Why Does Honesty Always Involve Humility? (At least for me)

I’m over-committed.

That could possibly sound noble, while this is most certainly not noble:

Especially since the oft-repeated instruction in my e-book is “Do the dishes.”

I have a mostly-written post that I was going to put up today.  It’s all about how there is a limit to how much I can handle and how once I go over that limit, certain things get shoved out of my brain.

But then this morning (this first-Thursday-in-a-long-time-when-I-didn’t-have-a-writing-deadline-as-a-great-excuse), I knew I had to spend time (real time) on my house.

Especially in the kitchen.

Because even though I know how important the kitchen is to the state of the rest of the house, and even though I know that for my brain I have to run the dishwasher every night and empty it first thing every morning, I still got off my rhythm in the past few weeks and that picture up there happened.

So while I wished I could have done some major cleaning on this first-free-day-in-forever, I was stuck catching up in the kitchen.

And when that was done, I decided to tackle this:

Which was also a huge frustration since I had been doing so much better at avoiding Clean Laundry Mountain.  But give me a week of being out of the house every day working on our church’s Easter production, and another Laundry Day that was also a day-out-of-the-routine because Hubby and the kids were off, and it was as if no progress had been made at all in those previous weeks.

Grrrrr.

But now the sink is empty, a whole-lotta big dishes are drying, and the couch is once again usable.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I DID take this after picture from the spot where I was writing and didn’t bother to clear the coffee table or pick up the dryer sheet or last lone napkin first.

I started out timing myself, but I’ll just tell you that these two tasks took the entire morning. Not that they needed to, but I wasn’t exactly putting much oomph into them.  And . . . there were multiple gotta-call-so-and-so or gotta-google-such-and-such distractions.  It’s amazing how my brain starts remembering things while I’m cleaning.

So there you have it.  Honesty.  Frustrating and humiliating honesty.  I would so love to become the blogger who smiles and acts like it’s easy to keep your house constantly in order “once you get the hang of it” but unfortunately, I doubt I ever will.

I’m thankful I’ve come a long way and that a morning spent folding laundry and washing dishes makes my house feel relatively under control.

Here’s the biggest chunk of honesty for this post: I didn’t want to blog about this. I wanted to casually mention that I’d spent the morning “catching up” so my readers wouldn’t get discouraged to see that Nony still struggles at the very most basic of the basics.

But that goes against my reason for this blog.  And I hope ultimately, someone can gain hope that it’s still possible to keep chugging along after you fail one . . . more . . . time.

Pre-blog, I didn’t have that hope.

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks! I’ve actually been really good about keeping the house up lately…until Easter hit. This week it looks kinda like a bunch of kids hit it & tore it up. Which is an improvment over the usual “it loks like squatters live here” look. But I was feeling down that my momentum seemed to have turned. Now I’m off to clean the kitchen island off (that usually is the start of the end here)!

    • Yes! Focusing on the improvement is key. And it’s funny how I didn’t see the improvement until I had tackled those two things. Before the blog, those two tasks would have barely made a dent!

  2. Pagan O. says:

    I know exactly what you mean about how your brain remembers things to do while you are cleaning! I always try to keep a pen and paper nearby or I run to the dry erase board I keep on the fridge. The board is where I quickly jot down to-dos and it’s also the board the family knows to write down something we need/are out of so I can get it at the store when I go grocery shopping!

    • Pagan O. says:

      Oh also, I’ve been VERY sick this week so the house is a mess, I just heavily medicated myself and am about to try to go regain some sanity while I have the next 6 hours to myself. (Hunny bunny working late today)

  3. Stephanie says:

    Love your honesty! I struggle with this myself. I’m convinced we’re just “hard-wired” differently. My husband doesn’t understand. Heck, I don’t understand it either…it is what it is…but damned if I can change it. :/ So, THANK YOU for the hope.

  4. Honest is refreshing! I think the best part about this post is the reminder that you (and I) can start over again. Life will continue to happen, there will continue to be times when things just don’t get done the way we want them to, but that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day and success isn’t based on our record of “x days without laundry on the couch,” it’s based on whether or not we decide to try again. Thanks for writing this and for being real!!

  5. Friend, dear friend, you know what I truly love about you? Is your honesty. Realness. I think I’d be discouraged if I came over here and read your words and read that it was super easy and never took effort. But to hear that there is still effort? And getting behind? And that you pulled up your boot straps and just did it? Well, that blesses me.
    Your kitchen looks fab.
    And I’m sure I have a dryer sheet hanging out on my couch as well…

    Rachel

  6. Melanie M says:

    This week, I resorted to using a cardboard box as a laundry basket…. as all my real baskets were full of previously washed (yet unfolded) clothing.

    Not sure I’ll ever “get the hang of it” either.

    It’s nice to feel like I have partners in this deslobification and recovery process!
    Thanks!!!!!!

    • I actually just decreased my laundry basket stash so that I would be forced to deal with the laundry sooner! If they’re all full and I need a basket, I dump it on the bed. But then it has nowhere to go until I take care of it, so it has to get done before bed. And I hate doing that right before bed so I end up taking care of it right away. It’s worked two days in a row… and now we’ve caught up so there are no full baskets to take care of, so hopefully that one load of laundry a day I fold can be the one I just washed today too.

  7. Taycia Yockim says:

    its good to see that even you still struggle. I saw your pics and thought “Hey, how’d she get pics of my house?”. Its a daily struggle sometimes, especially after busy weeks.

  8. You know what – stuff like that happens to everybody, even people who are naturals at homemaking. Sometimes life gets in the way and you just do the best you can to get through it. When it’s over and life gets back to “normal”, you get back on track, just like you did. Good job!

  9. It is just this thing that makes me inspired by you – if you came and said you’d fixed it all and it was easy to stay on top of things now and that everything was perfect, I wouldn’t read you. Because that’s not me, that doesn’t reflect my own struggles, and frankly I don’t think it is reality for very many people. They want you to think so, because it sells, but I think there are dirty little secrets there – you may have to look for them, they may be in the washer or oven or microwave or what have you, but they’re there. You, on the other hand, are real, with real struggles, without all the answers, just some answers that work for you. And that gives me hope that some of them will work for me. And they have.

    My husband was sick over Easter. My two big kids helped me hide eggs for the little kids, and I, with a small amount of help from the kids, cleaned the house and cooked the dinner and it wasn’t overwhelming. Just a year ago it would have been, and the reason it wasn’t was because of this site, and your book. I was on top of the dishes, the floor only needed a quick sweeping, and clutter had been dealt with. It was a total victory. And it was because you are real, and brave. You have no idea how grateful I am.

    • Exactly!!! I´m the only slob in an entire extended family of Perfectly Neat People, and your honesty has helped me realise I actually can do this housekeeping thing; to my standard instead of theirs, and by keeping starting over again, and again, and again! Thank you Nony :)

  10. Oh I’ve been playing catch up today too! In fact I was so discouraged by the state of my house that I spent my morning reading blogs…..I didn’t want to face the mess.Agh. Thank you! Your honesty is honestly very motivating. :)

    • Ditto, I avoid my house too. my oldest was on spring break last week, plus I was sick, plus it was Easter, plus I volunteered to fill 500 eggs for church plus my youngest got sick, plus I got a sinus infection…on & on and you know what? I was so stressed out about the messy house last week & it dawned on me that it would all still be here next week & I would be able to catch up after I was better. but I seriously contemplated instituting just wearing A SINGLE pair of pajamas all week long for my kids since the laundry pile kept getting taller & taller. LOL

  11. Hey thanks for your honesty!! It’s one of the main reason I love your blog. Also, like reading the Bible…if someone didn’t really care about me, they wouldn’t bother to include THIS about themselves or how that could possibly make them look to others. Your blog has integrity because you tell us the REAL story.

    This Saturday my parents came to town to watch my kids do the Egg hunt at church. We were both off Friday and we cleaned ALL day Friday, a feat which USED to get the whole house picked up, clutter free, and cleaned. This time, it didn’t hardly get kitchen counters cleaned off, dishes all washed, kids’ rooms were untouched and the only cleaning was decrustifying the kitchen table and vacuuming hard floors and carpet. :( PTL we have kept up Saturday’s progress so far this week by doing your 10 minutes before bed pick-up and put away. We’ve got so far to go, but that’s something for us.

    Thank you for sharing your struggles with us.

  12. Seeing that you still struggle with all of the housework balanced against life doesn’t discourage me. I’ve been feeling grouchy and disgusted and discouraged by my own house, even though I spent the first two days (yes, days) of this week cleaning my master bedroom. I still need to vacuum and it seriously needs a shampooing but I’m thrilled that everything is put away! Until you leave the bedroom, that is. I have a mountain of clothes on my loveseat because I need to purge more from my already tiny closet before more can be put in. I haven’t learned a two word sentence that says a lot: No, thank you. No thanks, I have enough clothes, but thank you for thinking of me. No thanks, we shouldn’t go out tonight even though it is Friday. How about we order in and you help me for an hour in this room and we’ll watch a movie together?
    At the moment, I have soup on the stove bubbling away and dishes in my sink. I’m behind because I fell off the wagon. I stopped doing my dishes and sweeping the kitchen floor. But after reading this post I see you haven’t given up. You’re completely honest and you are continually trying when you do slip. Thank you for that. This is what encourages me not to give up. Now that I’ve written a novel here I need to scootch on over to my own (poor neglected) blog and do some writing of my own. Thank you for this post, Nony.

  13. Christie says:

    Thanks for being honest! It’s been one of those weeks when I feel like I can’t see the progress (it’s there, it just doesn’t dazzle me like it used to) and I don’t want to keep up with all the WORK.

  14. This week was supposed to be my decluttering, spring cleaning week. Besides getting the dishes done mostly every day and staying up until 1 AM last night folding laundry, not much really got done. I still have half of today. Tomorrow we’re at co-op all day. Thanks for the encouragement, as usual! I wish it wasn’t so HARD!!!

  15. Dittos over here. Since March 17th I’ve had 3 sets of visitors which killed laundry day for two weeks. Now I’m on the 14th(??) day of the stomach flu making it’s way leisurely through the 4 kids. It is also the longest lasting stomach flu I have experienced and I had one ER visit.

    So, no laundry day + vomit, etc. + no sleep + clingy children = magically regenerating dish pile/can’t get laundry room door open.

    At least my mom was one of the visitors so me and my husband spring cleaned the Master Bedroom, it is empty except for the bed and 2 nightstands(w/lamps). We moved the bed and vacuumed everything and I even shampooed it really quick and washed the curtains. Ahhhhhh… bare, dustless space in one area at least.

  16. Always thank you for your honesty… And one thing that helps me even though it might not make any sense? On the days where I really only have 5 minutes to clean and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off I start at one corner and work around my kitchen. So in the 5 minutes in the morning where I’m waiting on the waffles to cook for breakfast I pick up the 5 things on the counter and put them away. When I’m back in the kitchen again and have another 5 minutes I wipe down that one teeny space of cleared counter. Somehow the 6 -8 in. section gives me hope for the rest of the kitchen. :)

  17. I really appreciate your honesty. It really helps me tremendously to know that I’m not the only one and tell myself to “stop wallowing in the ‘I suck, I’m a slob’ and get off your butt and do something about it because you’re not the only one!”.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Sigh. Homeschooling, Hubby birthday, Easter, State Assessments, Track, Baseball, Softball, Daycare, broken dishwasher, husband on 2nd shift, all of this within the last 2 weeks. I am also a woman who will never be caught up AND it’s ok. We have food to eat, dishes to eat it on and clean laundry to wear. Maybe everything isn’t in it’s place, but everyone is. I love your honesty.

  19. Thanks! You’re sweet, and genuine, and real. I appreciate your honesty here. It’s why I read every. single. post. that you write. That and I love your humor!

  20. Thanks for your honest post! I am pleased to be reminded once again that I am not the only on who constantly is battling Clean Laundry Mountain or that ends up with a counter full of big dishes drying. Love it. And your house looks great after your morning of work! Dryer sheet and all! :)

  21. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for just over a week, once again I’m wondering if you aren’t my subconscious thought brought to life lol. Just about every single time you post a struggle you have with keeping your home clean/organized/ liveable- I think to myself “Yup, me too”. Or even better “That makes so much sense! I’m the same way!”

    In fact, right now- I’m proud of the fact that my sink only has a few dishes, but I’m ignoring the pile of crap on my dining room table, the baby bouncer next to my chair (I do not have a baby) and the pile of papers that I gathered up to throw away 3 days ago that are still sitting on my coffee table.

    I too have found myself doing sooo well for so long, and I tend to give up when I reach moments like the one you posted today. But in the last week, every time I want to slack off, or give up- I remember something I read that you posted. More than once this week I reminded myself that the “Points expire at midnight”

    I too, tried and failed at FlyLady (I had 4000 emails in a FlyLady folder too). And daily laundry? HA! You mean that pile in front of my closet that I keep making excuses for?

    Thank you for your wit, and for sharing your struggles. I am there with you every step of the way, and I’m glad you have posted about it so I don’t feel so bad!

  22. I needed to read this, thanks very much.
    J x

  23. I’m new to your blog and really enjoying it- I can so relate in so many ways. That picture could have been from my kitchen. Thanks for sharing so we can relate together. :-)

  24. Bless you, there has only ever been one perfect person! I’ ve only been a reader for a week now (bought your e-book and have been washing my dishes!). Very true that you can’t just clean your house once and be done with it.

  25. I stumbled upon your blog today and I just have to say, thank you so much for your honesty! To see pictures of your mess makes me feel so relieved that I’m not the only one out there! Pretty much all of my SAHM friends keep a spotless house. It doesn’t seem to matter what all they have going on, if I drop in, their houses are spotless. I am the black sheep of the friend family! If you drop by my house, it will most of the time be trashed. I struggle so much with knowing what I need to do to keep it clean and actually being able to do those things. I am subscribing to your blog because I so appreciate your forward honesty! Thanks for encouraging me!

  26. Slob with OCD says:

    Dear Nony,

    A big what they said! Your honesty has been so helpful to me.

    I see in you the same thing I see in me. Even though I had no energy, I got myself together to get rid of three big things in my house through free cycle, but in order to do that I skipped any maintenance in my kitchen. I feel like we need a 12 step program, “Even though projects give me a sense of accomplishment I recognize that the daily dishes and laundry will always be with me.” Just have to keep picking myself up and muttering maintenance, maintenance, under my breath.

    This is my favorite post of the last month at least!! Thank you

    Oh yeah, I am am reading this is a small break where I could be doing dishes. Off to do them now.

  27. I just recently discovered your site via a post on Pinterest. There are so many sites out there that show the perfect house, I am always wondering where is their stuff and how do they live in such a perfect space. It is refreshing to find someone showing what life is really like. Thanks for the honesty and the inspiration.

  28. I am a slob, but on the flip side, I always had a REALLY clean room in college when it came to finals week. Maybe I need to go back to school to get my house clean. LOL

  29. Thanks…I just soooooo needed to hear that today! Been kinda hard on myself lately. I had made so mcu progress after reading your book. Then my daughter got sick (really sick) and then my son, then my Grandma died, then I got sick, and I’m doing taxes, and I just want to cry when I look at my house. But, this too shall pass, and I’ll get back up on that horse, and I’ll load & unload my dishwasher every day, and I’ll do a load of laundry every day, and things WILL improve again. Sometimes it’s just difficult to focus on what can happen in the future when you’re wallowing in what’s happening right now. Gonna start smiling and just being thankful that we are so blessed with clothes and food and dishes and a roof over our heads! Thanks again Nony!

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