Oh my god, where has this blog been all my life. I have family visiting in a few weeks (staying at a hotel, thank $deity), but my house is in A State. (BF is rehearsing for a play, I play roller derby and was sucked into ME3. The house suffered.) These things are all the instructions on how to make my house look good without going bananas the night before my dad arrives. THANK YOU.
You’re avoiding something. It might be an invisible corner. It might be a box of crap you need to deal with. It might be your junk drawer. Whatever it is that you’ve been relieved that none of the challenges so far have made you deal with, that’s what you’re dealing with for the next 20 minutes. Don’t lie to yourself. You’re putting something off, but now you have to go deal with it.
To the living/family room! Start by clearing off the coffee and end tables. Straighten the bookshelves. Put away anything that belongs somewhere else. Fold any blankets, fluff the pillows, dust what needs dusting, and run a quick vacuum.
20 minutes cleaning the bathroom. Start by filling the tub and sink with hot water and cleaner. Pour some cleaner in the toilet. Wipe down all surfaces, get the gunk off of the bottles in the shower, empty the trash, sweep or Swiffer the floor, wipe down the walls, then drain and wipe the sink and tub, and scrub the toilet.
Any time left over? go through your medicine cabinet or drawers and do some unfucking.
20 minutes in the kitchen. De-scuzz the stovetop, wipe down the counters, throw away the gross food in the fridge. If you see it, clean it. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes. If the washer’s done, put your stuff in the dryer. If there’s already stuff in the dryer, PUT IT AWAY. Like, AWAY away, not languishing in a basket.
Get out of your bed and pay it some attention. Throw your bedding in the washer before you start today’s adventures (and then add detergent and start the washer, smartasses). Be honest, your sheets need washing, don’t they? If not, or if you don’t have access to a washing machine right now, MAKE YOUR BED.
After you start the washer or make your bed, round out your 20 minutes washing some dishes, unloading or reloading the dishwasher, or scrubbing your sink and drying rack.
No pictures. Just an update. I’m now approaching my third weekend where I have been actively unfucking.
When I say, “This is the longest my room has ever had a floor,” I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been taking out the trash, scooping the kitty box, folding my laundry, and all my surfaces are cleared. And I’m making my bed. Every day for the last couple of weeks. It’s a miracle. Absolutely.
The ‘laundry is three steps, not two’ has probably been the biggest revelation for me. I’m a programmer, and I often think in programming terms. So me expecting laundry to magically fold itself is me designing an algorithm that only finishes half the task. I’m not allowed to get mad that the result is incorrect. So, yes, absolutely, hands-down, the biggest awesome thing of this is that I now have tiny triggers for simple housekeeping algorithms. When the trash is full, put it by the door. When I’m collecting trash, scoop the kitty box. When I do laundry, fold it - goddamnit it - while it’s still warm. I’m still developing algorithms for the kitchen and living room, so it’s ongoing.
I haven’t done any really large projects because I haven’t been home, mostly. My brain has also been in a weird place where it’s very very far past its limit for social interaction and interpersonal pleasantries and I’m not sure how to fix it. Curling into a ball for a week would help, yessss, but I still have shit to accomplish. I need a better way to handle my fluctuating tolerance for other human beings if I am going to continue to insist on being social.
As a minor project, a couple days ago I sorted all my knitting things into a nice shiny plastic bin that I had uncovered while doing files. It’s now sitting underneath my bed where I can get to it instead of in eight different receptacles hidden in cubbies throughout my closet.
This weekend, I have shelves to finish and a tentative plan to tackle my dresser and donate the clothing I’ve not worn for a decade (depending on how the shelves go). There will be before and after pics!
So, that’s my update.
I’m just going to revel in the glow of a having a fucking floor still after it got cleaned two weeks ago. Miracle. Absolutely.
I'm usually really really good with getting yucky stuff off of my dirty dishes but I've finally met my match. It's a glazed stoneware casserole dish and the sauce of the dinner I made has covered the inside walls of the dish with charred black stuff. I tried soaking it (twice!) in hot soapy water but that didn't work. I tried scrubbing but that only removed a teeny tiny fraction of it (though that encouraged me--knowing that it *can* be removed somehow). HALP! What do I do?
Make a paste of baking soda, slap it on, and let it sit for a while. then use one of those plastic scrubbies and give it some elbow grease. Or baking soda and vinegar it. Casserole dish volcano.
It’ll eventually come off. It probably just won’t be easy or quick.
HELP! My bedroom is the lair of The Mess. Whenever I clean it up enough to open the door and keep them open the mess is back within 3 days. It's mostly laundry that I didn't have time to put back into wardrobe and tiny things. The bigger the mess the more my hubby adds to it and it GROWS. And the bigger it grows the more scared I am to start cleaning. Helpless.
Unfucking is not about doing it once. It’s about doing it every day. You need to be doing two things: putting stuff away (like the laundry as soon as it’s dry. Laundry has three steps: wash, dry, and put away) and put in 20 minutes every day to pick up. You’ll get back to a clean space quickly, but more importantly, things will stay clean.
What is the best way to upload before and after pics? (I'm not terribly bright about this kind of thing.) I was so inspired by what others have done that I want to share, too. Thank you!
If you start a photo post, it’ll give you the option to upload several photos into a photoset. Or you can make a new text post, upload one, write some text, then continue until all of your pictures are in the post. Either way, tag it with ufyh or unfuck your habitat, and I’ll see it!
I don't have before and afters, but today I took the laundry baskets that all my clean clothes usually sit in and I put things away, organized my drawers and closet, and put all my dirty clothes from the floor into the baskets.
Thanks for posting this! I was staring at my room and just didn’t know where to begin cleaning, so I didn’t even start and I’ve been hiding another room. It’s been four hours. I could have gotten SO MUCH DONE! Now I have a starting point!
Ooh, go to the Challenges page and just flip through until something jumps out at you!
That’s right, I unfucked my house while home sick. Do not trust “quick and easy chicken hotdish!” recipes - they can bite back. I also needed a day to recoup my mind and NOT think about work… so when I go back to work tomorrow I can be on my game.
Because work has been crazy for months, and my spouse’s work has been crazy for months, the apartment has gotten into A STATE. He’s having people over tonight, so some shit has got to get done. I focused on all of the areas I could reasonably unfuck. Two of them (living room and bedroom) did not get done aside from making my bed and picking up dishes, but I now know the power of the 20/10.
Being inspired by the before/afters, I took pictures of the disaster zones. Man, that hugely helps - as soon as its clean, you forget how bad it was. I even found my camera cord!
This dining table needed to seat 4 people with laptops by tonight. Now it does!
Yeah, you can’t even walk IN without being assaulted by random hallway crap, shoes, and empty kitty litter containers that needed to be taken out. Now it is ENTRY FRIENDLY.
Here you will see remnants of the sick-day-making chicken hotdish. A reminder for me to THROW IT OUT. Also, god my kitchen. You can see this from the dining room, and I didn’t want guests to be mega grossed out. Now it is… LESS GROSS.
Total psycho madness. After much shredding and filing and sorting, I can actually work here to type this up.
Take 10 minutes and pick up whatever doesn’t belong. Start with whatever room you’re in. Trash, things that go elsewhere, shoes that should be put away, jackets that should be hung up, all of that. Take ten minutes and just put some shit away.
re: vitamins - I don't know what your morning routine is like, but can you take the iron first thing when you wake up and wait 40 minutes to an hour for coffee? If it doesn't upset your stomach too much, you could take the other dose right before bed, and as for the vit D, try setting an alarm to remind yourself. Don't know if that helps, but it's what works for me - I've been juggling absorption problems, vitamins, and medications for some time now.
To the person who asked about the vitamins, the best advice is just to plan ahead. I know it's not easy or fun but that's really the only way and eventually it just becomes habit to think that way. Setting alarms on your phone helps you remember and carrying something with you to eat with it usually isn't too hard. Probably doesn't help much but it's what I've done in the past and it worked pretty well.
Tips for taking vitamins and other pills? I have to take an Iron supplement twice a day, as well as vitamin D. Iron isn't absorbed as well if I consume something with Calcium or Caffeine in it, which means I can't take it with my morning Cafe Au Lait. Vitamin D needs a lipid to absorb well, but I always forget to take it at supper. Its not as simple as taking a multivitamin right after supper like I used to. :(
I know NOTHING about vitamins and supplements and such, but I’m throwing this out there in case there’s an expert in the house, or someone has good reference material to point to. As always, nothing on UfYH is medical advice and you should always talk to your doctor in matters of unfucking your health.
Another vinegarism -- if you've ever been scratched by an animal and had the skin around the scratch puff up (ie basically have a minor allergic reaction), a modest amount of white vinegar along the length of the scratch will greatly reduce, if not totally eradicate, the swelling.
I’m not a doctor, etc., etc., but I have CONSTANT dog scratches and plan to try this and report back.
Why do I have constant dog scratches? Because bathing chihuahuas is a little like wrestling angry spaghetti.
So, my previous attempts at unfuckery were made in the face of a 30 page, 10k word paper, a supremely important presentation, and all of the being-a-giant-stressball associated with those sorts of thing. Sadly, when I wasn’t paying attention, the mess ninjas snuck back and put piles of junk EVERYWHERE.
But now! I am past that, and after a weekend of sleep, I am ready to unfuck with a vengeance. Especially since I may have a roommate this summer who is not as endlessly tolerant of my mess as my boyfriend is.
I am going to send this picture to the newspaper the next time they call me incessantly to be really, 150% sure I want to have canceled my Sunday delivery, months ago. The paper breeds!
But no more! I have smote it. And now I will go smite more things! In the name of Unfucking! And shiny gifs.
Well, I am well and truly tired out now. But… this was our bedroom before!
Super comfy, super messy bed.
Madness! And I seriously wasn’t kidding about the his and hers floordrobes. We’re bad at this game.
But now, (only two 20/10s, and a ginormous bag of trash later)…
Bed made! (Even with 4 blankets, because I’m a gigantic blanket hog who would probably have cold hands and feet even in the Sahara Desert.)
My dirty clothes are all deposited in the newly relocated, super convenient laundry bin, hiding over there in the corner, next to my nightstand. Said nightstand is now sideways, so that I can no longer fill it with soda cans and takeout boxes. Downstairs is not too far for me to walk to throw things away, sometimes I just think it is. So… progress made, and I will try to tackle more tomorrow!
Today I was walking through the house and saw a food wrapper sitting on my housemate’s desk. Without even thinking about it - such as the usual thoughts calculating the effort it would take to get to the trash can - I swooped in, picked that sucker up, and put it in the trash where it belonged.
Unfuckers, it wasn’t even my trash. I just picked it up because it didn’t belong there and I knew it would take less than 30 seconds to put it in the trash can and that would help stop a downward spiral towards completely fucked desk.
And it really did not take that long! The picture really doesn’t do justice to the sheer amount of nonsense that was in there. I put it all in shoeboxes or threw it out. I found two jackets that I love but had forgotten because they’d fallen down the back. I wound up putting aside about half of my clothes to be donated, mostly because I’d literally never worn them and was clearly never going to. Unfortunately, the process reminded me of two more sections of my life I need to unfuck - the drawers where the rest of my clothes live. ADDED THEM TO THE LIST.
I actually always make my bed in the morning because I like to get into organized sheets at night. But usually the rest of my dorm room is a god damn disaster. I think doing all living things in one space makes it end up that way. Last night I unfucked everything. I woke up this morning forgetting that I had done so and was so happy when I looked around and everything was clean. Just wanted to share :)
So, who are you anyways? You never really say anything about yourself. I want to know moreeeeeee D:
I am an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a Magic Eraser, sprinkled with baking soda.
Um, let’s see. I’m a lady (since lots of people think I’m a dude, I thought I’d clarify). I’m old enough to know better and young enough to still care. I have two dogs, a full-time job, a spouse, and this little blog here.
Do you know what else vinegar is amazing for? Sun burns! You dab it on with a rag or something of the like, let it dry, and the sting is gone. After it drys completely you can shower, the burn feels 900% better, and you don't even smell like vinegar.
So after the term ended and I finished my final all-day-all-night essay-writing binge, my room was in a, uh, bit of a state.
This week, I finally got off my ass and did a bunch of 45/15s. I did four loads of laundry, filed all of my readings and paperwork, scrubbed out the bathroom (baking soda-vinegar drain volcanoes!), vacuumed, re-organized the closet, and generally unfucked my entire living space. Mission: SUCCESS!