Unfuck Your Habitat

You're better than your mess.

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Find your invisible corner. The pile of shit that’s been there so long that it’s become part of the furnishings. It’s invisible to us because it’s been untouched for ages, but it doesn’t belong. It’s full of stuff that should be elsewhere. Find that space. And spend 20 minutes fucking dealing with it.

Have a microwave? Microwave a bowl of water for 3 minutes in a microwave-safe container. This will work way better if you add a slice of citrus or some vinegar if you have any handy. While it’s cooking, wipe down the outside of the microwave. When the water’s done, open the door carefully and wipe down the inside. The steam will have loosened up all the debris and crap inside. Careful not to burn yourself!

Collect all the dishes from around your house and put them in the dishwasher or sink. Bonus: wash them.

Hello to all the unemployed, funemployed, underemployed, or people who just plain hate your job! This challenge has three parts. Pick the one that’s applicable to you, or do all three if you need to.

  1. How’s your resume? I bet it could use a little work. Take half an hour and really polish that thing up.
  2. COVER LETTERS. I know. They’re painful sometimes.You really should have a semi-generic one all set up to customize, so work on that for a half hour or so. Have a specific job in mind? Take this time to tailor one for that job. It’s really only a few paragraphs. You just need to get started.
  3. Time to apply. Let’s give a goal of three applications/resumes sent out today. Three is easy. Three is doable.

Bonus challenge. If you’ve haven’t left the house in a while, go ahead and hop in the shower. I promise it won’t hurt. It’ll feel really nice. After your shower, put on something a step up from pajamas. Trust me, it helps.

Clear off one surface that’s near you. Return things to their rightful homes, wipe down the surface, and put anything back that stays on that surface. Return to your normally scheduled fucking around on the internet.

Look up from what you’re doing. Find five things that aren’t where they belong. Put them away. Return to your normal daily activities. Which may or may not be wasting time on Tumblr. No one’s judging here.

This week, challenge yourself to putting things away instead of down. Does that packaging belong in the trash and not on the coffee table? Throw it away. Should that spoon go in the dishwasher (or should you just wash it)? Do that instead of leaving it on the counter. Taking off your shoes at the end of the day? Put them back where they belong instead of leaving them where they fall.

Put it away, not down.

Or possibly a phone or a tablet, but close enough. Move your eyeballs away from the screen and look to the closest flat surface, whether it’s your desk, your nightstand, or the coffee table. It could be the very surface that your computer is on! Clean it off. Come on, you can survive away from the Internet for a few minutes.

Find ten things in the room that you’re in that aren’t where they belong. Put them away. Throw them away or recycle them if they’re garbage.

You know, now. Right now.

What’s your worst room or area? And how long have you been putting off working on it? This week, your challenge is to spend 20 minutes a day, EVERY day, working on that room or area. If you finish before the week is up, start on your second worst area. I think you’ll find you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish 20 minutes at a time.

This week, work on the “put it away, goddammit” step of laundry and dishes. Every time you do a load of laundry or do the dishes, challenge yourself to actually put every single item away as soon as it’s done.

Try timing yourself to see how long that third step takes, and decide whether or not it’s worth investing whatever that small amount of time is so that your clothes or dishes aren’t sitting around in baskets, drying racks, or dishwashers for days, weeks, or longer. (Don’t be shy. I know you have laundry baskets that have remained untouched for months. It’s OK. You’re not the only one.)

You know what I’m talking about. There’s some area that you’re ignoring, pretending it’ll get cleaner and more organized if you just wait long enough. Guess what? Not gonna happen. Spend 20 minutes on whatever your worst area is (dishes? backseat of the car? the to-shred pile? I know you have something). When 20 minutes is up, stop and get back to whatever you were doing before.

This week’s challenge is simple: throw away/recycle/donate ten things every day. This can be actual trash, things that you’re sorting through, whatever. But it doesn’t count unless it’s in the trash/recycling or out of your house. (Putting stuff in a bag to donate doesn’t count if the bag is still in your house.)

Ten things a day leaving your home. All week. You can do that.

Go clear off the surface of your coffee table, end table, or kitchen counter. Don’t have any of those? Clear off your nightstand or dresser.

This week, pick one surface (a countertop, coffee table, dresser or nightstand top, etc.), and clean it off. Then once a day, reset it by cleaning everything off of it and wiping it down as necessary. We’re aiming to have one consistently clear and clean surface for the whole week.