Survival Mode Then Vs. Survival Mode Now

Survival Mode Then Vs Now after Four Years of Slob Blogging at

I missed my fourth blogiversary.

After taking the summer off from blogging, I was just so excited to get back to it.

Four years is a long time, y’all.

And . . .

Four years is nothing. 

As the summer drew to a close, the contrast between Survival Mode now vs. pre-blog kept rattling around in my head, aching to be put into words.  So here goes. I think it’s an appropriate topic to be discussed for my blogiversary.


Pre-blog, laundry was a wash-what-we-need-when-we-need-it thing. We had a LOT of clothes, so we could go a VERY long time before we HAD to wash anything but basics. Most loads of laundry were either oh-my-word-we’re-out-of-undies-AGAIN emergency loads, or they were top-of-the-pile loads.

Four years into this deslobification process, I have a Laundry Day. On weeks when I feel in control of my schedule, I rock Laundry Day. During Survival Mode times (like summer), Laundry Day morphs into Laundry Week.

But we’re still so much better off. 


Even though I don’t rock the process, the process still exists.

We still sort all the dirty clothes in the house on Sunday night. No top-of-the-pile loads. We may step around and over the piles for several days until we get through it all, but there’s still a visual beginning and end to the project of Laundry Day. (And I do love projects!)

My house isn’t pristine with piles of dirty laundry waiting in the hall outside the laundry room, but laundry is no longer a hopeless abyss that I’ll never swim out of.

Even in Survival Mode.


You saw my kitchen on Monday. Mondays come after weekends, and Summer Weekends (especially last-weekend-of-the-summer Summer Weekends) are extra difficult for this Slob Brain.

But oh my, it could have been worse.

Pre-blog, we drank out of coffee cups on a regular basis. Not coffee. Milk, water, juice, whatever. We had to use coffee cups because every other dish was dirty. 

EVERY dish.

I had no rhythm for doing dishes. They multiplied behind my back and doing the dishes felt like a never-ending and unconquerable task.

When I went into survival mode, I just bought paper plates and plastic cups. 

Now I know the absolute best way to keep my kitchen under control.  Really, I have this thing figured OUT.

In Survival Mode, I get off that perfect rhythm.

But . . . I still do the dishes. 

All summer long, my rhythm was off. I couldn’t seem to get ahead of the dishes, and my kitchen never looked fabulous.

Happily, though, I can only recall resorting to coffee cups once. And we’re still on our four year long we-don’t-use-disposable-plates-or-cups streak.

Even though I wasn’t running the dishwasher at the perfect time (evening) or emptying it at the perfect time (as soon as I got up), I was running it and emptying it every day.

This meant we always had clean dishes to use. I never had to wash a skillet to be able to make supper.

Here is how it basically worked over the summer:

I would get up, drink my coffee and savor a (very) few minutes to read my Bible in quiet before the kids started getting up. I’d enjoy some time at the breakfast table with them and then as we all spread throughout the house I’d look at the kitchen and sigh. I would then unload the dishwasher and immediately refill it completely with the dirty dishes waiting in the sink and on the counter.

They wouldn’t all fit.

But I would run it anyway.  And I would tell myself that today would be the day that I would empty it as soon as the load was finished, and run a second load so I could finally get caught up.

And then I wouldn’t think about it again until the next mid-morning when I started this process again.

It’s a fact that with five people eating three meals a day at home (Hubby comes home for lunch in the summer), our dishwasher needed to be run twice a day.  (Those of you who homeschool, I’m sure you know this.)

Even though I failed at adjusting and making everything perkily perfect, I still ran the dishwasher every single day. And therefore, our Survival Mode was ever-so-much more pleasant than pre-blog Survival Mode.

Perfect kitchen? No. Clean dishes when we needed them? Yes.

I’ll take it.

F.O.U.D.  (Fear Of Unexpected Doorbells)

Survival Mode around here naturally results in a flare-up of my chronic F.O.U.D.

This summer, I once again felt the sinking of my stomach when the doorbell rang. Or when I looked into the puppy-dog-eyes of the kid who begged to have his friend come home with us from the pool. Straight home. With no time to do a mad dash and throw everything in the master bedroom.

But it was nothing like the crippling version of F.O.U.D. I suffered from pre-blog.  First of all, decluttering like a madwoman has paid off. It’s now possible to get the house presentable in a matter of minutes/hours instead of the days/weeks it required pre-blog.

Second, as I’ve put my Slob Self out there for the world to see, I’ve realized most people are understanding.  If not understanding, most are accepting.


And that makes me more willing to focus on welcoming others than on my own pride/shame. 

The real difference due to four years of Slob Blogging is I’ve learned to accept that I’ll always be a project-minded, why-clean-when-we-could-go-have-fun-instead, tunnel-vision-creative kind of person, but that there are processes to help me survive.

Thank you so much for being a faithful reader! You make all this self-analyzing and deep-dark-secret-confessing a whole lot of fun!

Here are the links to my past Blogiversary posts:

First Blogiversary

Second Blogiversary

Third Blogiversary



  1. 1

    I recently realized (decided?) I will never be regularly caught up on dishes until I have a dishwasher. Ugh. But I keep my laundry done pretty well. I have gotten rid of tons of clothes, and I try to get it all done on the weekends. The putting away doesn’t always happen, but I can live with that. 🙂

    Happy blogiversay!

  2. 2

    Happy Four Year Bloggiversary. I’ve realized that my house will NEVER be clean… not my mom’s version of clean anyways, but I do know that if I do my dishes nightly we won’t run out of silverware or cups. I do know that if I do four loads of laundry over the course of the week instead of one day, we won’t run out of clothes and its a whole lot easier to put away than to fold four loads of laundry and put them away in one day. Sure my house will NEVER be immaculate but I keep doing my best and thats what counts right?

  3. 3

    Happy Blogiversary! I love that you admit it’s still not perfect. This is something I am finally coming grips with. Rather than give up and out, like I have in the past, I keep going. Although it’s never perfect it keeps getting better.

  4. 4

    Happy belated fourth Blogiversary to you! You definitely made a lot of progress during the past four years.

    Here, there are still two weeks of summer holidays left, and while we got rainy weather, maybe there were nine year olds lounging around in their PJs and eating pop corn on the sofa, watching a DVD…so I didn’t clean as regularly as at other times…maybe. 🙂

  5. 5
    Catherine says:

    Happy Blogiversary!!!

  6. 6

    I too run my dishwasher every night… and my husband empties it every morning! It really helps. When we get out of sync the dishes get out of hand. At the cabin (where I have been for the month) dishes are out of hand because of not having a dishwasher. The kids are doing a great job washing dishes — but I have to admit, we are leaving them to air dry so there are always dishes on the counter. Generally clean dishes, but dishes, and lots of them!

    As for laundry, my goal is a load daily. I have tried the Laundry Day but found if I keep up with 1 load a day (family of 5) I don’t feel swamped with it.

    Congrats on 4 years! And thanks for sharing.

  7. 7

    I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already! I’ve been reading your blog since right after you started it… I feel old now LOL Well, happy blogiversary!!! Here’s to many more!!

    And after finishing moving last week, I’m really hoping to get severely decluttered while unpacking. I heard several comments about how much stuff we had by all the people helping us move (I’m a bajillion months pregnant, so I wasn’t allowed to do anything) and it really hurt because I decluttered a lot before packing :/ I’m really glad to have found your blog a few years back because I’ve really taken several of your tips to heart and it’s really helped me out. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and it’s not a freight train to push me back. So, thank you Nony, for all your inspiration and tips and truly sharing with us how it really is.

  8. 9

    Thank you for your four years of blogging!! Thank you for overcoming your pride/shame to share your deep, dark secrets with those of us who struggle as slobs, perpetually in survival mode!! You give us all hope and tools to dig ourselves out, and help us with the shame we feel–to know that we are not the only slob in the world.

  9. 11

    happy blogoversary! I’ve been reading 3 of those 4 years and I thank you for putting yourself out there, for all of us 🙂 I’ve learned and laughed and been motivated by all you share here. Thank you!

  10. 13

    OMG–I puffy heart you!

    I just found your blog and you are real! You show what my house looks like! You are REAL! I am not alone…I am not so unusual…although I may be a bit crazy 😉

    I can’t wait to read back posts and look forward to new ones…

  11. 15

    We do assigned plates, cups etc for the day. If you didnt clear your place and get it washed you dont eat the next meal until you do. I also assign many kitchen chores to the children. Even a two year old can clear their place and put things into the dishwasher or put things away.

    Thanks for sharing your progress with us.

  12. 16

    Happy Anniversary!!! And what an anniversary to celebrate. I, for one, am glad to read this post because I still need motivation to declutter and get some jobs under control. So keep blogging please. 🙂

  13. 17

    Run the dishwasher right after lunch in the summer. Lets you be lazy in the mornings, but have clean dishes by dinnertime.

  14. 18

    It is my habit to do 2 loads of laundry, at least, when I do it. That is all I can manage to get folded up and put away in a day. With only two adults in the house, it works out well.

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