There’s Been a Misunderstanding

We need to clear a little something up.

It’s my fault.

I should’ve known.

But I wasn’t thinking about explaining myself when I opened my big mouth and blathered on, and, well, here we are in the middle of a misunderstanding.

On March 8, as part of our 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects series, I posted this “before” picture on Facebook,

photo 1 (69)

…and asked if you could see the difference – any difference at all – in the “after” picture, as follows:

photo 2 (75)

Our project for the day was titled Spend 15 Minutes on an Enormous, Overwhelming Pile of Crap and Then Quit, which, since I’m a rule-follower (ha!) and got to make up the rules for this project (yippee!), is exactly what I did.

And then the kind-hearted, sweet, gentle, positive, optimistic friends that you are said things like,

“You did Laundry!”


“Folded laundry!!!!” 


“That’s a huge accomplishment – on the assumption that you folded them and put them away, rather than just moving the baskets – well done!” 

Which… bless your hearts.

And, au contraire.

Because I don’t fold laundry.


Like, never EVER. Except for occasionally my own jeans for reasons even I don’t understand. Because Mysteries of the Universe. And We’ll Never Have All the Answers.

And I certainly don’t put laundry away. Not in the traditional “away in dressers” or “away in bedrooms” or “away in closets” or “stuffed way, WAY under the bed” kinds of away.

But I didn’t just move those baskets, either.


I vanished them with my magic wand. Which I found in the ENORMOUS PILE of CRAP where it’s been missing for 1,000 years. And the only reason I didn’t vanish the entire pile is because the wand batteries died the way batteries always die when I really need them. This is why we need better sources of renewable energy, people. It’s critical for our future.

Except I didn’t actually find my magic wand. It’s still missing, unlike my car keys which I did find but which failed to magically vanquish the piles of crap because, no matter how vigorously you wave them, they don’t work that way. I know because I tried.

The real truth is, those baskets, full of clothes, have been sitting in my bedroom for months. At least 8 months, but who’s counting any more? And the reason they’ve been sitting there is because I asked my eldest daughter to go through her clothes and keep only those she actually wears, which she did. 

The problem is, Abby used to look like this:


And now she looks like this:


And thank God she’s still sticking flowers in her hair, but it’s not enough.


I just couldn’t face the culling and the giving away of all the STUFF she mistakenly thought she didn’t need anymore. Like the first pathetic scarf she painstakingly knitted, most of which was unraveled and might more accurately be called a Wad of Yarn.




…who listen to their mommies and follow directions and BREAK OUR HEARTS.

So here’s where I need to clear the air, friends:

I didn’t do those three baskets of laundry. I didn’t fold them. And I didn’t put them away.

But I DID sort them. And I DID purge them. And I DID give nearly all of it, minus a pair of bunny slippers, away.

So, while I regret to inform you I’m not the laundry hero you thought I was, I’m still going to give myself credit for doing hard work, OK? 

Not all of these 15 Minute Projects are easy. Some of them, despite the brief time commitment, are HARD. Which is why I’m glad we’re doing them together. Even if we have a few misunderstandings along the way.

I’m so glad we cleared that up.


LentToday’s project, for those of you joining me for 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects, hearkens back to Day 1.

A Surface. 

Any surface at all that needs your attention. A dresser. A table. A counter. A desk. Pick the one that’s crying out for help.

I’ve picked a surface familiar to all of us now; my bedroom dresser. Yesterday’s project was Cleaning Up Stuff That Is Blocking You From Cleaning Up Other Stuff, which I used to clear myself a path. Today, I’m tackling the top of the dresser. 


photo 2 (75)


photo 3 (52)

P.S. You can find a compiled list of all the 15 Minute Projects to date here.

P.P.S. You can find out how we DO manage laundry here. It’s weird, but it works.

P.P.P.S. You can find out other strange things we do which we loosely categorize as “home organization” here.

And P.P.P.S. You can find the absolute, guaranteed FASTEST way to organize a linen closet here.



Environmental Living Tip of the Day

Since I’m patently Not Qualified to offer environmental living tips, I’ve asked my friend Leslie to join us here periodically during our 40 Days of Lent: 15 Minute Projects to offer tips, tricks and simple solutions to treat the earth better.

Today’s Tip: Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz created by the Center for Sustainable Economy. It’ll let you know how much nature it takes to sustain your style of living. After the quiz, you can click on “ways to reduce your footprint” for practical ways to lessen your impact.

Leslie Hodgdon Murray is a Quaker pastor who is pursuing her Master’s of Divinity with an emphasis in Christian Earthkeeping. Her passion in life is helping people reduce waste, simplify life and reduce their ecological footprint, and I’ve asked her to weigh in here on all matters environmental. 


Congratulations to Wendy Gassaway
who completed the 15 Minute Desk Project





Nice job, Wendy!


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7 responses to “There’s Been a Misunderstanding”

  1. Holy smokes, you turned a wicker basket on the top of the dresser into a wicker chair! In 15 minutes! Amazing lol.

  2. Thank goodness for laundry baskets – and a dryer! At my busiest time raising 6 children it was my only hope of keeping my kids dressed. Find your clothes in your basket and throw it in the dryer until unwrinkled!

  3. The picture of your daughter when she was little is absolutely adorable. She’s a lovely young woman now, but I’m a sucker for a precious kid picture. Thanks for sharing.

    • Also, the way they insist on growing up so fast like that is just, well, it’s UNKIND, to tell you the truth. They all need to stop it. Slow the train down, please. It’s the worst part of parenting, I think.

  4. What a great reminder about how fast time goes. My kids are still little so I spend most of my days wishing the mess away, but I need to remember to breathe, relax, and let time slow down a little. I’m a huge fan of your blog, by the way. My sister in law and I blog about our families but just started our own new mommy blog 🙂 I would love for you to check it out sometime! It’s all about motherhood craziness so I’m thinking I’ll have a lot of opportunities to link back to your awesome words of wisdom 🙂

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