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


Tell ‘Em Mama Does Laundry on Mondays

Mama Does Laundry On Mondays

A few weeks ago, my daughter came home in some odd-fitting uniform slacks.

Honestly, though, as a not-so-terribly-observant-about-such-things mother, it didn’t really register until she handed me a plastic shopping bag full of clothes to wash.

Then she proceeded to tell me how there had been an unfortunate accident at school.  I knew that (thankfully) it wasn’t that kind of accident since this is my child who was potty-trained more than five years ago after ONE accident. Seriously. She couldn’t/can’t handle even slightly damp clothes.

No, she had fallen/sat/swished by a puddle or something.

Anyway, my rule-following girl proceeded to tell me the nurse’s instructions about how we needed to bring back the borrowed clothes the following Monday after we washed them.

And I said, “Tell ’em Mama does laundry on Mondays.”  Maybe not with quite the twang I hear in my head when writing it, but that’s what I said.

And I wasn’t even lying.

Or procrastinating.

Or hoping.

I do.  I do laundry on Mondays.  It was a strange/nice/odd feeling to say it with such confidence, knowing that on Monday, those clothes would get washed along with every other item of clothing in the house.

Now remembering to return the clothes?  That’s a different story.

And once again . . . cue the promotion of the Ultimate E-book Bundle that’s available (only) this week. I know some of you LOOOOVE lists.

I like them, I just generally lose them . . .

Anyway, I thought this post would be a good transition into talking about some e-books in the bundle that include awesome lists.

Look at this one by List Planit:

List Planit Example from Ultimate Homemaking E-book Bundle

It made me giggle.  I’m not laughing AT it.  I’m actually laughing at myself.  I . . . ahem . . . struggle with getting things returned.

Though I’m proud to say that by Thursday of the next week, those borrowed clothes were back to the nurse!

But really, if you’re a list lover, you’ll LOVE List Planit’s eplanner that’s included in the sale, AND one of the “freebies” is from them as well. Organizing Life as Mom also has tons of lists as well.  The printable lists in both of those e-books are editable, meaning you can type into them.  Very cool.

And, even though the lists aren’t editable in Getting it Together: Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Management System that Works, I love how she has pre-made pages you can fill out and use for a Home Management Binder, which many people swear by.

Not me of course, as I would lose the entire binder, but other people.

By the way, the value of just those three e-books is 17.99, which makes the 29.97-for-all-97-e-books a little more justifiable.


Oh, and this post most DEFINITELY contains affiliate links. Definitely. 

Before and After Pictures: Three Minutes Later

As I was cleaning up the kitchen this morning, I realized how much this area has been driving me crazy.

We’ve had a lot of coughing and allergies and fever going on around here, so it just makes no sense to my brain to put this stuff away in the cabinet above this counter.  Especially since I have a few who are old enough to get their own medicine when reminded.

But who might never find it if it was actually put away. 

Of course, as happens to people with Slob Vision, the Target bags and dirty dishcloths were invisible to me.

So I took the entire three minutes necessary to simply remove the OBVIOUSLY removable stuff and push the stuff that was staying into one slightly-less-random arrangement, and I got this:

And that included making the (not that hard) decision to throw away this smashed/cracked leadless and eraserless pencil and the plug cover that I haven’t used in several years.

And it even included transferring these allergy pills back to their container.  AFTER throwing the bag away because I thought it was a ziploc with a little leftover rice in the bottom . . .

(Explanation/Excuse: When my 10yo went to camp LAST SUMMER I sent the bottle, but didn’t want to send everything in it for fear it would never return.)

What have you done in three minutes today?


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