From the Mailbox: “My Slobby Behaviour Isn’t Set In Stone” - From Our Mailbox
I loved this email I received recently. I love seeing how simply changing attitude and thoughts about what is possible can make such a huge difference!
Hi Dana,

I just wanted to write you a little message, thanking you for sharing your journey through your blog. Someone on a mother’s Facebook group I’m in shared your Facebook page, and I looked at it, thought it was interesting, and put it aside – because ‘those sorts of blogs’ never really work for me.

But something drew me back to your Facebook page, and then to your blog and your podcasts and something clicked. I’m also a life long slob, from a long family line of slobs, full of excuses and procrastination. But listening to your ‘slob story’ on the podcast (and then buying the ebooks with Years 1 and 2) made me realise that I don’t have to accept that ‘it’s just the way I am’ and that it really wasn’t too hard to make that extra bit of effort and have a nicer home.

I especially wanted to thank you today, since it’s the day my husband comes home. My husband works away – we live in Australia where a lot of resource and mining related jobs are remote towns and workers are knows as FIFO (Fly In Fly Out) workers. We’ve lived the FIFO life several times during our relationship and marriage and when it comes to housework, it tends to go the same way – he helps me tidy when he’s home and leaves a ‘surface-tidy’ house when he goes away. Then I spend the next ten days (or 2 weeks, or once 4 1/2 weeks – we won’t talk about that) making a mess because ‘that’s just who I am’. Then the day he’s due home, I race around ‘cleaning’ (by shoving everything into my study/sewing room – which I then can’t use), snapping at my toddler and feeling guilty if I spend time on anything but housework.

But this time – the first time since I discovered the podcasts and blog – will be different. This will be the first time ever he comes home to a cleaner home than he left. He won’t feel the need to frantically clean this weekend so the house doesn’t completely disintegrate around us, and will get to spend more happy time with our son and me (and Christmas preparation!). And I’m so relaxed! I went to a Christmas break up party this morning without once feeling guilty! And though I’ve done some cleaning today, there was nothing I *had* to do – it was all just things which made our house extra nice (ok, and let me close the linen closet properly).

So thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being so honest in your blog and allowing me to realise that my slobby behaviour isn’t set in stone. I’ll be continuing to read and listen, as I continue to make my house – and my life – a happier place.



What to Do With Christmas Cards

How to Deal with Sentimental Cards at


Sentimental clutter is stressful. Stacks of sentimental pieces of paper with no practical use can send a sentimental slob right over the edge.

Personally, I’ve pretty much gotten over that.

Pretty much.

I tend (which means it’s not a plan, just something that happens) to display the current year’s Christmas cards for the month of December and then shove them in a box of Christmas decorations when we reclaim the house after the holiday season. The next year (when I assumed I’d finally be ready to deal with this issue), I pull them out and groan. Do I keep them? Where? Or do I really stick somebody’s carefully posed family Christmas picture in the recycling?

I honestly don’t remember what I did with last year’s cards this year. I know there have been years when I pitched them and years when they were placed in a big envelope and hidden (like an unintentional time-capsule) in some random, logical-but-n0t-memorable spot.

Anyway, in my recent post about things I don’t keep, there was great discussion in the comments about greeting cards. A few ideas stuck out as extra-helpful and I decided to put them in their own post! Ti even sent me pictures to use!

Ti said:

I notice a lot of people have said cards were a problem for them. Just in case it helps: for my wedding and bridal shower I knew I wanted to keep my cards but I wouldn’t look at them in a box. So I punched holes in the spines of all of them and tied them into a “book” with ribbon. Its so much easier to enjoy them and I can keep them upright on my shelf where they take up almost no space :) definitely a worth while project if cards are one of those sentimental things you want to keep.

Her examples are in the picture at the top of the post. She also sent some details:

I just used a normal single hole punch. For each book, I picked a card that was a pretty average size and punched three even holes. I used that one as a template for the rest to make sure the holes were even. I lined them all up on the bottom edge to give it a sturdy base so I can keep it on my shelf. So cards that were too tall I just put the holes down farther rather than centered and for really short cards I only did one or two holes :) I tied it slightly loose with ribbon so that it was easy to open the cards and Poof! You have a little book of all your well wishes.
–Ti McKinney
I love this idea for Christmas cards. We keep special Christmas books with our decorations that only come out once a year. Their scarcity makes them more fun to read. I can totally see using Ti’s method to create Christmas card books that would only come out at Christmas. (As long as there was a place to put them, and a box with room to store them.)
If you want them out of the house, and will actually get to the post office, here’s a great idea from Laura:

I’ve been purging lately and found the St. Jude’s charity that uses card fronts of all kinds for crafts with sick kids. This charity made it much easier for me to part with cards. Address:

St. Judes Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Judes St.
Boulder City NV 89005

Sharon shared the link to the guidelines for submissions. They take many different kinds of greeting cards, not just Christmas!

And for fun, here’s a link to an origami tutorial for making little boxes out of cards that Darlene shared.

As a chronic over-keeper, I’d have to limit myself to the boxes I could make in one session that would fit under a cute little Christmas tree I already had and that could be stored easily in an existing Christmas decor storage container. (I need lots of layers of “contain”ers to keep my Big Ideas under control!)


Now for the kicker. (The Slob Blogger in me just has to say it.) These are all great ideas if you actually use them. As someone whose home was once overstuffed with great and noble and creative and resourceful but UNFINISHED ideas, I also say it’s perfectly fine to just stick the cards in the recycling bin. OR, if you live in an area where recycling isn’t accessible . . . throw them in the trash. Or burn them in your New Year’s bonfire. Or whatever it takes to clear space in your home.

Ideas are awesome. Overwhelming clutter is not.


Do You Know Where You Can Stuff All Your Great Ideas?

Great ideas are only great if you know where to put them.

Wait. What?

You’re offended?

Wha . . . ?

Oh. When I said “Do you know where you can stuff all your great ideas?” . . . you thought I meant  . . . ?

Well, I’m just shocked. Shocked, I tell ya. I simply am asking a logical question about whether you have storage space for your great ideas.

OK. Not really.

That IS what I’m asking, but I did come up with the title because it makes me giggle at its pseudo-offensiveness! I can’t seem to stop giggling about it.

Anyway, it’s a real question I have to ask myself:

DO I know where I can stuff all my great ideas?

Because I have ‘em. Lots of ‘em. Great ideas, I mean.

I’m the Queen of Seeing Value Where Others See Trash. And really, that’s noble.

But too many times I’ve seen value without stopping to consider whether I had any room for that value in my home. Or any need for it.

Like that sock. That mateless sock. The one I’m I’m pretty sure I’ve needlessly washed time and again after it fell, unworn, out of a sock drawer while my boys searched for a paired set.

As I decided this sock had seen its last wash, I realized it would make a great dusting sock! Repurposing to the rescue!! I stuck it in my almost-overly-full cleaning rag “contain”er on top of the dryer. Go me! I’m saving a sock! And the earth!

And then, as I continued pulling whites out of the dryer, I came across another mateless sock. And then one with a hole in it. And another one whose ankle-elastic had seen better days.

And I thought, “Hmmmm. So . . . should I go buy another ‘contain’er so I can store all these new dusting devices?”

Except that I already have dusting cloths I like. And while a single white sock might be a nice addition to my dusting tools, four dusting socks would spill over the top of the container and end up back on the floor, then back in the wash, then back as the subject of an angst-filled, oversocked Slob Blogger’s post.

So I pitched the others. I kept one (because it fit in the container) and said goodbye to the others.

I didn’t have a place to stuff my great idea.

Besides, it’s not like I dust often enough that I’m desperate for clean dusting cloths.


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