As Soon as I’m Done, I Always Find One More Thing

As Soon as I'm Done, I Always Find One More Thing at

It happens pretty much every time I declutter or straighten or whatever.

I think I’m done and I smile smugly and turn away from my totally finished project.

Only to run smack dab into One More Thing.

One more thing that needs to go in the spot I just filled as full as it can be before it morphs into a mess.

One more thing I can’t believe I didn’t see in all the time I was focusing on dealing with this space I truly believe I deserve to no longer have to deal with.

One more thing that makes me question whether my new “solution” will actually work, and whether there’s ever any point whatsoever in trying to come up with a solution since things like this happen to me every single time I think I’ve made progress.

Yes. I’m aware of my tendency to be over-dramatic.

But even though I initially reacted in the same old way, I used my hard-earned knowledge to deal with this problem.

I practiced the One In One Out Rule.

one more thing need to containerize old burp cloths at

I’d found some old burp cloths that I now use as cleaning rags. Using them means they’re not clutter, y’know.

But the container for cleaning cloths was full. My auto-response was to pile them on anyway, tucking a corner in here or there and convincing myself they’d stay under control and not spill out everywhere.

one more thing containerize old burp rags at

My auto-response isn’t usually a good thing.

As soon as I realized what was happening, I took out enough of the microfiber cloths to make room for the burp cloths. That’s how one in one out works. I got to keep what I wanted to keep because I made room in the container by getting rid of things I didn’t love as much.

one more thing rags contained in their container at

That’s the Container Concept.

That plastic box determined how many cleaning cloths I could keep. No analysis or math or hem-haw-pondering was necessary.

Yay for grasping concepts that once eluded me.


No idea what the Container Concept is? Here’s the post where I finally understood it:

Ooooh! “Contain”er . . . Now I Get It!

And a few more that might help:

Baskets? Oh. I get it now.

One In One Out

Containers and Limits and How They’ll Change Your Life – the podcast

One In One Out – Podcast


And . . . today’s affiliate links: Microfiber cloths, plastic shoe box sized containers.

Using the Container Concept when There's Always One More Thing at



Straightening Up the Dining Room Table (Because Better is Good)

Straightening Up the Dining Room Table (Because Better is Good) at fb

There’s a difference between a ridiculously cluttered table and a table with stuff on it.

Even a table with too much stuff on it.

Oh. You don’t think there is? Well, it’s my blog and I say so. There is.

straightening dining room table before at

Oh the dining room table. The bane of my Slob Existence. The glorious flat surface just inside my front door that doesn’t HAVE to be used on an average Wednesday so it’s always available for absentminded (and sometimes present-minded) piling.

But even though this uniquely re-clutterable spot shouldn’t qualify as a real decluttering project since it’s everyday procrasticlutter, I tackle it using my same old decluttering strategies. When I can tackle it that way, I’m ever so much more willing to tackle it at all.

straightening dr table IMG_6270 (600x400) (600x400)

And tackling is the only way.

Step One:

Trash. Trash is the easiest of the easy stuff.

straightening dr table IMG_6271 (600x400) (600x400)

Once the trash was gone, I took the OBVIOUS stuff (which is ever so easy once I see it as individual items instead of a mass of overwhelming STUFF) where it goes. No decisions necessary. Just a bunch of duhs. A bunch of well-yeah-I-know-where-that-goes kind of stuff.

straightening dr table IMG_6272 (600x400)

Then, the piles were smaller, but I wasn’t quite in the mood for a solve-it-all kind of thing, so I settled.

I settled for better. My goal was to be able to let someone in the front door and have them think, “Oh, I just love how Dana didn’t feel the need to clean before I came over. We must be close. Like, almost BFFs. I sure like Dana.”

So I consolidated and straightened. A little.

straightening dining room table better is enough at

It’s better, y’all. Better is good.

Note: If you came over and it looked like that, we’re BFFs. Really. This post wasn’t talking about you.

Another note: Obviously, it didn’t even occur to me to straighten the frames on the wall. Sorry OCD friends, but you get what you get when you venture to my Slob Blog.


Straightening Up the Dining Room Table (Because Better is Good) when it comes to flat surfaces at fb


Give Me a Couch, and I’ll Kick Stuff Under It (Working Through Overwhelming Clutter in a Hurry)

Four Easy Steps to Help Tackle the Overwhelming Mess You Find Under the Couch at

It’s déjà vu, y’all.

(And yes, I had to google how to spell déjà vu and then copy/paste it to get the marks correct.)

Remember a while back when I revealed the scary underbelly of my living room couch? And then remember when I had to let washing machine delivery men into the house just hours after I returned from a trip?

Well, my age-old Slob Reasoning got me again. I cleaned out the laundry room. I cleaned the living room and the kitchen part of the kitchen they’d see from the laundry room.

I even walked from the front door to the laundry room, trying to be super-observant and catch anything they might see while making the delivery.

They arrived. They walked (without tripping over anything thankyouverymuch) to the laundry room, and then they asked, “Where would you like us to move the old washer and dryer?”

Oh. I’d forgotten about that. My garage was a mess, but it’s a garage, so I feel even a normal person could justify that on a random Tuesday.

I led the way to the garage, and one of them remarked, “We’ll have to move this couch out of the way.”

Ummmm, what??!? The couch? The couch blocking the path between the door into the gameroom and the door out of the gameroom (and into the garage).

Not blocking the path for people walking, but totally blocking the path for people pushing large appliances through the room.




I shy-laughed and told them to give me a minute to see what was under the couch.

I totally acted like it was no big deal.

As soon as their backs were turned, I grabbed a trash bag and bee-lined to the gameroom to start through the process that prevents me from being overwhelmed when I see something like this:

overwhelming mess under the couch at


Seriously, y’all.

Note: I’m talking about keeping myself from being overwhelmed. I still feel overwhelmed, but the actual definition of overwhelm (thanks to google) is “defeat completely.”

I am not defeated. I may feel that way when I first see (or notice) an overwhelming mess, but am not actually overwhelmed unless I let it defeat me.

I didn’t have time to hem or haw. I needed to work through that mess fast.

Pre-blog, I would have scooped everything into a box to stick in the garage and forget about for a few years. That would have seemed like the only option since I was in a hurry. Feeling overwhelmed added to being in a hurry makes solutions like that (which aren’t really solutions, just justifiable procrastination) make sense.

But now I know that my steps work, and that I can get through them almost as quickly as I can scoop, and that I’ll never ever again have to deal with this crstuff if I go ahead and go through the steps now.

Step One:

Trash. Deal with the easiest of the easy stuff. Honestly, when there is a big pile of stuff I haven’t seen in who-knows-how-long, I’m much more willing to call things trash that I might otherwise consider treasure.

cleaning under the couch remove trash first at


Step Two:

Do the easy stuff. Take things that have a real, already-established home somewhere else . . . to that home. Right now. Generally, if I find one thing that needs to go to the kitchen, I glance around to see if anything else needs to go to the kitchen, too.

Step Three:

Repeat steps one and two on anything I’ve missed, and stick everything else in the Donate Box.


cleaning under the couch remove trash first at

Step Four:

Clean. I’m sorry to say that you can’t actually clean when there’s clutter everywhere.

Yay for motivation! Boo for not being able to predict every scenario ever.

Wondering about the stuff in the photo that didn’t bother me (but probably should have)? That’s my Return Spot. A place where we put things that need to go back to people. And now that I look, I see a couch cushion there, too. And a (probably empty) shoebox on the window sill. And some other stuff. Honestly, I’m pretty sure that stuff was invisible to me (until the moment I saw it in this photo) since the opened door would shove it out of the way while the delivery men moved the appliances to the garage.

Oh. And the jacket hanging off the back of the couch.

And the tap floor. (Which has a totally logical explanation here.)

Whatever. This isn’t a post about how to be perfect. It’s how to not be defeated. And honestly, a big part of not being defeated (for people like me) is not worrying about being perfect.

Four Easy Steps to Help Tackle the Overwhelming Mess You Find Under the Couch at



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