Unfuck Your Habitat

You're better than your mess.

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The Great Unfucking: The Bookcases (Part 2)

So I wasn’t going to post another picture of this until I’d sorted out the whole of the bookcases, i.e. all the random crap on the bottom shelves, and moved the now empty thin bookcase to the other side of the room, but fuck it because LOOK AT THE TOP FOUR SHELVES! LOOK HOW FUCKING SEXY THEY ARE WITH THEIR BOOKS ALL NEAT AND ORGANISED!!!!1!


Anyway, as you were.


The Great Unfucking: The Bookcases

For the past couple of weeks, since the anti-depressants finally kicked in (woo!), I’ve been methodically haphazardly working on unfucking the flat. I haven’t been using the full UfYH method, because I haven’t been setting a timer to do 20/10s, but I haven’t been marathon-cleaning in a panic as I’ve previously done either. Instead I’m actually trying to get everything organised by focusing on one spot at a time, clearing out invisible corners, getting rid of stuff I no longer use (and probably haven’t used for years) and generally trying to retrain my brain to be less of a hoarder.

Today’s invisible ‘corner’ was the double bookcase that’s been steadily collecting random detritus since we bought it two years ago.

Somewhat maddeningly, there doesn’t actually look to be that much of a difference between the before and after above, despite that representing several hours of work (with breaks). This is partly because I forgot to take the before until half way in, and partly because despite numerous breaks I reached a point where I just couldn’t play book-Tetris any more without going completely mad. I currently hate all books, especially the awkwardly shaped ones that just don’t fit anywhere.

But at least I’ve made a start, and I should be able to get the rest done tomorrow. After which no-one will ever be allowed to read any of the books ever again, especially not the ones at the back.

That’s how this works yeah?


Two hours of cleaning with Dave, half an hour by myself. Pretty stoked to have a (somewhat) clean apartment for the first time in three months. The floor is disgustingly filthy because I managed to lose both the broom and the mop. Obviously I’ve still got some clutter problem areas.

It’s really emotionally difficult to expose the filth of my living situation to the internet, but I’m really proud of making progress. Even if it’s still really messy and gross and is making someone gag at the sight of their screen, it’s immeasurably better than it was before.

(via swamphorcydes-deactivated201305)


I love holidays. I start cooking, like right this fucking second I won’t stop for about six weeks. And it is amazing.

If you’re in the Thanksgiving-celebrating portion of the world, this may come in handy. And hey — it’ll work for pretty much any large gathering of people that you’ve decided to cook for.

I’m on my fourth year hosting Thanksgiving for our family (fifth if you count one I cohosted with friends). It’s also my biggest one yet: a dozen people from both my and my husband’s family. (I’m still not 100% convinced I’ll have enough food.)

Last year was by far my easiest, and it goes like this:

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Some great advice!


i have always sucked at time management. boundaries. parameters. routines. these things do not come naturally to me. but when you have kids, you have to step your life game up. they take up so much time and energy that they force you to reevaluate your everything.

i’ve been following UFYH, a really awesome tumblr that helps folks like me tackle their chores, for a while now, and you should too! it has actually changed my home and my life with its gentle yet obscenity-laced reminders presented in glittering gif format. it’s like they know me.

you might be wondering what i mean by “folks like me.” i mean the people who work hard and are always go go go and worry about everyone else and put their own needs last. i mean the people who find themselves putting the icky tasks off because they are exhausted and need a break and just plain don’t feel like doing them. then the next day they still don’t feel like doing them, and the work piles up, making them more guilty and miserable the whole time, until it starts to feel insurmountable and then they hate themselves and just want to curl up in the fetal position and wish away the mess.

for me, this isn’t just about avoiding the tsunami of dirty dishes in the sink or staying on top of the sisyphean task that is playing laundress to an infant and a construction worker, although those things do take up a pretty major chunk of my time. it’s also about refusing to set aside time for my schoolwork, and then cramming all night before an exam. it’s about putting off the dentist visits for so long a filling turns into a root canal. it’s about sleeping curled around my baby and waking up with terrible back pain every morning, but never bothering to stretch.

it’s about checking in with myself. hey, lady. what are you doing? how are you feeling? can i get you anything? okay, i got that. i’ma take care of you! it’s about being present. maintenance. tune-ups. time-outs. it’s about cutting out the clutter to clear out some space and allow myself to achieve the things that i want to. i can lock down even the hugest, grossest task, if i tackle it in chunks, because if i do it that way, it’s not even that hard.

because living in a clean space and taking care of my shit in a timely, responsible way leaves me more time to do whatever i want. like sitting on the couch eating ben & jerry’s while watching america’s next top model while the boy is sleeping. if i’ve already handled my bidness, i don’t have to feel guilty about doing shit like that.

i set these reminders on my phone with the UFYH philosophy in mind. they’re really helping! (i think they have an app that probably does something similar—i should check that out!) sometimes a reminder will pop up and i won’t be able to get to it, but i don’t beat myself up about it. it’s just good to be aware. i’m not pretending the task doesn’t exist anymore. i’ve got a long way to go, but not being constantly plagued with guilt about all the things i’m not doing makes life so much more enjoyable. it makes me a better student, a better mom, a better wife, a better me. i know, i know, cheesefest 2012, but it’s something i’m really proud of, okay?

You should be proud of it!

(There is an app, but use whatever system works for you.)


The Walmart Black Friday online preview circular for my area is advertising the Shark Steam Pocket Mop for $39 in store only. The sale starts at 10 PM on Thanksgiving. I have certain misgivings about both Walmart and Black Friday, but that’s a pretty great deal. Their regular “rollback” price is $65.

17 years working in retail means I beg you all to not play into this Black Friday nonsense, but it’s a good price, if anyone’s interested.


i basically view the dining room table as one big shelf. when i can’t be bothered to put shit where it goes (and/or when there is no particular place for it) i just sort of dump it on my way past. also my dad died in may and i have a bunch of his stuff that i took and can’t let go of. so here was my dining room before.

this morning i did two 45/15s with a 45/15 of studying for the cpce (school counseling exam) in between. then i went out to lunch and did some other junk and came home and pretty much wanted to lie down forever but i put the tv on disney channel and did some more unfucking, so like two 20/10s? sorta? and here is the result:

we keep the placemats on the chairs because the cats like to sit on the table and a hairy placemat is nobody’s friend. but the table is clean! for the first time since early june i think because i had a stack of my dad’s papers on there.

the shelves are really organized now, with shipping/office supplies on the bottom, school stuff and games above that, books above that, and an empty(ish) shelf ready for my box collection (or more likely for more books). yes i do leave my shoes in the dining room. don’t judge me. there are a lot of little keepsakes from my dad that i have no real place for but want to keep so i’m leaving them for now. the box on the floor is photos and stuff to be put into albums when i can handle it.

…okay so the desk still needs to be unfucked. i’m calling it a 2/3 win on this room. plus there was a ton of stuff that just got shifted to other rooms and a box of tech stuff. 

i did more cleaning than studying, and i’m really not sure how to feel about that. i have another day to clean/study tomorrow. the test is two weeks from TODAY.

Looks awesome! Now get to studying.


Four weeks ago, I had a baby. I’ve now got used to surviving on less than three hours sleep at night and ten minute catnaps during the day, along with a fuckton of coffee and we’re starting to settle into a routine nicely.

Now, having a newborn around the place meant that I have, admittedly, let the housework slide a little bit. It’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be, but still bad enough that I wouldn’t want the in-laws, who are coming over this evening for J’s birthday, to see it. So this afternoon, while River was napping, I decided to tidy up a bit.

Pictures under the cut.

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She’s adorable!


I took a 45/15 (might need a longer break since I’m cramping pretty hardcore) and went at it. Here are some befores and afters under the cut.

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Hey, I wasn’t totally useless today!



Still a work in progress. I also tidied up the kitchen a bit but it is still gross. I’ll probably do three more 20/10s before my TV shows come on. Excellent Sunday.


Dear UFYH,

I don’t have before and afters for you today, because today I was the victim of invisible fuckery.

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You’re badass.

Remind me sometime to tell you about the time our garage had to get dug up and we ended up with concrete dust over probably 60% of our belongings. (Because, for some reason, the door to the house from the garage was open too.) Sometimes you just have to unfuck it before it drives you over the edge.


Today I cleaned out my closet for the first time in years, and I ended up carting two huge bags of clothes to Goodwill and throwing another huge bag away. I tend to hold onto clothes way past their expiration date, and I found that making firm rules really helped me actually get rid of the stuff that needed to go (awesome dress that hasn’t fit in two years and jeans from highschool, I’m looking at you). I hope y’all find this flow chart helpful!

This is awesome!


So I’ve not been around for quite a while - well I have been in the aether just focusing on other things.

The guilt of not being perfect all the time was draining me to the point where I felt transparent.

Then along came the lady from UFYH, told me that I was going to be OK - read the manifesto, followed the way of unfucking and made me feel like a new person.

Like other posters,  I felt reborn and have embraced creating things other than mess (which is nicely under control thanks to the UFYH team)

So if you are suffering, suffer no more - sign up to the UFYH way

It will change your life - it changed mine


After a nap this afternoon I finally got up and got some kind of motivation in me. A few months ago I took the dog’s blanket out of the back of the car and made the mistake of never putting it back… so the car was FULL of hair. You have no idea. 2 dogs, 1 being long haired, shed way too much. 

$5 with the vacuum at the do-it-yourself-car-wash place, and I figured while I was there I might as well wash the outside of the car.. $10 for that. 

I took some tips I’ve stashed away in my mind from UFYH and went to town on the back seat, the floors, and the front seats and floors. 

Squeegee + spray bottle of water = getting a lot of the embedded hair out of the seats. 

After I got home, I let the dogs out to watch me finish cleaning their mess! 

Took my handy dandy glass cleaner that I got a few years ago when I had a different windshield replaced, and of course it was cool enough outside so it didnt leave streaks! And some Mr Clean spray, and some generic magic erasers to the dashboard and doors.  (might I suggest using a protectant on the dashboard/doors after the magic eraser it kinda leaves it dull)
This was the outcome:
The magic erasers did a doozy to my steering wheel. EWWWWW!

Oh and I put on my handy dandy car cleaning shirt LOL

So now the car is clean, the dogs are happy, and their blanket is inside the car for the next time they take a ride. Maybe in another week or so I’ll try to re-vacuum and see if I can’t get any more of their fur out. The worst part is the floors… maybe I’ll do a carpet cleaning of it, that might actually help a lot. 


After coming home from our trip to St. Louis, I unloaded all the new tech onto my desk and left it there, leaving me with this mess when I sat down to work just now:

Who can focus with all that shit pouring over them? Not I. So I stared at it for a minute and went, “Fuck it, I have work to do.”

it took me all of two minutes to get it back to where I need it. I threw away stuff in the keyboard thing that wasn’t being used, I removed about 2/3 of the wired mess behind the monitor (mostly peripherals that I wasn’t using) and moved any tech not currently in use to our drawer full of stuff-we-might-use-later.

Now I can get to work and not feel like I’m drowning at my desk.