Reality Check 2/29

Happy Leap Day!!!

I have three pic-heavy posts almost ready to go, but today is turning out to be wacko so they’re not going to happen until later.

And wacko = time for a reality-check post.

The short version: We’re surviving.

The slightly-longer version:

It’s Monday, so it’s Laundry Day, even though I won’t be home for much of it at all. There’s a meeting this morning for parents of incoming ninth-graders.

NINTH graders.

Like, high school. And that is seriously freaking me out. But it also happens to be the day I am shooting my book cover at a studio an hour away from my house. So I’ll come home from the meeting, have the scheduled-before-I-knew-about-the-covershoot-but-it’s-the-last-day-of-February-so-I-can’t-reschedule online hangout for patrons.

This is one of those days (they happen a lot) when I’m so grateful to have routines. And not just routines, but the understanding of the importance of those routines because I’ve lived both with and without them. It’s only because the whole family knows Monday is the day when laundry happens that we sorted clothes last night, and I have the motivation to fold the load in the dryer and get a new load going before I rush out to start this crazy day. Most likely, it will be tomorrow (or Wednesday) before Laundry Day is done, but we’re 1000x better off because Laundry Day exists.

Without it, I’d never even consider trying to fit laundry into a crazy day.

The rest of the house is officially in the familiar state of: It Could Be Worse.

I keep running the dishwasher, emptying it and refilling it, even though the kitchen as a whole is far from Company Ready.

We’ve done two five-minute pickups in the last two days, which  means the living room (don’t ask about the dining room, please) doesn’t look like our house was hit by a tornado.

No dusting or vacuuming or mopping has happened in the recent past, but really, it could be worse. I’m still amazed (after 6.5 years and writing a book about the subject) at the impact of little daily tasks.

So there you go. A rambly post for your Monday morning. And an encouragement to keep going in the Midst of the Crazy. It’s worth it, I promise.


From Our Mailbox: Timing Myself

From Our Mailbox Timing Myself at
Nony here: I LOVE this real life example of the effect of breaking through delusions by using a timer! A reader shares her real-life results when timing herself while doing daily tasks. Don’t stop reading until the end. The magic happens on Day Two. (Just like it always does with the daily tasks that haven’t been daily in a while!)
You say to time yourself just to see how long it takes to do a chore. I decided to time myself sweeping the floor.
It took about 13:30 from start to finish. (I could have been faster but I stopped to care for kids a couple times so it was more like 10-11 mins.)
From Our Mailbox Timing Myself step by step at
1) Before
2) Everything swept into a pile
3) I have a large open wood floor and I have found sweeping everything into one large pile and then putting the stuff away is easiest for me, otherwise I am running all over the floor picking up random stuff and it just makes me dizzy
4) After I put the stuff away and just left with trash and the after
5) Upon seeing the after I decided to do a 5 min pickup for my counter…still messy but better.
You are an inspiration to me. I am getting consistent with my dishes so this week I am adding sweeping my floor. I am teaching myself routine!!  THANK YOU!!!
And look what happened when she carried through with Day Two:
Yesterday I sent you an email about timing myself sweeping my kitchen/Dining Room. Yesterday it took me around 13 minutes to sweep, put away all the stuff I had swept into a pile and sweep up the actual trash/dirt and throw it away.
Jump forward to today I swept again and timed myself again and would you believe it, it only took 5 minutes!! That included stopping and talking to my daughter for like 30 seconds. It does get easier.
So far I am doing my dishes and I am sweeping my floor. I was having a really hard time with my dishes until I started loading it throughout the day, now my dishes seem to be doing themselves!! (if only)
I think my next habit will still be in my kitchen area (I have a great room so kitchen, dining and family room all in one). I think It will be clearing my counters and table daily, but first I need to get used to sweeping everyday! - From Our Mailbox
fb From Our Mailbox Timing Myself at

From Our Mailbox: Doing the Dishes DOES Make a Difference! - From Our Mailbox

From Dana/Nony: I LOVE this comment Stella left recently on this post. It’s such a great example of how a system, ANY version of a system, makes such a huge difference!

Dear Dana,

I am proud to say that my dishes and sink are now clean nearly every single day. It’s not a perfect system, I do the dishes in the afternoon and then we cook dinner not long after. This means the kitchen is clean for cooking, it’s just not clean for breakfast and lunch. But it is sooo much better than it was before I took your advice to the dishes every. single. day.

I resisted and resisted at first, but I pushed through. Now it feels so much easier, I don’t feel as resentful and I’ve surprised myself several times doing them much later on those days when I’m sure I’m just going to skip them because the daily routine is all out of whack. I find myself doing them because I don’t want to be doing them the next day when dishes math comes into effect and it takes 3 times as long.

Because we don’t have children I can also give myself a day off from dishes once a week. Friday afternoons I wash the dishes and we have takeout. It’s my night off from cooking. This means I can take Saturday afternoon off from dishes (our most crazy day for not having a routine). We don’t have a dishwasher.

Thank you Dana. A clean kitchen makes so much difference!


Stella from

That link to Stella’s blog is to her decluttering posts!


If you’re wondering about all this Do THE DISHES talk, check out my e-book, 28 Days to Hope for Your Home.



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