On August 24th, 2009, I wrote the first post on my secret blog.
Ten years later, I’m writing this post.
Ten years is a decade. Double digits.
The decade mark at this job I made up is a great time to consider my past and my future in it. So, I thought I’d share my current perspective with those of you who have been loyal participants in my deslobification journey.
Things change over ten years.
Ten years ago, I had little faith that I would ever actually figure out how to get my home under control. I’d failed so many times before that I assumed this would be another burst of focus on my home that would fizzle.
Ten years ago, I was petrified of anyone finding out that I was the person behind the blog. Behind the fake name, the photos of an excessively cluttered home, and the confessions of what went on inside my head.
Ten years ago, I believed in my heart that sharing my deep, dark secret was temporary, and that one day I would move on to writing about things that didn’t make me feel like a failure.
Ten years later, I know how to keep my home under control. I understand what I was and wasn’t doing and why my home would continually go back into chaos. I know what causes the fizzle, I know that life will never be fizzle-free, and I know what to do pre-fizzle or mid-fizzle or post-fizzle to get things back on track.
Ten years later, I understand that there are many people like me in the world. Sharing my struggles isn’t (as) scary with my community of people who understand that self-acceptance doesn’t mean circumstance-acceptance, and that understanding myself is better than trying to be someone else.
Ten years later, I can’t pretend writing about this stuff is temporary. This is the thing I know and the thing I teach.
What is different?
Blogging doesn’t look the way it looked when I started. People read blogs differently than they did back in Aught-Nine.
What was a practice blog has turned into my business. So even though it’s still fun, I’m not doing it for fun.
I’m doing this job because God made it clear that this is the career He designed for me. He wants me to help other women, some just like I was (and many who have never been as bad as I was), to understand their homes and themselves and improve both.
I’m also doing it because the oldest of my kids, who were 7, 5 and 3 when I started, has one more year before he heads to college. And college is expensive.
So what does this mean?
I think of almost everything in terms of The Container Concept, even the hours in my day.
I have to give hours to the most important things first.
I decide how important something is based on how many people it helps, both immediately and long term, and how much I enjoy doing that thing.
A Slob Comes Clean began as a journal chronicling what I was doing, what worked and what didn’t. I wrote every single day, and I loved doing that. Writing my in-the-moment discoveries and internal struggles and victories (and failures) helped me and continues to help people who read those posts.
My deslobification journal continues to exist here on the blog. On any given day, there are many people reading the blog backwards to understand the real-time realities of making changes.
There are two reasons I don’t write in that style very often anymore. First, most people don’t read that way anymore. When I started, the people who read my blog spent most of their internet time reading blogs. I used to have 6-10 favorite blogs that I would check every day. Most blog readers were the same, so reading a journal was the norm.
Now, most people spend their “internet time” on social media. This means people get to my blog from somewhere else instead of coming here directly. They arrive on an individual post, brought here by a Google search on a specific topic or from social media where they’ve seen a link that interests them. Or “my people” tend to arrive from my newsletter.
No matter how someone arrives, my goal is always to help them figure out whether they are one of us and then help them find more of what they need.
Second, my house and I have changed.
After ten years, I’ve figured it out.
I’ve journaled it.
I’ve cleaned or decluttered or re-cleaned or re-decluttered it.
Don’t worry. I will always (ALWAYS) have more to re-clean and re-declutter since a big part of what I have learned about myself in this process is that I’m a gifted re-clutterer.
But I’ve written about it all before. Multiple times. So now, I share insights or new analogies or clarifications that go through my brain as I continue using my hard-learned strategies to maintain my home.
When I can share something that will help make the decluttering strategies clearer, I do. But I no longer write a blog post every time I run the dishwasher or pick up socks in the living room. I would enjoy the challenge of trying to make it interesting every time, but honestly, there are other things I need to be doing with my time.
So what does A Slob Comes Clean look like now?
The blog keeps going. It’s my heart and I love writing here. But as I’ve done for a while now, the articles discuss a certain decluttering or cleaning strategy instead of serving as a journal of everything I do in my own home.
The podcast keeps going at full force, every week.
When I meet people in real life, the vast majority (like, approximately, 19 out of 20) say they are podcast listeners. It’s a medium that works so well for the things I share. You can listen to me talk about routines and cleaning and decluttering while you’re doing those things!
I love doing the podcast, it helps people, and now that I have sponsorships most episodes, it requires space in the Container of my calendar.
Another book is coming.
My main focus for the upcoming school year (which is also my blog year), is on writing another book. A VERY different book. Still related to cleaning, but different.
It’s a book that has been on my heart for over a year now, so it’s time to arrange my Calendar Container to give it the space it needs.
Books expand the reach of my message of hope. People learn in different ways, and many people who would never read a blog will read a book. And the whole reason I wanted to blog so badly that I was willing to practice with one about my deepest, darkest secret was that I wanted to be an author!
Other Things Going On:
The newsletter, which goes out once or twice a week in a normal week, is where I write about more day to day stuff. I share what is currently going on and the struggles or victories in my home along with a link to either the newest blog post (so you don’t miss it) or an older post that has proven to be helpful. Join me there.
Instagram is another place where it’s easier for me to share what I’m currently working on in my home. Easier = I can share a picture and a quick explanation instead of writing an entire post. (Feeling like I “need to blog about this” can cause me to put off a cleaning or decluttering project, which defeats the purpose of why I started this blog in the first place!) Follow me there.
I’m continuing to work on expanding the reach of what I’ve already done. A Continuing Education Unit that I helped create for mental health professionals who work with clients with ADHD is coming out soon. I also have projects planned for working specifically with realtors and professional organizers. If that’s you, click on those titles to get on the email lists I’ll use to let you know when those things are ready!
If you wonder what my typical day looks like or what goes into the different things I do around here, listen to this podcast.
If you read to the end, there’s a good chance you’re one of “my people.” I can’t thank you enough for joining me on this fun ride. I continue to be in awe that I don’t have to do this deslobification thing alone.--Nony