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

  Unf*ck Your Habitat

Ever go visit a friend and walk into a spotless house? Everything is dust free, counters free from dishes, papers filed neatly away, no cat or dog hair anywhere. You leave feeling depressed and anxious about your own home. How do people have time to clean? Rachel Hoffman has written UnF*CK Your Habitat – You’re Better Than Your Mess. Cleaning and organizing tips for real people with busy and complicated lives. A simple and easy guide on how to house clean without anxiety.

Ms. Hoffman writes in a friendly and easy to read style. She recognizes that everyone has different family situations and different limitations. She mentions that people deal with depression, ADHD, mental illness and some live in chronic pain. Her suggestions are realistic, adaptable and attainable.

To start, the author recognizes that traditional housekeeping systems with rigid
structures and routines do not necessarily fit into the world in 2018. She suggests
that we should fit our cleaning routines around our lives instead of vice versa.
Traditional gender roles of cleaning and organizing have typically been a women’s
role. She says “bullsh*t” to that idea. Now that men and women all work outside
the home, “it’s time for us to change the way we look at domestic work and the
people who perform it. By seeing and acknowledging the amount of labor
involved, we can start to realize that a more equal division of labor in our own
homes is inherently fairer than expecting it all to fall under the umbrella of
women’s work,” writes the author.
                                                                                                                                                           UFYH, discuss why “marathon cleaning,” cleaning non-stop for a few days will
not work. Marathon cleaning will not help you build habits you need to maintain
your home. They key focus of the book is learning the 20/10’s. “A 20/10 is twenty
minutes of cleaning followed by a 10 minute break. The break is not optional,”
says Ms. Hoffman. You may ask how can I get all my cleaning done in 20
minutes? Well, you probably can’t. Larger projects may need a few 20/10’s.
However, the author points out that a lot can be accomplished in 20 minutes. By
following the 20/10’s, you will be able to keep the house up to speed without ever
falling into the marathon cleaning rut. You will be happier because you won’t feel
as if you are spending all your free time cleaning and organizing. Some people may wonder, do I have 20 minutes? UFYH points out that most people have 20 minutes to spend on social media or Netflix. Certainly, if one prioritizes wisely we all can find 20 minutes to clean.

 UFYH

Multi-tasking is also mentioned. “There are a million little things we can do while we are waiting on other things,” says the author. While the coffee is brewing unload the dishwasher. Dinner in the oven, wash your prep dishes. Something heating in the microwave, wipe down your surfaces. By using your time wisely, you can accomplish quite a bit.


At House to Home Organizing, one of our main tenants is “a place for everything with everything in its place.” The book stresses to put things where they belong instead of leaving them on the counter, on the hallway floor or hidden in closets. This will keep chaos from escalating and most importantly keep your surfaces clean.


Make your bed! A messy bed makes a room messier. A made bed helps you to start
the day fresh, and will keep you from getting back in! At night try to prep for the
morning. “Doing 20 minutes’ worth of work before bed can save you endless
aggravation in the morning,” says the author. Layout your clothes, clean the sink,
prep for breakfast and lunch, prep your vitamins, are a few of the suggestions for
preparing for the next day.


Take photos. At H2H, we always take before/after photos of our work.
You should too! Many times people are so exhausted by cleaning they can’t
remember what it looked like before they started. By taking photos you will see
proof in what you have accomplished. When things get messy and dirty again you
can look at the after photo and know you did it once before so certainly you can do
it again!


Oh no, your parents or best friend will be stopping by tomorrow. Your home is a
mess! Ms. Hoffman delves into emergency cleaning with gusto. She suggests put
on great music, get a non-alcoholic beverage of your choice and put the laptop and
tablets away as you don’t want any distractions. Make you bed, get your cleaning
supplies together and away you go! There is a step by step guide as to cleaners to
use, and a how to guide as to where to start and finish.


In addition there is an entire section on moving tips, unf*cking your digital habitat
and how to use the 20/10’s for school work and your real work. This book is a font
of information for the average person who needs some support and guidance trying
to maintain a clean and clutter free home. There are lots of practical
housecleaning/organizing books on the market. What really makes UFYH stand
apart from the others is that it is written for a multitude of people with different
lifestyles. Men, women, single people, people with roommates, people with physical and mental limitations and people who never learned how to clean can all benefit and learn easy and doable cleaning/organizing strategies.

Please note: If you choose to purchase the book using our Amazon link, H2H receives a small commission designed to help keep our rates affordable.