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Add This to: Things Hubby Would Never Do

Add This To Things Hubby Would Never Do at ASlobComesClean.com decluttering coffee mug and icing

I don’t technically have a list called Things I Do That Hubby Would Never (Ever) Even Consider Doing.

But I could.

And it would be a long one.

Rather than seeing these lovely differences in our personalities as problems, I try to look at them as ways to understand myself better.

Here’s an example:

That’s my coffee cup from this morning. It’s 2:57 p.m. as I write.

We’re having work done on the house, so I decided to hide in my morning-coffee-and-Bible-Study hole to avoid the craziness.

FYI, I was working on stuff for the next book, but then this Moment of Self Awareness happened so I took a bit of a detour to write this post.

As I walked toward the New Spot for Writing, I passed Girl Scout Cookies. Boxes and boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

Ugh.

I briefly considered tearing into one of the boxes, and then realized I’d likely eat the entire box and be out $4.

So I decided to save money, and perhaps a few calories. A very few.

I remembered I had Nilla wafers left from a recent impulse buy, and some lovely squirtable icing from a recent grammy-is-cleaning-out-her-pantry-after-Christmas incident.

Not one bit healthy, but I hoped a few wafers-with-squirtable-icing would satisfy my intense cookie craving.

When I went to squirt the squirtable icing, it seemed stuck. Like, dried into the tube maybe.

It needed a hard squirt.

But not wanting to make a mess, I didn’t want to risk it squirting everywhere. And obviously I didn’t want to actually eat the potentially dried-up part, so I couldn’t squirt it onto one of the precious few cookies I had to work with.

I do have standards.

So the perfectly logical solution was to squirt that first squirt of icing into my already dirty coffee cup that had been sitting in that spot for the previous eight hours.

The cup that would go into the dishwasher tonight anyway.

I actually have absolutely no idea why anyone wouldn’t do that.

It was right there. It was dirty anyway.

But Hubby wouldn’t.

And I can totally predict that if he were to pick up this very cup, he’d get “that” look on his face and ask in “that” voice why there was blue icing swirly-squirted in it.

And I’d explain.

And he’d nod “that” nod.

Raising “those” eyebrows.

Because he would never, ever squirt blue icing into a dirty coffee cup. My genius strategy for avoiding a mess while also avoiding walking over to the sink would never even occur to him.

And yet, it caused me great pride in my own amazing sugar-snack-sneaking abilities.

And both of us would be right.

There’s nothing wrong with squirting blue icing in a dirty coffee cup that’s going to be washed soon anyway.

And there’s nothing wrong with never considering squirting blue icing into a dirty coffee cup. (Or never considering squirting it on Nilla wafers, either.)

But maybe these default problem-solving-tendencies explain a little more about how we live our regular lives. With him being regular-guy-level messy and me being oh-my-word-how-does-she-let-it-get-this-bad messy.

I want something sweet. I want it now. I come up with a solution and act on it and eat my snack and never think of it again until I stick the coffee cup into the dishwasher later that day.

In this exact same situation (though he isn’t an icing squirter like me), Hubby would probably walk to the sink (grabbing the dirty coffee cup on his way) and squirt it there so he could immediately wash down the evidence mess. To him, that would be the best and most logical way to deal with this (totally first world) problem.

If he even stopped to think about such a thing, he’d decide it doesn’t save any measurable amount of time to squirt it into the coffee cup instead.

I, on the other hand, will measure that basically immeasurable amount of time and congratulate myself on saving it.

And then leave the coffee cup to sit for another few hours and confuse whomever glances inside of it.

Again, I don’t think either way is wrong or right.

But the way these “tendencies” play out in other ways is where I get into trouble.

I walk by a shelf and knock off a stack of papers with my too-wide-from-eating-nilla-wafers-with-squirtable-icing hiney.

I groan, and decide stopping right then would be inefficient. I was on my way somewhere. Somewhere important.

I’ll pick up those papers when I have time to spend picking up papers.

He knocks (hypothetically, since he’s not as clumsy as me) important papers to the ground and groans. He bends over and picks up the papers and puts them back. No inner monologue about efficiency goes through his head.

But in my scenario, a week later, I groan AND moan and generally gnash my teeth over the injustice that is that pile of super important papers that have now scattered across the room. That now require not just one bend, but multiple bends and multiple groans.

So what’s my point? While I’m still proud of my Icing in the Cup Idea, I’m determined to be more aware of my tendency to over-analyze efficiency to the point of being inefficient and causing slob problems.

And I’m noticing the beauty and lack-of-future-problems that come from someone just doing what needs to be done instead of analyzing every little thing until they make life harder than it needs to be.

 

P.S. I wrote this last week. Today, as I edit, I’m eating apple slices with peanut butter. Much healthier, and nothing to squirt.

 

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--Nony

People Over Pride

 

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Last year (less than a month ago), I predicted I’d have my Christmas decor down on January 1st.

January 1st came and went.

So many of you were gracious and assured me that NOT taking it down was actually good and wonderful and much more actual-Christmas-honoring since January 6th is the true end of Christmas. (12 Days of Christmas, epiphany, etc.)

But January 6th came and went.

January 6th was a Friday. Who spends Friday night taking down Christmas stuff? Not me! That’s a weekend kind of job.

Then the weekend after January 6th came and went.

And that was when I started to feel bad. I felt the strange, pulling-on-my-soul guilt that accompanies missing a self-imposed deadline and knowing from experience how long things can go ignored in this house if I’m not careful.

Christmas Tree People Over Pride at ASlobComesClean.com

So all week long, in the week AFTER January 6th, seeing the Christmas tree or drinking from a Christmas mug nagged at me.

I kept thinking, we’ll do it next weekend.

Then “the weekend” started filling up. And not just filling with activities in general, but activities that needed to happen at my house.

Like, a Girl Scout meeting.

I have flaked so hard as a Girl Scout leader this year. Partly, I blame the book launch for intensifying my TPAD. Mostly, though, I blame the fact that our girls are now super-mature fifth graders involved in all sorts of stuff. They have, between the seven of them, some sort of activity every day after school. As I stressed over when to meet, we didn’t meet.

But I was determined to get going in 2017.

I put out an email to the moms and asked if we could do Saturday morning. The very next Saturday morning.

Everyone was in. Brunch and a craft time. Yay!

But oops. My Christmas decorations were still up, and there was no space in my week to take them down. Especially since one of the days was unexpectedly deleted from my control by the need to take my father-in-law to the doctor.

What went through my head as I realized we were going to meet in my still-decorated-for-Christmas-in-mid-January house?

Several of the Girl Scout Mamas bought my book.

At least one of them actually read it.

I took a deep breath and reminded myself that people matter. Not my pride. Or perfection.

People.

Having 7 girls in my home to giggle and play and learn has absolutely nothing to do with impressing anyone.

And then I had another opportunity to focus on people over pride.

The Cowboys were in the playoffs.

We normally lead a group of high-schoolers on Sunday nights at our church, but the playoff game was going to be on during the time we meet.

So we hosted them here.

In my Christmas-ey home.

In mid-January.

They were teenagers (who seem to be like me in their lack-of-noticing abilities), but they can’t drive. So they have parents who pick them up.

Again (deep breath), people matter.

Dumb things like still having Christmas decorations up on January 15th don’t.

But, on that day, it was more than just a tree in the corner of the living room. It was also dishes in the sink.

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LOTS of dishes in the sink.

Right. That was my sink when the teenagers came over. I’d had it all nice and clear for the Girl Scouts, but in the midst of our G.S. meeting/baby-shower-more-than-an-hour-away/basketball game Saturday, we never ran the dishwasher. The rhythm got completely off and I was left with all THAT after filling the dishwasher before the teenagers arrived.

Again, I reminded myself: people matter.

More than dishes.

Allow me to get a little melodramatic/completely-honest-about-what’s-going-through-my-head.

Opening my front door meant opening myself up to be judged.

Letting people inside was handing them information they could use against me.

I knew these people. They’re nice people. But there’s a very real icky feeling that comes with the risk of exposing myself to criticism. Even unspoken criticism.

Avoiding potential criticism would have been as easy as not letting anyone come inside my home.

But people matter. More than my pride.

Having people in my home who might judge me is only going to hurt me.

But not hosting 7 girls and their mamas in my home (because I’m protecting my pride) would hurt them.

Not opening my front door would mean ignoring the very real responsibility I feel to nurture the relationships between those girls as they grow toward their teenage years.

And not providing a place for a bunch of teenagers to hang out while watching their favorite team lose in the last thirty seconds? That might protect the image of myself that I’d love to project to the world, but it hurts them.

It would hurt my relationship with people if I made it uncomfortably obvious that I cared more about things they don’t care about at all than I care about them.

P.S. I did get Christmas decor put away on Monday, the 16th. It could have been (and sometimes has been) so much worse, y’all.

 

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--Nony

How is How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind different from other books in the same genre?

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Most organizing advice is written by naturally organized people, since they’re the ones who, naturally, love to talk about organizing.

The problem for me, though, was that my brain works completely differently from the brain of an organized person. I was lost on page three, and always felt skeptical. Whether it was the truth or not, I believed that the person giving advice couldn’t actually imagine my true starting point.

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind is written from the perspective of someone who understands what it is like to be completely overwhelmed and not know where to start.

Me.

I’ve been there. I completely understand, and I’ve worked my own way out of the mess.

This book is different because I am not naturally organized. It’s different because even though a freshly decluttered space makes me smile, I’m completely capable of maneuvering around piles of random stuff for days months at a time.

This book doesn’t have checklists or filled-for-you calendars or any of the other things that make a brain like mine shut down the minute my eyes land on them.

But it does tell you exactly what to do, in plain language, when you’re completely and totally overwhelmed. It explains why starting is so difficult, and how to break through that paralysis and start anyway.

And then it tells you what to do next, and builds and builds until you get it. Until you no longer feel like your home is a monster you can never tame.

Y’all. If I can do this, you can, too.

But how is it different from my e-books and the blog and my videos and such? Well, if you’ve read every last thing I’ve ever written (which so so many of you have) there won’t be any new ideas. But there will be new explanations, new ways of teaching.

Here’s the thing. I told the publisher that because I promise to only ever share reality-based, real-life, tested-and-proven-in-an-actual-slob’s-home strategies, I could not in good conscience come up with brand spankin’ new theories on managing your home.

Because “theories” are my main complaint about traditional organizing advice. What should work doesn’t always work. 

This book contains no untested theories. Not one hypothesis is included. I’ve lived out my own deslobification process here on the blog over the past seven years.

This blog is my Slob Lab. I’ve tested the strategies. I’ve proven the ones that work (for people like me) and thrown out the ones that don’t (for people like me).

There are lots and lots of books out there full of organizing advice that would totally work if someone implemented it perfectly. But part of accepting my Slob Brain Reality is accepting that me implementing that advice perfectly in my home (for more than a totally controlled, nothing-whatsoever-else-to-do 48 hour period) is never going to happen.

This book puts the home management strategies that do work together, in an instructional handbook, written to help you implement what does work in your home, hopefully saving you years of trial and error and frustration. 

The only thing that’s copy/pasted into the book is 28 Days to Hope for Your Home, which is now ONLY available within the book. It’s the appendix and starts on page 199.

Here’s the table of contents. Each chapter starts with a Fantasy (how I totally assume things should work) and its Reality (how things actually work).

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I had so much fun writing this book (other than pulling out my hair, losing sleep, and all), and I’m so excited to share it with you.

In short, if you’re the kind of person who wants to scream, “Just tell me what to do to get my house under control!!” but then totally bristles when someone starts bossing you around, this is the perfect book for you.

Order your copy now!

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