Re-Start, Re-Declutter. I’m Back!!

I was sad to see summer end, but I’m getting over it.

There is something invigorating (and totally necessary) about routine.

Lack of routine causes this:

Re-Starting Re-Decluttering ...I'm Back! at

Not that my kitchen never looks like that during fall, winter, or spring . . .

But routine does help.

We lived in survival mode over the summer.  I kept the house out of total chaos.  (Truth: that picture could have been SOOO much worse!)  But oh, chaos was coming on fast in those last few weeks.

And what happens when the chaos starts to make the inside of my brain itch?

I get mad.

And depressed.

And I get the urge to declutter the medicine cabinet.

Because really. That’s the main problem here.  Expired medicine . . . 

(Please read the above line using the sarcastic inflections with which I wrote it.)

I resisted the urge.

Instead, I’m re-starting. Re-starting my habits that I know make ALL the difference.  It’s not that I completely abandoned them during the heat of the summer, but I (obviously) could have done a lot better.

So today, while laundry was going, I focused on my kitchen. The visible parts of my kitchen. Like this spot:

Re-Starting in the Kitchen Before Shot of Counter

I’ve decluttered this spot a ba-jillion times.  Seriously, it’s the place where all-things-kitchen get dumped.

The bad news? I have to re-declutter it continually.

The good news? I’ve finally accepted that re-decluttering doesn’t mean I’m a failure, doomed to never (ever ever) have a clear counter.

I just have to re-declutter. It’s my life.

So in a few minutes (like less-than-5), it looked like this:

Decluttered Kitchen Counter After Picture at

Less than five minutes, since most of the stuff went in the cabinet directly below, in the basket, or in the trash.


I moved my way around the kitchen until it looked like this:

After picture of kitchen at

Blurry picture, but I’m pretty sure you can tell a difference . . . .

So there you go. I’ve re-started. We won’t talk about the rest of the house right now. My plan is to use my routine to get it under control. Tomorrow . . . is Bathroom Cleaning Day.  Blech.

P.S. I worked out today. Like, at the gym and everything. Go me!



--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    Yeahhh for back to school!! Yeah for getting back on trick!! Even more YEAHHHH for working out! If you take care of yourself first, you will truly be thankful later in life! Enlist the help of your kids to “pick up as you go” in the kitchen… .just lay the law down. LOL I know… it “sounds” good, right?! LOL Just think… it could be worse, like those on “Hoarders”…right?

    • 2

      That’s what I always say….. at least we can walk though our rooms without stuff falling or rotten food spilling repeat after me I AM NOT A HOARDER, I AM NOT A HOARDER……
      I truly believe we declutter everyday….. it’s just a fact of life (at least for me….. and Nony too)

      BTW I love your blog and read it allllllll the time you make me feel normal

  2. 3

    This is the story of my life this very second. While my kitchen is *ok* summer change ups have run a lot… Probably most… Of my routines into the ground.

    Today, spent a couple minutes wiping up crusty toothpaste and hand soap drippings from the bathroom sink and counter.
    Tomorrow, I mop!
    A few minutes makes a big difference.

  3. 4

    I’m right there with you! We had a vacation right before everything got back into swing, so the craziness of that has deposited another layer of clutter on everything in my kitchen/dining area. I want to run screaming for the hills….but I think I will try to clear one area at a time . Baby steps…

  4. 5

    Yeah for getting in a workout! I realized that exercising creates more energy that us MOMS need! And I don’t need to RE-Start, I need to Start! But I’m getting there. I had about 15 pair of shoes sitting (more like scattered) in front of my closet waiting to go back in their assigned spots. I finally accomplished it yesterday after staring, glaring, tripping over them all week.

    Why is it that I hate to put shoes and clothes away?

  5. 6

    I too have started the back to school de-cluttering whirlwind. I just couldn’t take it any more. So tired of not finding what the kids need and always being at a loss for where IT might be. Is it wrong to say I’m glad the kids are gone? lol at least I have a fighting chance to ditch some of their messes and clutter when they aren’t around!

    • 7

      My kids have tried to tell me that they don’t have any clothes. Well, the MOUNTAIN of laundry that “magically” appeared yesterday definitely says differently. I need them to try on a bunch of clothes and I can’t wait to get through their crap while they are at school and have no say in what I keep or pitch.

  6. 8

    Monday is the hardest for me, even without kids at home. We usually have company, run around, grocery shop, etc., on weekends, so when Monday gets here, I feel like I need a day off! I’ve learned to not fight the inevitable(for me anyhow) and just kinda line things up to start work on Tuesday. I do pick up the living room and declutter the kitchen table so I don’t feel totally lazy:-/

  7. 9

    Slob to slob advice. Make space for more of those items in your cupboards. The more things that live perminantly on your counters, the more you will find other things are left there to keep them company. It is a constant struggle. But it;s easier when things LOOK out of place on the counter. Works for me anyway.

  8. 10

    I feel like I am on a constant wheel of starting and re-starting. It has taken a long time for me to realize that this cycle is ok. and stop beating myself up for it. I’d rather re-start again and again knowing that each time I make progress than never make progress at all. Keep up the good work.

    • 11

      I have finally just accepted the fact that with my ADHD, as long as I have kids at home, I’m just going to have to do the best I can. I deal with chronic illness, too, so it is really harder for me that some people imagine. They say “Why?” the same way I do when I hear about someone cooking meth in their home. I am not going to give up, I am just not going to beat myself up. Nobody is perfect and I have had things in pretty good shape for a while and I know that routines are life savers, but if I get a flare up and I fall behind, I just have to pick up where I dropped off and feel happy for any progress. I have an abundance of good qualities and I know that I am striving for excellence and not demanding perfection from myself. It is nice to know that there are others who DO understand and face the same challenges as I do,

  9. 12

    It looks great! I like “re-decluttering” as a new word. 🙂

    I’ve been very frustrated the past few days because it seems like nothing actually gets done. So I decided to brush myself off and start fresh myself. One chore was to clean out the little freezer, not that it’s visible except when the kids would open the door for ice, frozen food would come flying out on the floor. But at least one thing is done of the list.

    It will be good to get back into the routine when the kids start school, however, I will miss them horribly!

  10. 14

    I know the house is horrible right now, because it’s bothering me – and it takes A LOT to bother me. 5 kids all summer and only 3 are mine. Two daughters who decided to get mad at each other, because their stuff was TOUCHING each other’s stuff, and they proceeded to throw ALL of their clothes at each other from both dressers and their closet! (GRRRRR)) Oldest daughter in 4-H and craft stuff everywhere. I am so glad the fair is this weekend and we can finally put stuff away. School starts next week!!!!!! Plus, I’ve been working fulltime, so the kids have had babysitter supervision and not Mom supervision. Next week can’t come quickly enough.

    • 15

      I know what you mean. I finally hit my limit today, which virtually never happens. Unfortunately, I don’t expect the fed-up angry energy to get me through even half of what’s required to get this house in shape. But, I’ll ride the wave as far as it takes me and hope momentum carries me a little farther. Then, it’s back to setting up and following daily, weekly, and monthly systems…at least some of the time.

  11. 16
    Momo'gingerboy says:

    I am so happy you’re back. I read your entire blog backwards and looked forward to daily updates…..and it was Summer! I’ve learned so much from your experiences. Thanks for sharing this journey with the world.

  12. 17

    It’s a good thing that starting over doesn’t mean it’s because we failed. We might not have succeeded as much as we would have liked to…but I think we all learn from each experience. We only fail if we don’t learn something from each experience…and if we do…the next attempt will be a little easier. That is one thing Flylady says that I like…baby steps.

    Babies don’t learn to walk on their first try. They pull themselves along furniture until they learn to balance a little. Then they take some tentative steps on their own…and fall. Many times. Even after it seems they’ve learned to walk like pros, it doesn’t take much before their little bottoms land on the floor again.

    So it is with those of us who weren’t born like ‘normal’ people. Those who accumulate clutter like there’s no tomorrow. We learn, we fall, we pick ourselves up, try again…and try to do better this time.

    That said…would anyone like to volunteer to declutter my bedroom? 😀

  13. 18

    I was thinking of you last night when I discovered no one started the dishwasher in the morning. Here I am w/ a sink of dirty dishes (more than one meal’s worth I assure you) and a full, stinky dishwasher…..
    At least I got it emptied this morning before work (not the sink, the dishwasher)….:)

  14. 19

    Go You!!!!

  15. 20

    YOU ARE AWESOME!! Thank you for the courage to be REAL about cleaning. I am a recovering clutter addict and your videos on youtube were a Godsend forme today. School started back yesterday and I am sitting in the chaos called my house and wondering where to begin. I’m going to start on the VISABLE clutter, not organizing the bookshelf in the library!! Thanks again!!

  16. 21

    I started decluttering last week because school starts back on Tuesday,homeschool that is.I have to get some semblance of order in the house and get the books and lessons ready in the next six days.Oh and also go to our family reunion on Sunday.

  17. 22

    I stayed up beyond late the other night helping a friend . we are talking 330 am and you know what it screwed the whole day up. i was exhausted! hubby and i got the kids off to school but NOTHING got done. and i was beyond mad at myself because i had spent 4 hours trying to help someone and they just blew me off and my family suffered for it. GGGGRRRR!! but it showed me that I know i have to play catch up all week it’s ok it will get done. If only I could ever get a hold on the laundry!!!

  18. 23

    I can’t thank you enough for this blog. It makes me feel normal :O) When you said that everything was a mess and you get the urge to declutter the medicine cabinet, I thought “That’s me!!” I am a total slob and when I’m trying to get the main part of the house picked up, or the actual mud vacuumed off of our mudroom floor, I’m easily sidetracked by things that are not important and that no one would ever see or notice, like organizing the back of the cabinet under the upstairs bathroom vanity. I have to tell myself, out loud, pick up the kitchen, sweep the floor, focus on what people can see, focus, focus. God help me if I think of some pinterest idea related to what I am supposed to be doing and I decide to go search for it. I have to put my laptop away in the bedroom so I’m not tempted.

    • 24

      Do you suppose we do those small unseen places because they’re more manageable, and likely to stay cleaned longer? It feels like a more ‘permanent’ cleaning job, that won’t have to be done again in a few days. I tend to do this also.

  19. 25

    Awesome! Thanks, this was the motivating encouragement I needed today!

  20. 26

    I recently found your site on Facebook and am having a great time reading your posts. This one resounded with me as I started a new job 5 months ago and my kitchen and house looks kinda similar to your “Before” pics due to that. I go through periods of having a clean house , then a messy one, but felt reassured that there are others like me that have to go through the same re-decluttering/cluttering/re-decluttering phases. I am slowly working my way through the mess by donating a ton of canned/other food goods to my local food pantry in honor of my sister who passed away in December and am going in little chunks of time to declutter the rest. Its amazing how many organizations may need your items when you ask! I am currently working on getting a bag started of book donations for the hospitality library at the local hospital…it feels great to help people too in the process! Thanks for your great website, advice and posts….theyre really helping me! 🙂

  21. 27

    Thanks for this. All too often my kitchen can look like this from just one day. One day of being distracted. My problem is, I will clean clean clean. …then think I deserve a break and it just…happens. Sometimes I wish I had ocd.

  22. 28

    I love the word “‘re-decluttering”-that so describes those spots which continually need sorting, cleanse, etc like a kitchen. Good job on exercising!

  23. 29

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say “putting things away” rather than “decluttering”. I think the former sounds more routine. Even normal people have to “put stuff away” on a regular basis. Wishing you a great September of getting back to routine things.

  24. 30

    Thank you for being so honest about this! The house has been so messy all summer and I have been fighting a losing battle, but ever since they went back to school last week I have been in full out get-back-on-track mode!

  25. 31

    Great post! I also vacilate between more and less picked up…. and need to begin over repeatedly.
    Yesterday the dust bunny behind my fridge got big enough cooling was hampered, …. (Gee, I’m supposed to clean the coils periodically?? who knew?) …. so I needed to clean out the fridge, and one thing led to another; violá! ,A cleaner kitchen!!
    And I’m HâPpŸ everytime I walk in ….
    yep! “Clean the medicines cabinet!
    Does anyone ever catch up with the laundry???
    XxxX love your blog!

  26. 32

    I’m restarting today too. I started with trash. Next I will put a load of laundry on and then I will do the dishes. I can do it in that order because now I know I will. I know that today is laundry day and so putting the laundry on first is okay. Then I can do my daily tasks of dishes and sweeping the floor. It’s hot today – I’m not looking forward to doing any of it in the 40C heat but the downward spiral of mess will get overwhelming if I don’t so as soon as my morning coffee is finished the routine will be put back into action.

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