Slob Vision

Slob Vision at

Hmmmm.  How to define Slob Vision . . .

Basically, I don’t see incremental mess.  I see neat and tidy spaces and horrendously messy ones.

The in-between?

Not so much.

Here’s ONE example.

I can walk by my kitchen sink and think . . . “Hmmm.  There are a few dishes in the sink.  But the kitchen looks pretty good.  And there really aren’t enough dirty dishes to justify the time it would take.  Or the water.  Or the hassle.  I should wait until there are enough dirty dishes to justify going to all that effort.”

The next time I see the sink, the dishes are piled up past the top.

At that point, I think . . . “Ugh.  I have to do the dishes.  But there are so many.  I do NOT have the time right now to stop everything and spend forEVER doing dishes.”

And I go back to whatever really-important thing I was doing.

The next time I see dishes in the sink?

It’s while I’m washing five individual forks in the inch-and-a-half of space between the bottom of the faucet and the top of the pile.

Five forks that we need to be able to eat dinner.

Right then.

At that point, I have to spend hours (literally) cleaning the kitchen.

That . . . is Slob Vision.  It’s not seeing the mess as it grows, only after it has grown, spread, and completely taken over.

This condition is why I have to implement routines that help me keep my home in order in spite of Slob Vision.  It’s why I had to make running the dishwasher every night a non-negotiable task.

Because I have Slob Vision, “doing the dishes” can’t be a decision. 

So I took away that decision.

My daily habit of running the dishwasher every night and emptying it every morning is a non-negotiable, so there’s no decision to make.

In the evening, I have to run my dishwasher.  I might look at it and think, “There really aren’t enough dishes to justify running the dishwasher, but I don’t have a choice.   I run my dishwasher every night.  I might as well look around the kitchen again and see if there’s anything else I could put in there.”

And . . . there are usually more dishes on the counter.  So I put those dishes in the dishwasher.

And my kitchen looks better.

Yet, the dishwasher still may not look completely full.

BUT . . . there’s no decision to be made.  I run the dishwasher every night.  So I go look around the house for stray dishes.

And I generally find a few. 

And my whole house benefits from this non-negotiable habit. 

By this time, the dishwasher IS full.  It makes complete sense to run it.

If this was a daily decision instead of a non-negotiable habit, I would have stopped back when I emptied the sink.

Acknowledging that I suffer from Slob Vision doesn’t mean I excuse my messy home.  Instead, I find ways to create habits that help our home run smoothly in spite of my condition.

Make sense?

Oh, and if you’re not convinced that Slob Vision is a real thing, I’ve shared one piece of irrefutable evidence before.  You should watch it.



  1. 1

    thank you for defining this. I totally have slob vision in a bad way!!! now it makes perfect sense.
    I have printed out several of your lists and kids’ charts in hope that I can get a handle on my own slob vision. thanks again!!!


  2. 2

    I have a bad case if slob vision. Right now we are in the middle of moving across the state, and my bad housekeeping has made the hard task of packing so much worse. For every box I pack I have at least one box for donation and at least two trash bags of junk (God only knows why I have so much paper clutter in this house).

    But I am grateful for one think (at least); I had started following your blog and decluttering this mess before we knew we were moving, and being forced to continue has really helped thicken my skin against the emotionally challanging part of getting read of stuff. I have given away or even trashed things I had saved for years, not because I am desperate not to move it, but because i realize now that I don’t actually need it, and while it is painful to toss some things, I have learned that I will get over it and that this is the worst part. After the clutter is gone, relief takes its place.

  3. 3

    omg! so true. i didn’t have time or was too tired to tackle the mess now it really took over the house and its going to take a long time to clean up

  4. 4

    I have some of that, too. I think the most important thing you said was about taking about “decisions”. Automation makes it all better!

  5. 5

    I have to tell you, I nearly teared up when I read your description of Slob Vision… because it’s so pathetically ME. I do that walk by the dishes, laundry, bills, etc. every. single. day. I can’t stand myself anymore because of it. I’m also pregnant with my first child (due april) and am desperate to change my slob ways before she arrives! THANK YOU for this blog.. I have a feeling I’ll be referencing it A LOT!

  6. 7

    I think I have found my soul sister!! I just found your blog today and I can relate to EVERYTHING I have read so far…especially the Slob Vision!! Now I finally know what to call it!! My mom has always told me that I just don’t see the dirty! Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me know that I’m not alone in this constant struggle with housecleaning and decluttering!!

  7. 9

    I love this term!!! And the video cracked me up. I don’t know that I have slob vision, but, I am terrible at washing things as I go (ie dishes, wiping spills up etc). I live in a very dry climate and have very dry skin and hate to wash my hands (or get them wet) a million times a day. I prefer to wait til I’m ready to wipe down all the counters, before I wipe up any spills. And, I prefer to load the dishwasher until I’m pretty sure I have enough dirty dishes for a full load.

  8. 10

    umm, I run the dishwasher if it is at least half full. i mean i NEVER clean the dishwasher itself otherwise…..

  9. 11

    Great idea! I think I’ll implement this one as well! You’ve been a lifesaver to me. With a chronic illness forcing me to retire early, I have to learn to do things in stages. You’ve been great at teaching me little things I can do to make life easier. Thank you!

  10. 12
    Kristin says:

    What is your suggestion for when there aren’t enough dishes to justify running it? I know you say you always run it no matter what, however my town is in a drought and we need to reduce our water usage or get a fine. Also I am a college student who wants to save on her water bill. Your blog is proving to be very helpful! My spouse is seeing a change in my habits and I feel happier.

  11. 14
    Jennifer says:

    okay, but after i’ve cleared the counter, and the sink, and found the five cups in the living room… my dishwasher *still* isn’t full enough… then what?

  12. 18

    Uhhh, how long I have dreamed of having a dishwasher! Seven kids make A LOT of dishes. But I guess for me this could translate to DOING the dishes every night. Just. So. Tired. We are seriously considering eating supper the way the Dutch (i think) used to – a hunk of bread on the table and pour the stew right on top. Better eat quickly! Cheap, too. 😉

  13. 20

    I just discovered your podcasts on ITunes a few weeks ago (was recommended since I listen to Dave Ramsey) and it has changed my life! Ironically I listened to your podcast this morning about the dishwasher before reading this post, that little habit has changed our home!
    I’m a young mother of one and currently expecting another in October. My energy level is just not what it normally would be during the day, how do you recommend adjusting daily tasks or the weekly shedule so that I don’t get so behind because I am just so exhausted when nap time comes?

  14. 22

    I define Slob Vision as when your clutter becomes such a normal part of your life that you don’t see it anymore. I groan just to think of that definition, but it’s still out there.

  15. 23

    Ohmygoodness! It’s like you know me! This explains everything! Reading your blog is helping me to be less of a slob, so THANK YOU! The struggle is real! I have a long way to go, but I’m making progress! I’m new to your blog, but I love everything I’ve read so far. Thanks for putting a humorous spin on our debilitating disease!

  16. 24

    I call myself a social cleaner. I don’t do it because it might get dirty tomorrow, or it is starting to get out of hand today, I do it tomorrow, when it’s worth doing and/or someone is coming. Better if I have company (someone to keep me focused and push me) I also enjoy it.
    I should feel satisfaction for cleaning for my family and grateful I have both a family and s home, but I just don’t. 🙁

  17. 25

    I definetely have it too 🙁

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