Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman

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 people with mental illnesses or physical limitations, and 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. For everyone stuck between The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Adulting, 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. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC from Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

I want to be honest here – I’ve been a fan of Unf*ck Your Habitat (aka UFYH) for several years. I stumbled upon it in college when I was trying to find ways to keep my dorm room clean while still going to class and working two jobs, and occasionally seeing my friends. Their 20-10s are the only reason my dorm was as clean as it was (and that wasn’t terribly clean.)

All that being said, I loved Unf*ck Your Habitat the book. From the messy cover, to Hoffman’s unmistakable voice, to each mini-challenge, to its inclusiveness – I loved everything in it. It takes mental illness, physical disabilities, and chronic illnesses into account, focusing on the reality of your situation while helping you get your space the way you want it to be.

Start small. Start really small. Start as small as you need. It’s OK. The most important thing is just to do something, anything. It doesn’t matter what it is or how insignificant it seems. You can do this.

I particularly loved the mini-challenges scattered throughout Unf*ck Your Habitat. They actually helped me get my bedside area organized. I won’t share photos of what it looked like before I cleaned and organized, because it would really shock you, but it really helped me find the motivation to get it done. Reading this book was exactly what I needed to get my shit in gear and clean my apartment before the holidays.

It helps to teach some basic cleaning methods, because not everyone is gonna know the best way to do something when they’re getting started. I’ll still never want to make my bed, but that’s okay. I love the suggestion of taking before, during and after photos so you can remind your brain that yes, you actually did do a ton of work on your home.

This book felt incredibly honest to me, and that’s why I want to recommend this to everyone who has ever felt a little bit out of control in keeping their home clean. It’s a little swear-y, but we’re adults. We can handle it. This was a hands down five star read for me. It was everything I wanted it to be. You can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!

Five stars

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

6 thoughts on “Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman

  1. Before/after records are so important and so easy to skip! I’m an anxious gal and tend to get down on myself for not accomplishing enough. Sometimes the actual problem is that I don’t document my accomplishments, especially when it comes to cleaning and organizing.

    So glad you liked this!

    1. I have the same issue with not feeling like I’ve done enough, because I haven’t documented it. I started doing before/after pics and it’s astonishing how much better I feel about it!

    1. Mine is too. And then we get into the cycle of “your house isn’t clean, you’re the worst human” so I’m too depressed/anxious to actually clean productively? It’s a mess. I found this really helpful.

      1. God yeah, I know exactly what you mean. I like the idea of doing little checklists and before and after pics – I think that could be really good when applied to other areas when I’m depressed. Going to check this out, thank you 🙂

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