Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess

Finally, a housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who'd describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we're desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems: The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and peo...

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Title:Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess
Author:Rachel Hoffman
Rating:
ISBN:1250102952
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:224 pages

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess Reviews

  • Jessica
    Jun 15, 2016

    I received an advance copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I'm an American woman in the 21st century, so I've spent my time ogling the sunny spreads in Real Simple, I've tried to Kondo my closet, and I've been immersed in a society that tells me that I am the one who is better at cleaning and men are simply lovable, hapless dolts who might choke on the toilet brush if I ask them to clean something.

    Let's be real, that's all garbage. And UfYH knows it and calls it out. My h

    I received an advance copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    I'm an American woman in the 21st century, so I've spent my time ogling the sunny spreads in Real Simple, I've tried to Kondo my closet, and I've been immersed in a society that tells me that I am the one who is better at cleaning and men are simply lovable, hapless dolts who might choke on the toilet brush if I ask them to clean something.

    Let's be real, that's all garbage. And UfYH knows it and calls it out. My home isn't perfect and neither is my life, but I know that a small cleaning effort repeated over and over again can make a difference. UfYH calls out excuses vs reasons, the garbage that is gender roles in cleaning, and the simple fact that cleaning sucks. It's a circular task, it's never done. But if you do it and do it again, you'll make progress, because "you're better than your mess". I don't highlight when I read on a Kindle, but I think I highlighted over 20 passages in this that stood out to me. UfYH tackles situations that aren't addressed by Kondo or Real Simple, like dealing with mental or physical illness and how it affects cleaning, or the art of dealing with roommates or dorm rooms or living in your parents' house and how power dynamics can mess with it. There's discussion of hoarding and its affects on the children of hoarders. There's swearing and acknowledgement of the emotional effect of messes on our lives. I loved this enough that I'll end up buying a hardcover copy for myself and I'll be recommending it to my patrons when it's available.

    (Note: I've used the UfYH website and app for years, but this is all of that condensed into an easy to read, no bullshit book.)

  • Toni
    Aug 10, 2016

    This little charmer is the perfect book for young adults who have no idea how to clean anything! The author also deals with people who aren't lazy about cleaning, but have real issues with it. Anyone with physical or mental disabilities will appreciate the respect this author grants them with honest and sincere suggestions. I first thought this was too light-weight to be of any help and most of the topics had been dealt with a million times. The practical advice and the humorous style will help

    This little charmer is the perfect book for young adults who have no idea how to clean anything! The author also deals with people who aren't lazy about cleaning, but have real issues with it. Anyone with physical or mental disabilities will appreciate the respect this author grants them with honest and sincere suggestions. I first thought this was too light-weight to be of any help and most of the topics had been dealt with a million times. The practical advice and the humorous style will help anyone clean for twenty minutes. The tips at the end of the book are priceless. Add this one to your list!

    Thank you once again, Netgalley.

    I was arguing with myself whether to rate this a 3 or 4. The author's practicality and humor won me over so I'm going with 4 bright, shinny, clean stars!

  • Liz
    Oct 06, 2016

    Rachel Hoffman comes across quite peppy throughout the book, the writing and overall ‘atmosphere’ is relaxed in her writing. There is loads of great cleaning advice and how to go about getting help or devise a strategy when it comes to tackling the task for different groups of people.

    There is also a lot of reassurance that, no, your home doesn’t have to look like something we come across in magazines and not to feel guilty when you just can’t/don’t want to clean. We’re all human, after all! Ther

    Rachel Hoffman comes across quite peppy throughout the book, the writing and overall ‘atmosphere’ is relaxed in her writing. There is loads of great cleaning advice and how to go about getting help or devise a strategy when it comes to tackling the task for different groups of people.

    There is also a lot of reassurance that, no, your home doesn’t have to look like something we come across in magazines and not to feel guilty when you just can’t/don’t want to clean. We’re all human, after all! There is a step by step guidance for people who have never had to clean in their lives before- how to start, top to bottom, what to use, etc etc… so essentially, it is a helpful book, no doubt about that.

  • Rachel
    Jan 04, 2017

    I've never been much of a cleaner. As a kid I had my chores, which I grudgingly did, but my room was usually on the messy side. In college it was a little better, mainly because I didn't want my roommates to hate me, but it was pretty much the bare minimum. One of my friends (not a roommate) gave me an unsolicited, color-coded, hand-drawn cleaning schedule freshman year because she saw some dustbunnies under my bed. I thought she was nuts, god love her. Now I kinda wish I'd gotten in the cleanin

    I've never been much of a cleaner. As a kid I had my chores, which I grudgingly did, but my room was usually on the messy side. In college it was a little better, mainly because I didn't want my roommates to hate me, but it was pretty much the bare minimum. One of my friends (not a roommate) gave me an unsolicited, color-coded, hand-drawn cleaning schedule freshman year because she saw some dustbunnies under my bed. I thought she was nuts, god love her. Now I kinda wish I'd gotten in the cleaning habit with that damn chart (I will NEVER admit that to her and she will never read this, so I'm safe).

    Fast forward to now when I'm very pregnant and trying to prepare a small living space for a (hopefully) small child, I realize my habitat needs some major unfucking. Don't get me wrong, it's not like an episode of Hoarders or anything, but some areas are cluttered/dirty enough to stress me out.

    Enter "Unfuck Your Habitat." This is common sense, practical advice for people like me who kinda didn't give a fuck about cleaning and then suddenly did. It's also designed for people who may have physical or time limitations, which many do. It encourages you to realistically assess and tackle what you're able to without becoming overwhelmed by the big picture of *everything* that needs doing.

    Hoffman's advice isn't groundbreaking, but it's useful and presented well (if a little a repetitively). I particularly like the approach of resisting the urge to "marathon clean." You know, the cleaning that takes *hours* and leaves you sweaty and miserable and burned out. Instead, she suggests 20/10s, which comprise cleaning for 20 minutes and taking a break for 10 minutes. I can't speak for everyone, but this method really works for me, and this book has a gone a long way to helping me tackle messes instead of hiding under a blanket and wishing them away.

    If you're already a reasonably clean/neat person, this isn't gonna tell you anything new. If you're like me and easily find yourself getting anxious and overwhelmed and self-flagellating about the state of your living space, and if you like the word fuck, this is a useful tool.

    (Thanks Netgalley)

  • Hayley
    Oct 30, 2016

    Review originally posted on my blog:

    I simply had to request this book when I saw the title as this is exactly what I needed to know in that moment – how to unf*ck my habitat! I am a fan of decluttering books – I can’t resist them (which I do realise is some kind of irony that I’m collecting books about how to stop cluttering up my house)!

    My mum wasn’t a hoarder but she did find it difficult to part with things that had any kind of sentimental value and as

    Review originally posted on my blog:

    I simply had to request this book when I saw the title as this is exactly what I needed to know in that moment – how to unf*ck my habitat! I am a fan of decluttering books – I can’t resist them (which I do realise is some kind of irony that I’m collecting books about how to stop cluttering up my house)!

    My mum wasn’t a hoarder but she did find it difficult to part with things that had any kind of sentimental value and as a result I grew up with the same mindset. The amount of times I’ve not being able to get rid of something I really don’t like purely because I love the person who gave it to me is ridiculous. I need to streamline my house though – I’m now permanently disabled and housework is physically difficult for me without adding in a load of ornaments and trinkets etc.

    This book is one of the best decluttering books I’ve read because it’s the only one I’ve read that acknowledges that life is busy and we don’t all have the time or energy to declutter our houses in one go. Rachel Hoffman advocates a 20/10 approach – do twenty minutes of decluttering and then have a sit down for ten minutes to take stock of things. You can do as many of these as you want in a day but she stresses that the sit down is as important as the decluttering. I had a go at this as I was reading the book and it’s a revelation how much you can get done in twenty minutes when you’re forced to focus! I’ve now adapted this into daily life and I do all the chores, as well as the decluttering, in twenty minute bursts followed by a rest.

    Hoffman also includes sections for if you are ill/disabled, if you have a very busy life, if you live with someone who has a different attitude to tidying up to you, or if you live in a very small space (including if you live in one room of your parents’ home). There are short tasks given throughout the book along with longer chapters on exploring why you have clutter and how to work through having a more streamlined home.

    This is a quick read but the lessons in it have been invaluable to me and genuinely have led me to re-evaluate my approach to keeping my home clutter-free. I’d recommend it to anyone who is struggling with clutter because I’m sure that everyone will find something in this book that helps them make a start.

    I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

    Unf*ck Your Habitat is due to be published on 29th December in the UK and can be pre-ordered now.

  • Lisa
    Jan 01, 2017

    I pre-ordered this book back in July when I first heard about it and had been eagerly looking forward to reading it. I dove into it as soon as it arrived and could not have picked a better way to start the new year. After a busy holiday season all of a sudden it's back to reality and a house full of new stuff. It can be overwhelming trying to deal with everything while trying to get back to routine and meet those New Year's resolutions. Rachel Hoffman's lively writing style will motivate you to

    I pre-ordered this book back in July when I first heard about it and had been eagerly looking forward to reading it. I dove into it as soon as it arrived and could not have picked a better way to start the new year. After a busy holiday season all of a sudden it's back to reality and a house full of new stuff. It can be overwhelming trying to deal with everything while trying to get back to routine and meet those New Year's resolutions. Rachel Hoffman's lively writing style will motivate you to get going, and the UfYH system is practical enough that the habits you'll build will actually be sustainable. As I read through the book I felt like I couldn't wait to start the mini-challenges interspersed throughout, and while it took me a bit longer to finish reading the book because of it, the end result was well worth it as I ended up with a much cleaner house without feeling like I'd done any work. No matter what your personal cleanliness level is there is much to be gained from this book - from how to navigate challenging conversations with partners, children, or roommates, to making sure you can keep up a positive living space even when you're in poor health, to emergency cleaning when you've got a last minute visitor. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    Dec 18, 2016

    If you are looking for motivation to get up and get cleaning and organizing your environment, then this book might provide you with the encouragement that you are looking for. While, there are some great suggestions and a good foundation with the 20/10 system that Rachel Hoffman has developed, this book seems to spend more time talking than actual doing. I was hoping that there would be more concrete ideas and actual time saving techniques to improve upon my own housekeeping endeavours and I jus

    If you are looking for motivation to get up and get cleaning and organizing your environment, then this book might provide you with the encouragement that you are looking for. While, there are some great suggestions and a good foundation with the 20/10 system that Rachel Hoffman has developed, this book seems to spend more time talking than actual doing. I was hoping that there would be more concrete ideas and actual time saving techniques to improve upon my own housekeeping endeavours and I just came away from this one wondering what I had achieved in reading it.

    As you can gather from the Goodreads synopsis, this book is not a traditional approach to housekeeping. There are ideas for everyone including students and those with disabilities. I applaud Hoffman for such an inclusive book and if you are struggling with ideas on how to get up and get motivated, then I suggest that you do give this book a try. Most of the suggestions contained in this one are motivational and may assist those who are living in a situation that is highly disorganized and not cleanly.

    While there are attempts to help push those who need to clean their environments to get up and start cleaning, I found that there were very few ideas on how to actually clean and organize in this book. The method of cleaning and taking small breaks (20/10 system) is one that is useful, but I would have preferred a focus on what to actually do in those 20 minutes. Yes, there are a couple of ideas, such as decluttering a work surface, but the book just seemed to go around in circles telling readers to get up and get cleaning.

    Admittedly, towards the end of this book there are a couple of lists to use while cleaning and a few ideas on how to generally clean if you have never done so before. However, there is not one image or much else beyond this. So, if you are after a book that tells you how to clean, this one is not for you. The author does mention that those glossy home organization books and magazines provide stress to those of us who cannot live up to these standards, but in my opinion, I think a picture sometimes speaks louder than words in a book that contains techniques and ideas.

    Unf*ck Your Habitat is book that is a very motivational read for anyone struggling to live in a clean environment. If you already have the desire and are looking for concrete examples of how and what to do to clean your space, this book may provide you with a couple of ideas, but I would not say it is a comprehensive book on how to clean.

  • Lauren (My Expanding Bookshelf)
    Jan 31, 2017

    Unf*ck Your Habitat is a self-help book for cleaning - it's probably primarily aimed at young adults and those leaving home for the first time. Surprisingly, for a book about cleaning, I actually quite enjoyed reading Unf*ck Your Habitat and couldn't put it down!

    Personally, I think Unf*ck Your Habitat is the perfect book for those learning to keep a house. It's full of so many tips to help clean and I particularly liked the 20:10 idea, as well as the tips for moving house. I also thought the che

    Unf*ck Your Habitat is a self-help book for cleaning - it's probably primarily aimed at young adults and those leaving home for the first time. Surprisingly, for a book about cleaning, I actually quite enjoyed reading Unf*ck Your Habitat and couldn't put it down!

    Personally, I think Unf*ck Your Habitat is the perfect book for those learning to keep a house. It's full of so many tips to help clean and I particularly liked the 20:10 idea, as well as the tips for moving house. I also thought the checklists at the back were very handy and they mean that nothing is overlooked.

    I loved that Unf*ck Your Habitat acknowledges that your home will never be a pristine 24/7 and that we don't live in show homes. I mean I think I'm fairly tidy, but life happens and things come up so you can't be chained to the kitchen sink. I also loved that Unf*ck Your Habitat discusses specific issues, such as physical and mental health and even hoarding. These can most definitely hinder someone's ability to clean.

    I found Unf*ck Your Habitat to be such a unique self-help book for cleaning (not that I've read many books about cleaning). But the humorous and colloquial language used by Hoffman makes it entertaining and I for one wanted to get up and start cleaning. It's such an easy to relate to book and, dare-I-say-it, it makes the idea of cleaning fun.

    I do, however, wish there were slightly more detailed and specific tips throughout Unf*ck Your Habitat. I found that the book spoke in length about a handful of tips really - particularly reiterating the 20:10 idea a lot. I also think the book could have included a few photos or diagrams as examples to reiterate a few points, particularly during the discussions about the benefits of taking before and after pictures.

    Unf*ck Your Habitat is a very good read, full of get-up-and-go. I would recommend Unf*ck Your Habitat to young adults and those moving away from home. I think even busy professionals may pick up a few tips too. It's a great starter for cleaning anyway, and I think a lot of people may benefit from this book.

    I received a copy of Unf*ck Your Habitat via Netgalley.

    This review and many more can be found at

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  • Jaidee
    Feb 22, 2017

    3 "helpful but potty-mouthed" stars !!!

    A friend of mine asked me to read this and let me know if I thought it was suitable for her 21 year old daughter who is highly creative, highly accomplished but who keeps her home in my friend's words, like a "pig sty". I should mention this young woman struggles with significant ADD and OCD.

    I, myself, thrive on a clean fresh home but I do not mind a bit of clutter and in fact if the clutter is organized and aesthetically pleasing I feel most comfortable. M

    3 "helpful but potty-mouthed" stars !!!

    A friend of mine asked me to read this and let me know if I thought it was suitable for her 21 year old daughter who is highly creative, highly accomplished but who keeps her home in my friend's words, like a "pig sty". I should mention this young woman struggles with significant ADD and OCD.

    I, myself, thrive on a clean fresh home but I do not mind a bit of clutter and in fact if the clutter is organized and aesthetically pleasing I feel most comfortable. My partner is a symmetrical minimalist and actually enjoys purging and frequent cleaning. We have decided that the bedroom, family room and basement are my domain to decorate and upkeep and his are the living room, dining room, home office and kitchen. We each have a separate bathroom. This works really well for us as initially when we moved in together there was a fair bit of conversation as I did not want to do chores daily the way he does but I prefer to do a few hours on the weekend with minimal upkeep during the week. We found something that has worked beautifully although many of my friends struggle with their spouses, partners and children due to different standards and preferences.

    Back to the book: The book takes a very compassionate but firm approach to cleaning and tidying and address to a superficial degree people with chronic pain, depression and perfectionism as well as people that are on the lazy or entitled side. The strategies were logical, helpful but definitely not brand new, innovative or rocket science. I did not find that it dealt enough with people with OCD or attentional issues so I would not recommend to my friend's daughter.

    There are also helpful sections on dealing with passive-aggressive housemates as well as assertive communication strategies to assist those wanting and needing help from friends and family.

    My one pet peeve about this book is that the author had a potty mouth and this was a big turn off. The occasional expletive for fun, emphasis or expression of emotion is fine but swearing on every other page is a big turn off. She may keep a clean house but her mouth and keyboard need to be washed out with soap....just sayin'

    Overall, I think this would be most helpful to young adults with mild to moderate challenges with cleaning, tidying and/or mild hoarding as well as a fair degree of motivation for change. For those that have more significant challenges professional help as well as implementation of cleaning services would be much more helpful !!

  • Jennifer
    Jan 24, 2017

    I've been a fan of this organizational system for years; the Tumblr changed the entire way I deal with mess. I'm still not perfect - I struggle with making my bed every day. But through my depression and stress and dislike of cleaning, my house is always a few 20/10s away from being presentable. The idea of breaking things down to manageable tasks is so simple, but it works. I like that the book addresses gender issues, problems with living with other people, and disabilities. A short, but usefu

    I've been a fan of this organizational system for years; the Tumblr changed the entire way I deal with mess. I'm still not perfect - I struggle with making my bed every day. But through my depression and stress and dislike of cleaning, my house is always a few 20/10s away from being presentable. The idea of breaking things down to manageable tasks is so simple, but it works. I like that the book addresses gender issues, problems with living with other people, and disabilities. A short, but useful book, for sure.