082 Methods Fail. I Don’t. (Or the Other Way Around) Podcast

Podcast #82 from - Methods Fail. I Don't. Or Maybe the Other Way Around

Related posts:

What makes this attempt to change different?

Books mentioned (with their affiliate links!):

How Not to Be a Messie

Sidetracked Home Executives



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


  1. 1

    Hi Dana!
    I am listening to your podcast and you are talking about your supper dishes still being on the table. It made me think of something that we did when our daughter was in softball and we had to eat supper in a hurry before running off to one of her games. For that night, we would eat off of paper plates and use disposable silverware. I would even cook my casserole in one of those oven safe paper pans. Then, when we were finished eating and didn’t have time to clean up, everything went in the trash and the dishes were done! I don’t recommend making this a habit just so that one doesn’t have to do the dishes, but on those crazy nights, it sure did make life a little bit easier. : )

  2. 3

    I am pretty new here – just started reading your past posts and listening to your podcasts this year. Your “method” IS different and the difference in method IS what is making it work for me versus others I’ve tried. No other method answered the question that I had of “WHERE do I put all my stuff that I want to keep?” They have me make KEEP piles but then when it comes to distributing items where they should go (their home), well, they don’t have a home in the first place, or they would have been there already, and I can’t make a home for them because my house is stuffed to the gills already!

    You answered it by saying do the easy stuff, just throw out trash. THEN, very importantly, forget the TO KEEP pile, pick up one item at a time, and put it where you would look for it and if that place is jammed packed with stuff, just take out enough of the non-necessity there to make room for this item you do want to keep. It was seriously a life-changing concept for me right there. I look back at all the books with methods I couldn’t make work and none of them said that. At least not in a straightforward way like that. They assumed I had a “staging” area, ha! where I could sort stuff. They didn’t get the major MAJOR cluttered situations where the WHOLE house was a disaster, not just one room. But you did.

    The other life-changing concept I got from you was that you keep doing the daily tasks, the daily maintenance chores even while you’re doing decluttering projects. You don’t stop daily maintenance. That was new. In other books they have you decluter one “zone” one week, then another “zone” next week and so on and meanwhile my laundry is piling up, my floor unswept, my kitchen table mountainous, etc. And it would get worse and worse as various zones are focused on. And as I switched zones the previous zones would fall into disarray. Nothing kept clean because I wasn’t doing daily maintenance tasks. YOU taught me that.

    And one other thing that was life-changing. You said to focus on VISIBILITY and to stick to the one visible place until it was done. So I focused on the kitchen. And instead of moving distractedly to the living room the next week if I had followed a certain popular method, I stuck to the kitchen, working on every single flat surface in there and then every single box with accumulated piles that was on the floor. And I finished, finally finished. I had never done that before. Not even with a professional organizer. They would leave boxes of stuff for me to go through myself.

    SO basically, I’m a new fan and I still have a long way to go but it’s working and I have hope. And I also for the first time saw the bottom of my hamper and have for two weeks now! As far as your methods and your website, I still only really know the “old” you and this is one of the very few times I’ve listened to a new, recent podcast of yours. I’m still listening to your old ones mostly and reading your year one posts (I bought the first three years). I have to say, I feel this podcast isn’t correct about what made the difference this time for me. I think I could have gone round and round for years, and in fact DID go round and round for years with other methods and it really was the METHOD that wasn’t working. (I am speaking about slob brains only. Obviously it works for other people.) I was working one particular method like crazy but it kept backsliding or it was too hard I would have to start over again because I forgot to wear shoes or shine the sink, all stuff I wish I didn’t try so hard to do because those weren’t what was important in getting better. When I see that you have been blogging for years, I wish I found you earlier instead of trying so hard to make other methods work. But anyway, I am getting off topic now. Take care and thank you for your experience and your sharing.

  3. 5

    I honestly think God had you pick this topic this week just for me. I’ve been working through 28 Days to Hope for Your Home and did pretty well the first three habits – then totally fell behind on the 4th. In fact, I’d just had a day when I didn’t read the next day because I told myself I needed to do the previous day right before moving on. The next day I listened to this podcast (while cleaning up my kitchen – nothing keep me focused cleaning & decluttering like listening to you) and you oh-so-perfectly reminded me that your whole point is NOT giving up or penalizing myself for letting life get in the way. I stopped and did a reality check: True, I’d only done about 2 five-minute pickups, but my dishes have been done almost every day since I started reading your book (even the ones that don’t go in the dishwasher!), my table has been clear more often that it’s not, and my counters – and stovetop – are being wiped down nearly every day. That’s huge. When I started it took a LOT of work to get all those dried splatters off the stovetop – then it looked so nice that I wiped it down the next day when I did the counters and realized it only takes a minute (or less) to maintain ;). So I read the next day – in which you, of course, reassured me yet again that’s it’s ok and I haven’t failed. And I did my dishes and wiped down the counters and stove and might even get to sweeping and picking up tonight. Or tomorrow. And it’ll be ok. Because I have hope and when I look realistically, I know my home is in a better place that it was 4 weeks ago. And when I found out I had people coming over the day they were coming, it only took an hour for me to feel totally comfortable letting them in – and serving them popcorn! So thank you. Thank you for your podcast and your constant encouragement and honesty and for being willing to let God use you this way to lift others (well, me at least) out of despair. I can’t Patreon you yet, so I’ll just keep telling people about you and buy your book when it comes out :D.

  4. 7

    Just a quick note to add on to what the other commenter said. I think another big difference – especially in 28 Days to Hope – is that you acknowledge we’ll backslide and address that. Having you (virtually) hold my hand, encourage me to start again, and address my rebellions instead of assuming (there’s that word) that I was just moving forward in a straight line really made a big difference for me.

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