Posted in Book review

Review: Unf*ck Your Habitiat

Unf*ck your Habitat by Sarah Hoffman

Genres/Themes: Self-help, Nonfiction, Cleaning

*I received this book through netgalley, but all thought and ideas are my own*

★★★☆☆

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


20/10

Literally that is the majority of the book. Other than that– not much seemed to appeal or speak to me. The majority of the book is set up to support the main thesis 20 minutes of work then 10 minutes of a break therefore after the introduction I was pretty bored.

There were some interesting parts and sections I thought would be helpful or reassuring to other people, so I can’t totally write it off.

One thing about the book I really am grateful for are the resources and checklists in the back of the book. That is what I will refer to frequently until I’ve cleaned enough and regularly to remember how often to clean.

I know I’ve only given it a 3 star review, but I would recommend this book to other people and maybe even friends– a good library book resource to browse understand.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Unf*ck Your Habitiat

  1. I’ve seen a couple cleaning/organization type books around recently, and as far as I can tell, their most useful aspects can always be boiled down to a paragraph or so. (I guess unless you’re seriously disorganized, and having an entire book to guide you seems comforting.) To me, the question of whether you are ACTUALLY going to use something is the most helpful. Do you use it? Have you used it in the past five years? If it’s something without a “use” like a knick-knack, does it bring you joy in some way because it’s sentimental or a reminder of a fun vacation? If not, toss it. (Or donate, of course.) You probably won’t even notice it’s gone.

    The 20/10 thing seems somewhat useful here, but only in the sense of it might be motivational to get you started. You can think “Well, 20 minutes isn’t that bad. I can try to clean for 20 minutes.” I think that, in reality, however, most tasks take more than 20 minutes, and some are easier to stop in the middle than others. If I were in a groove, I would just keep going.

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    1. The main part of this book is that we shouldn’t marathon clean, but clean a little every day at least that minimum, which I get and makes sense, but I agree that some tasks will take longer– moving into a place for example.

      I think the book does go over how to determine what to get rid of and even had a section for children of hoarders, which I thought was cool to have.

      I think of many nonfiction books as essays– main point is given and the rest back it up somehow; totally fine, but boring to me. At least this one wasn’t super boring. Like I said, I probably will open it up again to see those checklists as such or use them to make a printable 🙂

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      1. I was actually just talking with someone about nonfiction books and my disgruntlement that so many of them seem stretched out. I’ll like the theory, but it seems as though the topic could have been adequately addressed in a long Internet article, rather than a 300 page book. Though I have spoken to people who knew very little about cleaning, for instance, and said they found it very helpful to be walked through obvious steps like “Dust before you sweep so you don’t know the dust onto a just-cleaned floor.” It’s obvious once someone states it, but if you didn’t grow up in a house with particularly clean parents or whatever, I can see how the book can be very useful.

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