, who knows. ^^

    By the way, I bought your e-book, and it is hilarious. I do have some of the suggestions covered, such as doing the dishes every day – mainly because if we run out of dishes, the BF always wants to buy new ones instead of cleaning the old ones ^^ – but there is still plenty for me to learn. Thanks for putting it all together, there is always hope!

    • 6

      Thank you Diandra! I’m so glad you like the e-book!

      And my own bedroom? Yeah, I’m completely living in denial about how it looks right now.

    • 7

      Haha! I have always wanted to just put all the dirty dishes in a big bin and “disappear” them and just start with new! Before I had kids my breakfast depended on the state of the kitchen, if I couldn’t even find the sink, McDonald’s it was! I wouldn’t even try to make coffee, just buy it.

    • 8

      Nony, the wire hangers could actually be donated to a shelter, laundromat, charity thrift store, church yard sale, friend w/ lots of clothes and/or kids, or someone else who doesn’t have enough.

  6. 9
    Melanie M says:

    I know you hear this ALL the time…. but it is re-assuring to know I’m not alone in my slob-dom. If cleanliness is next to godliness, I’m a lost cause for sure! Praise God that isn’t true!!!!!
    We are a homeschooling military family and with every move I am determined to de-slobify…. but is just doesn’t happen. Maybe this time? Thanks for inspiring. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    • 10

      I never mind hearing that again! When I started, I truly did believe it was just me, so I still struggle with being totally honest sometimes. This is my deep-dark-secret after all!

    • 11
      Christy says:

      Melanie, are you my long lost sister? We’re homeschooling military family too and every move I swear I’m going to get it together and stop the madness of clutter.

      Nony, thank you for being so real. I’ve honestly been so ashamed of my mess and how I hurry to hide it (in my bedroom) before company arrives or as soon as that knock comes at the door. Right now we have the living room and dining room in a decent shape, and the masterbedroom which was looking much better before I had our newest baby 5 weeks ago, has turned into my own personal warzone of disaster.

      I know I will get this under control and knowing I’m not alone in this struggle is comforting and inspiring that I WILL and can do it.

  7. 12

    I would make the boys get the snake skin up!!!!!

    On a serious note Nony, today I am seeing the results of some of your influence on the way I am cleaning. We are having family coming this weekend and I have not cried once today. I am just focusing on cleaning, not organizing, and I can really tell a difference. The fridge did not take two hours bc I have been doing a little clean once a week for awhile now. Thank you!

  8. 13


    As usual, I love your honesty. It is hard to want to tackle a cluttered area. It feels good, though, when the area is regained. I need to get rid of some baby stuff, but I’m waiting for the rain to stop. I just want to give it away.

    Rebecca G.

  9. 14
    shirley says:

    i love that their “pin up girl” is a head shot of mommy!!! too cute!!!

    great job on the declutter and i wouldn’t touch the snakeskin either!!

  10. 15

    3 cheers for You!
    JUST Declutter. It makes a ton of difference. Talk about simple! There is a boys’ room and a girls’ room that needs just this touch. Once again, you’ve motivated me into gear.

    And, I’m going to wonder all weekend if Mr. Nony saw you stealth message about the skin.

  11. 16

    This brought back memories of my boys’ room when they were little (they are now 20 and 23, and the 23 yo is the dorm supervisor for his dorm. He’s come a long way, baby!). We never had a snake, praise the Lord, but if we had, I would not have touched the snakeskin either. Once again, as others have said, it is nice to know I’m not the only slob on the planet. I’m doing better, but still have those tendencies . . . big time! Great job on just getting something done!

  12. 17

    I was just doing this since I have company coming for 5 days. They have only one child so I don’t want to scare them like last year when I had a newborn and my SIL had to clean and make up their room. ( my sister was also in and out of the hospital and our life was upside down and backwards!)

    I just am picking up everything with NO cleaning so I can clean tomorrow when my Man takes the kids OUT of my way!

    It feels so much better just to have it bare, doesn’t it? No thinking is required just wiping and vacuuming stuff…ahhhhh.

  13. 18

    Hi-have you tried returning the wire hangers to the dry cleaner? The ones in my state take them back and it’s significantly more earth friendly than throwing them in the trash.

  14. 21

    I found you via and I’m so glad I did. I’m another ‘slob’ who seriously needs help. I love your style of writing and you inspire me.

  15. 23

    I know the suggestions about recycling were meant with no harm. But we should also be aware (and I am not saying NOny falls into this category) that many of us feel overwhelmed and so we have to feel free to NOT recycle and just toss things. Everyone has their thing they can’t stand (I hate watching people let the water run when they do dishes. Why not soap them all up and then rinse them all at once?) but I know it’s just my little “hiccup” and it’s not necessarily someone else’s “hiccup”. I surely do things that would drive other people crazy. But we have to keep “the eye on the prize” and that may mean throwing things away instead of recycling or selling them or giving them away. We need to be very gentle with ourselves. Most of us are just a stones throw from giving up and not even trying to declutter.

    • 24

      Thank you Helen for your post!!! I once said that and was slammed with how terrible I was, ungrateful and everything else. Here is to your and mine “just tossing” stage of life.

  16. 25

    You’re always an encouragent! I don’t want my perfectionism to get in the way of getting stuff done. I’ve found its okay to put in the garbage bag. 🙂

  17. 26

    I love this blog! Thanks, Nony, for all your ideas and honesty! And you remind me of Pam from The Office – one of my all-time favorite shows! I’m drowning in stuff at the moment. And I have a unique (well, I’m sure not totally unique) situation. I’m in an in-law space which consists of two rooms. And I make and sell crafts. Both rooms have been almost totally taken over by all the craft stuff plus years of accumulation from when I owned a house. I can’t just toss the craft stuff (most of it) because I use it and need it. Some of the other “stuff” I can sell but most of it’s too valuable to just toss or give away. Any ideas about what to do? I don’t know where to start!!

    • 27

      Don’t start with the craft stuff. Get momentum working on the easy stuff, and you’ll start to change your view of the value of space vs the value of stuff. If you need to sell things, go ahead and sell! Have you listened to my podcasts? There are episodes on several of these questions. Go here:

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