*Post contains affiliated links. Book acquired through NetGalley*
I was thrilled when I got approved for this book through NetGalley. Thrilled! The blurb made it sound like exactly what I need in my life.
Coming in January 2017, Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better than Your Mess is the 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 people with mental illnesses or physical limitations, among many others. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.
Interspersed with lists and challenges, this practical, no-nonsense advice relies on a 20/10 system (20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break; no marathon cleaning allowed) to help you develop lifelong habits. It motivates you to embrace a new lifestyle in manageable sections so you can actually start applying the tactics as you progress. This philosophy is decidedly more realistic than aspirational, but the goal is the same: not everyone will have a showcase of a home, but whatever your habitat, you deserve one that brings you happiness, not stress.
I really, really wanted this book to be fabulous. I also really, really want a Channing-Tatum-Looking guy to show up at my door once a month and offer to scrub my shower. I don't mean that in any euphemistic way. Grab a sponge and some Tylex and make me a happy girl... Anyway, we were talking about the book.
It's possible my expectations were a little high (for both the book and the Adonis-style Mr. Clean I keep waiting on.) I've been working on this organization thing for a while now (as you can see in the Organizing section of my blog.) I enjoyed the conversational, straight-forward style of this book but it was not the magic formula I had hoped for. Overall, it would be a great book for people who are suffocatingly overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning/organizing or people who simply do not know where to start. The author offers guidance without judgment and helps the reader define realistic expectation for what to accomplish.
The main ideas of this system are basically:
1. Do what you can.
2. Do 20 minutes of work then take a 10 minute break. Marathon cleaning is not sustainable.
3. Put things AWAY not DOWN.
*More on these can be found at www.unfuckyourhabitat.com
Several chapters also include practical Mini-Challenges. Actions that you could put down the book for 10 minutes do RIGHT THEN and see a difference in the space around you.
The author delves deep into living situations that are rarely addressed in organizational systems, such as mental illness, disability and trying to deal with a space that is not entirely your own.
I would highly recommend this book for someone trying to get their space in order while facing mental illness or depression. It gives practical, non-pitying/non-judging steps to accomplishing what you can.
Unf*ck Your Habitat also includes an appendix of UFYH fundamentals, cleaning checklist, and suggested conversation starters for those co-habitation situations.
The part of this book that I did not love is that many time the author belabored a point to the extent I found myself skimming for the next topic. In several chapters, valuable pages were used to drill home points that had been sufficiently explored in the first few paragraphs.
Overall, if you're new to organizing or so snowed under you have no idea where to aim the shovel, this would be a good place to start. If you've been working toward a decluttering goal for a while, it might be too basic to be overly helpful.
You can find out more about this system at:
Or on Twitter: @TeamUfYH
They also have a cool tumblr with pics of the system in action! http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/