So last night my son got sick. As in full-on projectile vomiting and diarrhea sick. Why am I telling you this? Because #UFYH made the hell of last night much easier to bear.
See, because the laundry was reasonably caught up, I had clean clothes to change my son into (twice), clean sheets to put on his bed and clean towels and washcloths for cleaning up the ick. The washer was empty, which meant I could immediately plunge the unspeakably gross linens and jammies into the washing machine. The bathroom was already nearly spotless, so getting it cleaned up from all the various bodily fluids was actually pretty much a snap… plus, it was clean enough to start with that I didn’t have to spend all night cleaning AND disinfecting every possible surface (yes, I’m a bit germ-phobic). I spent maybe ten minutes on it.
Best part? This morning, when the contractor came by for his pre-construction walk-through, I did not immediately collapse into oh-no-we-have-company panic. I knew the house was picked up (because I’ve been fucking putting things away), the kitchen was clean (because I left it that way last night), and the bathroom was, bless, in excellent shape.
From the bottom of my cold hard heart I thank you, Team UFYH, for helping me learn to get (and keep!) my shit together. Our house is nowhere near what I want it to be, but I’m in a hell of a lot better shape than I was even a month ago… which means I have time to do the really important things today (namely, nursing my son back to health).
I do not know what I would be doing right now without UFYH. I would not be doing this well.
This is to put things into perspective. I have had a lot of changes in the past year. I moved out west. And then I moved back east. In debt. Which makes me more prone to panicking and depression. Also I am a school board temp, so not only do I not work or get paid in the summer, I don’t always have work during the school year. But I had very generous family who helped me out to visit family in Norway this summer because it had been planned two years ago, when I was able to afford it. But while I was gone? My brother and my sister-in-law visited the city and stayed in my place, which I cleaned before I left in that bad kind of marathon-y way. My mother then checked it out to make sure it was set up for them after I left, apparently spazzed, and /cleaned/. So I came home to a clean, relatively tidy (a lot of stuff was just thrown in boxes so it was out of the way) apartment.
I had a clean slate. And I was /terrified/ of fucking it up. Again. Because I marathon, and then it stays tidy for a week, and then I backslide, and it gets to just, ugh. No. And I hate it, I can’t relax when it’s not tidy, or I have dishes or laundry, or I need to vaccuum. But I would just turn of my brain because the thought of doing it would lead to thinking about EVERYTHING that had to be done, and it was overwhelming.
And then I stumbled somehow, thankgod, onto UFYH.
My apartment has been clean for almost a month. I have KEPT it clean (to the point where my Mother and I had dinner together on Monday and the only thing she said was “you need to dust the bookshelves” and she is a neat freak). It is even slowly getting more organized, as I am in the slow process of purging things before I move to a nicer place in a few months (hopefully).
Not just that? I’ve got the most work done on a project that I’m working on for my Union done at home ever. And it feels manageable, even though it’s a huge project and I was a bit nervous before about being part of it. Now I am so on top of things, when we talk about having a new chair and co-chair, I may put my name forward, because I think I would be excellent at it.
Today though? Today I was worried, and a bit stressed. I had eight jobs to apply for, with a two hour deadline to finish fixing/updating my cover letter and resume, since I only got it back with notes on it today (technically last night, but I needed to go to bed at a sane hour for work this morning).
I was stressed. My brain was starting to wander into that space of distracting myself to avoid working. And then I thought about the time, and what I had to do. And thought “two 45-15’s”, I can do this. I can do this in a way that will make me proud.
Two hours later?
Done. Fucking DONE.
So basically. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Life feels manageable again. And it’s because I realized I was looking at too big of a picture all the time. Now I have lots of little floaty status bars in my imaginary world with timers attached. Instead of the one giant impossible one that I was judging myself by before.
Let’s pretend it’s last Wednesday. Hubby’s flat screen in the computer room dies. We actually did (for once) get the service plan (YAY!) so after a phone call, a service dude is due to arrive Monday afternoon.
A service dude. In our messy, messy abode. Meep.
And we have plans that will keep us both away from home all day Saturday and Sunday. And we both work.
We have two afternoons to get this done. I do the house, Hubby does the computer room (his domain).
I get it mostly done (good enough, if not as good as I would prefer), and spend the hour before he’s due making sure the floors are vaccuumed and mopped. Hubby got a lot done in his part, but work keeps him from getting as much done as he wanted. Eh. Can’t be helped.
If not for UFYH, it wouldn’t have been possible. Seriously. I probably would’ve wanted to weep. Instead it was just a lot to do, not overwhelming.
See, while I’ve not been unfucking like I should, I Have been trying to change my mindset. Doing little cleaning jobs here and there that have needed doing for ages, and then Keeping them clean. Getting better at putting things away. Organizing shelves and bookcases little by little. No where near where I need to be, but getting better.
It’s not just our Fearless Leader who has inspired me (though she is Made of Win, and if I ever get to meet her, glomping will ensue), it’s everyone else, too. Reading everyone’s posts of success make me think I can do this.
My fibro and chronic headache and migraines and all that go with them suck SoVeryMuch, but they don’t have to keep me from moving forward.
It’s a nice feeling.
And, to top it all off, I realized tonight that this better attitude is what is keeping the bad news we got job/finances-wise two weeks ago from making me feel like I’m going under. Seriously not sure what to do about it, but I feel that it’s conquerable. I just need to figure out how, one step at a time. Just like getting out from under my messy house.
Thank you, Fearless Leader, for starting UFYH and for being you. You’re amazing.
Thank You, Team UFYH. Y’all are awesome.
Dear inhabitants of UfYH, I have a confession to make:
I marathoned tonight.
It wasn’t on purpose—all I had left was the little bitchy stuff, like dusting, and I’d put CATS on the television and it kept distracting me, which added substantially to my time (whoops). But I realised something—two somethings, in fact:
1) I have lived for so long in a house so fucked-up that the idea of “being done” cleaning was completely alien to me. I marathoned because I kept looking around and going “Yeah, but—yeah, but—yeah, but—” and never stopping to think that putting Bar Keepers Friend on the counter was unnecessary—I did it last night and didn’t cook at home today. I didn’t need to bleach my tub, because it was bleached yesterday. Cleaning the toilet would have been a waste of time, because UfYH got me off my ass to get cleaner disks from Fry’s like I’ve been meaning to for seven months. Even the floor is so well-vacuumed (thanks, Roomba!) that not only has it changed colour, the nap is lifted—I can feel each little nub under my feet. For the first time in my entire life, I can God’s-honest say “I’m done.”
2) When I looked up at the end of CATS and went “wait, that’s a two-hour show! The fuck you mean, it’s over? Even though I repeated four songs twice? No way!” it suddenly dawned on me that I was having fun. I wasn’t “dusting that godawful glass TV stand why did we get that.” I was testing the magic powers of vinegar (which is approximately 32894723 metric tons more effective than Windex, by the way). I wasn’t “doing the dishes,” a task I loathe so much that at summer camp as a kid I used to offer to switch latrine duty FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK with my cabinmates if they would only do the dishes—I was unfucking the dishwasher. And I wasn’t “scrubbing the floor”—I was playing with my Erase-It (I mentioned before that I found sorcery under a generic name, right?). I’ve never had fun cleaning before. Ever.
So, yes, I marathoned. But you know what? Other than being tired in the “holy fuckballs Nina it is 5am why the actual fuck” kind of way (Unfucked the house, fucked my sleep schedule—that’s okay, I can unfuck that too), I actually feel really good. The private areas (my bedroom, both our closets) still need unfucked, but you know what else?
I asked my dad last night if he would have believed when he and mom left for Texas if he would have believed I could get the house LIVABLE in two weeks, much less CLEAN.
There was this big long pause, and then he said ” … . . no.”
And you know what? My floordrobe and the mess that is my closet can wait, just for this week, til I get back from vacation, and then it’s “Katy bar the door, mess”—I know how to unfuck them now. Right now I have just this to say (bandwidth users take note, picture-heavy behind the cut):
[UfYH note: some discussion of abuse]
Now, I admit that I cry about success stories on a near-daily basis (shut up, I’m emotional), but this came through on Facebook, and it was practically the first thing I saw when I got up this morning, and I’m still processing it, and still tearing up (mostly with happiness!) every time I re-read it. Anonymized at the writer’s request. It’s long, but so, so worth it.
Dear UFYH Lady,
Please feel free to share this on your site if you like, but please omit my real name. I would post the pictures I have, but we live in on the property my husband manages, and the employees would instantly recognize the apartment if they stumbled upon this site and I would die of heartache if I accidentally shamed him with my bullshit.
This is the tale of how I learned to stop avoiding shit and love vinegar. For reference, I have an anxiety disorder, PTSD and depression that I manage with therapy; as well as a chronic illness that causes constant pain and unpredictable times of very extreme pain that I manage with diet and stress management. Weirdly, the physical and psychological things aren’t what kept me from cleaning, at least not as majorly as the issue that I’m about to talk about. I see those limitations more as scenery in the background than major points of interest in my life.
I was alerted to the existence of your blog via friends about four months ago and started reading it out of curiosity. I never planned on taking any of it to heart because I had long ago resigned myself to being one of the Messy People. I mostly just enjoyed the stories people told, but something I always rolled my eyes at was “MAKE YOUR BED!” It just seemed so arbitrary. Even made me a little angry.
Angry? Why is making your bed making me angry? I didn’t know it at the time but here’s the deal—I, like many of your readers, grew up in a filthy house. I don’t mention this because I feel it makes me a special snowflake, but because it informs about my initial frame of mind and because I know many of your readers came from similar (or much worse) situations. Anyway, filthy house, yes. Fruit flies were just something that came with a home as far as I knew, right? What’s a hamper? What are bedsheets? I could go on but you can imagine.
Cleaning was done in marathons, of course, and only done right before the Grandparents would come to visit. This would usually be a three day screaming fest with lots of hitting by adults and crying by kids. So cleaning would mayyyybe happen twice a year and it was always nerve-wracking and terrifying.
So, this brings me back to ‘angry about makin’ beds.’ I was perplexed by these little pangs of anger. It took me a stupid long time to see that I was associating cleaning with those old, bad feelings. To me, if something was being cleaned it meant something was wrong and something bad was about to happen. Of course I was avoiding cleaning, it made me panicky and feel like shit!
Once all the dots were connected, I simply got up and made my bed.
Today my husband’s friend is visiting from out of town. I took ten minutes to do a quick vinegar wash of all the bathrooms.
That’s it. BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING ELSE THAT I NEED TO CLEAN.
Before I started consistently unfucking, I would have spent three hours cleaning my house in a shitty marathon. The whole visit, I’d be resentful because I’d done so much cleaning without help. After our friend left, I wouldn’t want to clean because I was exhausted. And I’d fight with my husband about it.
Keeping the house clean is the one thing that my husband and I have fought over the most in the six years we’ve lived together.
Since starting UFyH, this hasn’t happened.
I was the messy partner. I’m not anymore. I no longer feel guilty when he walks in the door. He doesn’t feel frustrated, or like I don’t care about the house. It’s so. fucking. awesome. We’re both happier. We argue or bicker maybe half as much now. The house is just a better place to be.
Our friend is visiting today, and I’m going to be so happy and not miserable, because I’m taking better care of my life and my house.
Thank you for helping my awesome, happy, geeky marriage be an even better partnership than it was a couple of months ago. I feel so proud of myself and my house.
So, before anything else, I have to say this one thing: UFYH is a miracle blog that you all need to be aware of. If you have even the slightest desire to clean up your act and live like an adult, take a look at Unfuck Your Habitat and give it a try. You WILL find the motivation and so much more. Trust me. It’s so truly heartwarming to see people changing their lives, and the fact that there are brave people out there willing to air their dirty laundry (quite literally) in public, on the Internet… well, kudos to all of you. You’re better than I am. :) Seeing other people making a change is the best way to start, I think.
I’m not the type to do many of these photo shoots, mostly because I seriously don’t think to take before photos. But I do want to share something I’ve learned since starting with UFYH.
I’ve been married for 3 years, and I’ve lived with my spouse for 4. In that time, through several apartments and sets of roommates, I’ve learned that we are in fact Dirty People. Rather than keep each other motivated, the two of us tend to wallow in our own filth. It’s awesome. Except not.
My husband was raised by hoarders, and it has been a struggle from Day 1 of living together to get him to clean anything. Anything at all. He loves a clean house, but he has literally no idea how to accomplish it. He physically cannot see messes or dirt - they blend into his surroundings, and he truly can’t find them. He’s not a lazy man, he’s hardworking and he definitely has a sense of pride. He keeps himself very clean as well. But the house… yeah, no.
In January, my mom died very unexpectedly. She’d been depressed for years and was an opiate addict, and we basically inherited her house. Since then, I’ve spent the majority of my time in the house throwing away the junk she left behind and dealing with the general clutter. It’s emotionally and physically draining, yes. Unfuck Your Habitat helped me a lot through most of that stuff. But now, most of the stuff is gone and it’s time to just start living like adults and keeping the house clean every day. Maintenance is my new goal.
But how to deal with the husbeast? How to not only get him to not complain as I clean around him, but to participate even? I have a few reluctant spouse tricks that I feel I have to share. Note - these are particularly relevant if you have a partner or roommate that suffers from depression.
- Be sure the depression is being addressed and dealt with as best as possible. A person’s mental health is the absolute biggest priority. Yes, having a clean, welcoming space does help with the depression for some people, including Merry. But if he was to be un-medicated and his depression was running rampant again, making him clean would be the least of my priorities. You can’t bully someone into participating in life. I learned that the hard way.
- Choose your times wisely. This goes in line with the previous point. Merry is on anti-depressants, and they are AMAZING. They’ve changed our lives, and quite frankly saved our marriage. But shit happens. Pills get missed or forgotten on trips, he has very busy days (he’s in clinicals right now for his pharmacy tech degree, so he works 10 or 12 hour days sometimes). We’ve discovered a pattern - when a pill is missed or is taken really off-schedule (like 12 hours off schedule), he will inevitably have a mini-period of depression after a day or two. Being his closest buddy as I am, I can see those times coming from a mile away… and I Leave Him The Hell Alone. I let him play shit-tons of video games, I go and buy him a big-ass cheeseburger, I do whatever it takes to just let him burn through that time. And I DON’T choose those times to address the state of the house. I also don’t get on him when it’s finals time, when he’s really sleep-deprived, or hungry as shit, because it would do no good. And when I say I don’t get on him, I mean I don’t even MENTION cleaning. Not even very nicely. Not even as a joke. (Oh god, don’t joke at those times.) This too shall pass. That’s my mantra. :P
- No shaming, no joking, no passive aggressiveness. If you have an issue with someone you live with, just talk to them. Just do it. Wait until the time seems okay and give it a try. And if it’s not a good time - WAIT. Don’t keep trying right then. People have to be receptive to it, otherwise it does no good. But all that other crap, notes and bullshit - that doesn’t work. It’s just awful. And teasing - well, teasing works for me and my husband sometimes, since we tease each other mercilessly. But I DON’T tease during the sensitive times.
- Let reluctant partners choose their own tasks. Merry is awesome at the dishes, he likes doing them, so that’s his deal. He likes to vacuum as well. He loves fixing broken stuff. I let him do all of that, and I deal with the other things. It makes for a more harmonious union, I swear.
- NO MARATHONS. Thank you, UFYH. THANK YOU THANK YOU. Without you, I would never have realized that our biggest issue was my attempts at marathoning cleaning. Now I know that it doesn’t work, and it only leads to burnout. I have a massive lean towards manic depression, and I have distinct manic periods where I have to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. I’ve learned to reel those in for my own sanity, and it’s helped with the partner cleaning as well. I never knew I was intimidating him when I marathoned and making him dread cleaning. Now, I know. We don’t do timed periods (my husband is epic fail when it comes to keeping track of time, even with a timer), but we do Task, then Break. And we pick small tasks, like Dishes, Garbage, Clean One Surface, stuff like that.
My home has never been so wonderful. I swear. I owe so much to Unfuck Your Habitat. Thank you!
This is wonderful. The “no passive-aggressiveness” is one of the most important things to remember in dealing with other people and their messes.
And, of course,
i have chronic illness. when i am feeling the sick, it is seriously hard to do things. it is also hard to do things when i am NOT feeling ill because i’m all OMG TEMPORARY HEALTH I MUST NOT WASTE THIS PRECIOUS TIME ON ACCOMPLISHMENTS!! … but that’s an annoying and unhelpful way to live, right
so: this week, I was not-sick. and reading UFYH for the last few months lead to all this here happening:
- got up every morning at 7 for a run/walk even though it was blisteringly hot (exercise in the morning lowers my general anxiety levels, which makes existence waaaay more simple)
- cleaned the whole fucking house (the floors aren’t washed but they’re swept. and the cat box is cleaned, and the dishes, and the laundry, and the beds remade, and things were picked up and put away all over the place, and the surfaces are neatened, and some reorganizing was done, and little things that never get done but are actually important, like cleaning the cats’ water bowls)
- worked a full-time job outside the home
- ran errands
- ate fairly healthily (this helps to tone down my illness. sometimes.)
- went to class & participated (!)
- started knitting a new sweater for myself (and fixed pattern errors and made it in the right size, which involved maths! and did a gauge swatch)
- maintained relationships by facebook and text and email and handmailed packages.
- made good decisions about said relationships.
- had time to read
- had time to think.
I’m not saying anyone else with CI can or should do this on their “good days” … it’s just a few words to say that I appreciate UFYH and its resident goddess, who brings to us swear words and compassionate level-headedness and knowledge of colorful hair dye. What more could anyone ask for?
The app is fucking fantastic. I made my roommate download it to her fancy-ass phone (mine is ultra-basic) … and we’ve already got six Random Challenge stars. Also, it’s beautifully designed!
OMG I LOVE YOU FOR REALS
I was going to send this to Unfuck Your Habitat but it was too long so I’m making it into a post:
I live with a serious hoarder (my dad) and have a pretty major problem with it myself. I just wanted to say that I think you go about helping people with this problem pretty well because as with anything, the first step to getting better is to WANT to get better, and I think you make it very clear that it is indeed someone’s choice to work on their messiness. And anyone who lives with a hoarder or someone who just can’t keep a space clean knows it’s true. Just like it’s someone’s choice to use medication. It’s someone’s choice to go to therapy. It’s someone’s choice to go to the doctor. (In most cases, that is.) If you want to get better, you have to make that CHOICE, and you have to COMMIT to that choice without expecting that other people will do it for you.
My dad has no desire to get better so he makes no attempts to clean or do anything to make things nicer. He could get therapy or go through this blog or even be on an episode of Hoarders, but until he says to himself, “I want to get better, and so I will,” he won’t. It sucks. I hate it. It gives me panic attacks and makes me cry in frustration because I can’t walk through my house without knocking something over. It’s taken me some time, but I realize now that I can still take control of my own environment, even if it’s my little bedroom. Even if it’s just my damn nightstand! I can make the choice to keep my nightstand clear, and for some people, that’s easy as fuck! They don’t even think twice about it! But for me, that’s actually kind of difficult! And if I can keep one surface in my room clean then WOO! Your blog seriously makes me feel like that should be celebrated!
Whether hoarding is a disease or merely a symptom of one, it takes up a BIG portion of my life. It can get overwhelming, and obviously your blog isn’t going to treat me and turn me into the most tidy person in the world, but it gives me a mindset that says I’m not alone. I can’t control my dad. I wish I could but I can’t. I can only focus on myself. Ever since I started reading your theories about personal environment, it makes it much easier to look at all the shit on my bedroom floor and say to myself: “This is not impossible.”
Your clean nightstand should be celebrated! And you’re hitting all the big lessons here: you can change your own behavior, but you can’t force other people to change; small victories are often not that small at all; and you deserve a space that makes you happy and peaceful.
You are awesome.
Big day for me. My family and I have always been messy, and although I stopped wanting to be that way a long time ago, I’ve resented having to either do all the work by myself or, even worse, forcing everyone to help me with bitter feelings all around.
So recently I’ve decided to Just Do It, with 20/10s and 10/5s and 15/90s, and the results have been pretty amazing. Everything is SO MUCH EASIER when you’re only doing upkeep instead of marathons. You think it’s going to be blood, sweat, toil, and tears every day, but it’s not. It’s grabbing something to put away as you head to the kitchen (which takes three entire seconds more than if you just went to the kitchen), and five minutes of dusting because there’s only a few days worth of dust built up instead of a few months.
We rarely invite people over because we’re ashamed of how our house looks, and when anyone does come over it’s a mad dash of cleaning interspersed with shouting accusations at each other. Not fun, and depressing that we don’t ask people to visit us.
And so: today my sister phoned and asked if she and her husband could come over and instead of breaking out in a cold sweat I said yes and…I don’t have to clean up. It’s already clean. Not show home clean, but just fine. I’m going to fold a blanket and vacuum (because I was going to do that anyway), and voila! Ready for guests. BEST. FEELING. EVER.
So thank you, UFYH. This is MY journey, my happiness, my clean and ordered life, and I couldn’t have done it without you.
Seriously, I have never been this tidy in my LIFE. And I still have a long way to go, but…real change. My room is now tidier and cleaner than my partner’s, which is weird, let me tell you.
And it is because of UFYH. I can’t put my finger on how it works, because I don’t do 20/10s or make my bed every morning (although I finally found a good reason to do so*). I think it’s a combination of the inspiration of the before and afters, and the community, and just being reminded every day or so that seriously, I could just hang that thing up. I could just tidy that one pile of papers. It’s okay to do a little bit at a time.
Also, I had gotten into the habit…for years…of not putting away clothes. Clean clothes stayed in the hamper and I pulled stuff out of it. Dirty clothes went on the floor. Repeat. Since I started following UFYH, my clean laundry gets put away within 3 days, which for me constitutes “right away.”
*(So, I have this expensive ergonomic pillow that keeps my neck from hurting. I also have dust allergies. One of my cats thinks this pillow is an awesome bed. If I make my bed and pull the covers up over the pillows, it cuts down on the cat hair/dust/dander on the pillow factor. So I really need to get into the habit in the morning even though it is pretty neutral psychologically.)
My mom recently unfucked her pantry (THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED IN MY LIVING MEMORY) and sent me pictures. So there’s at least one mom out there who thinks “unfucking” is hilarious, and I am super-proud of her pantry. It has a floor!
Anyway, since my last epic progress — the chrysalis turned out to be dead, by the way — I have made MORE epic progress. On the other hand, the living room is currently an exploded sewing project, but I will deal with that next week.
Here is what my room looked like in February, around when I discovered UFYH. I’d returned from six months in another state in August, and then spent 50% of the next six months sick, part of it working two jobs, and all of it stressed. Since then I started a new job, which does not make me sick or stressed, and I’ve been UFing more or less steadily since then.
And here is what it looks like now. I just…kind of can’t believe this. I tend to backslide a bit every week, but it takes five minutes to undo that on the weekend, so I’m not too worried.
Here’s my filing cabinet pre-unfucking:
And after. My chrysalis is dead and I haven’t decided what kind of critter to put in my Critter Keeper, but I did finally decide to try planting the two bonsai tree kits someone gave me years ago. Probably they will not sprout, but either way they will no longer be little kits I haul around! I am hoping my cat that likes that window will not knock water and dirt into my clothes hamper.
Bookcase area before:
Bookcase area after. I’m waiting until furniture rearrangement to mount the jewelry organizer (I currently don’t know where the wallspace will be) and I need to order some custom mats to finish framing art.
Dresser area before:
Dresser area after. Still has some stuff I need to deal with (yes, that is a bug-eyeballs headband from last Halloween’s dragonfly costume; I need to get a picture of me in it and get rid of the costume), but greatly improved. A cat promptly vomited on both the dresser and filing cabinet areas of newly-revealed floor. They are considerate like that.
And these are things that are either going to go live with my mom until I have a larger place (the CDs) or are going to go live with someone who has kids (the educational ecology games):
Thank you, UFYH, seriously. ♥ ♥ ♥
I don’t usually do the weekend challenges for Unfuck Your Habitat. Mostly this is because have a system that generally works for me, so hey…
The past three weeks or so, I’ve not been keeping up on the housework like I should and things were starting to get ickier than I like to tolerate, and I was not really motivate to start. While I have a housecleaning schedule I could follow, I didn’t damn well feel like it.
Doing the Unfuck Your Weekend challenges.
I really like the system used, as it there is a madness to the method, it’s logical and it does get the house in order pretty nicely for the next week.
Also, I love the fact that there are NO MARATHONS. I was actually tempted to do a marathon session to get the house in order. Well, thinking maybe I “should”. But you know, I couldn’t face it. Since I couldn’t face the marathon, nothing was getting done.
Enter the heroic Unfuck Your Habitat. I’m just facing some 20 minute jobs here and there. Anyone can handle something with a time limit, yes?
What’s funny is that many of the challenges really weren’t 20 minutes worth of work in the first place.
I’m facing a clean and organized house in time for my work week and this makes me really happy.
Thank you, Unfuck Your Habitat, for keeping me on track without the twee and for making sure I don’t do that OCD marathon crap. You rock.
I have been through a lot of apartment inspections over the past year and a half. If there’s anyone reading this who doesn’t know, I’m in a subsidized housing program for chronically homeless people. All residents here are under a lot of supervision due to the nature of the program. I’m naturally messy, but I can’t be because I have to deal with bedbug inspections, social worker visits, section 8 inspections, Seattle Housing Authority inspections, and visits from the landlord. These visits are spread out a bit, but there have been times that we’ve had several inspections in a month. I used to freak out and clean for three days straight but now I can be much more relaxed about it.
You are one of my favorite Tumblrs, and this makes me so happy to read.
I just realized I’ve been thinking about my Hidden Corners as all-or-nothing.
When I need to get into Hidden Corner #3, I open the armoire (barely, so nothing falls out) and I deposit whatever item is going to hide in there from now on (right on top…ish) and quickly close the door. Mostly I try not to think about all the things that are lurking in there.
But I don’t have to be freaked out by it. I can open the door, pull out a handful of stuff, find homes for it, and move on.
One step at a time, right? Any progress is good progress. And I don’t have to figure it all out at once, or even solve it all at once.
I’m counting it as a win that this occurred to me on my own, rather than from a prompt. Ufyh is slowly permeating my life :) More slowly than I thought; I was filled with The Holy Fire when I first started following, and figured I had Found The Solution, and was basically done. But change comes in small steps, and changing my lifetime of thoughts and habits is harder than I thought it would be. I wonder how many more of these “oh… huh” moments I’m going to document here?
Here’s the secret: you’re never really done. But once you get started, it’s the tiniest bit of effort, consistently, and then it’s never horrible again. It’s sustainable.