Unfuck Your Habitat

You're better than your mess.

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So, I finally tackled something that has been bothering me: My lack of organization of important (or semi-important, or I-want-to-keep-this-written-down-for-my-own-records-important) things.  Like a lot of other people, I have a drawer and a folder full of the important things, which seemed like a good idea (keep them all in one place!  YEAH!!) at the time, but now looks kind of…well, dumb.

So!  I made an ADULT THING.


It is my official Adult Binder, and I have a 12 month calender, five dividers, and a few page protectors.  I kind of haven’t decided how I’m going to divide it up yet, but there will be sections for Medical, School, Work (this will include Etsy stuff), and Financial (though this may go under work?).  I feel like I’m forgetting something.  It’s not tax stuff, that’s by the computer, nice and neat in it’s folder.  Eh, I’ll think of it later.

Anyways.  Adult Thing Number One done for today.

Adult Thing Number Two is to go to the DMV (maybe?  If we have time…) and get my permit.  Again.

I’m kind of proud of myself.  I’m slowly but surely taking control of my life and getting things back in order.  Believe it or not, but I was once neat, organized, and sane.  I’m getting there again.  With these things, sometimes I think it has to be you who says “I will change, I will do better, I will regain control and take back my life” and not someone standing over you telling you that things need to change.

One step at a time, yo.  One step at a time.

(via amphoraoverboard-deactivated201)


1. My phone now accepts Unfucking as a word. Success.
2. My cat wheezes a lot when I pet him cause he wants to purr.
3. I need to paint
And so on and so on.

Right before the New year, I decided that I was going to Unfuck the house. It was in an effort to make this house feel like a house again, and to help my mom who is currently battling several illnesses that keep her stuck in bed most of the day. i started with the attic, because that’s where I live, and much of my stuff was downstairs. If I clean the upstairs then I end up cleaning the downstairs, and the stuff will have a home all ready for it.

For two days I did a bunch of 45/15’s. When garbage day came I had over 30 bags of garbage to go out, and my neighbor across the street was nice enough to let me put some of the bags on their side, since they only had about 2 trashcans. Man was it rewarding to see all that crap out of the house. Going through stuff if I didn’t see me (or my mom) using it in the next 2 months, or if we hadn’t used it in a year, it got tossed. If the clothes were still in good shape that got thrown into a bag and are all going to go to Goodwill.

Here is the sitting room, leading into the bedroom. I had been keeping the garbage bags up there because I couldn’t be bothered before at taking them all down the stairs. I had a tiny path to my room. This had to change.


That little doorway leads to a small bathroom. I have to keep going up and down the stairs to use the bathroom, which lead to me not wanting to leave my room often at all.


My cat couldn’t be bothered to move.


There was a dressed hidden under all the bags and boxes. I am now going to use it to put towels and stuff that doesn’t need to be on a hanger. This’ll make it so much easier when taking a shower, (when I get a shower head for the shower).


And here is the room now. Getting close to done, and I’m moving my bed out to turn the larger room into an office/entertainment room. I’ve kept the purple cushion for the cats, in hopes that they will sleep Under my bed, instead of on Top of my bed. It will also act as a deterrent to shoving things under my bed and just starting a new mess.


The room isn’t done, not by a long shot, but when I look at the first picture I can see that I’ve actually done something, and that makes me feel so proud of myself. I’m going to wash the walls before I put my bed in, and then I’m going to grab my paints and start painting some murals. I’ll make the crappy paint job done over a decade ago work to my will. I’m going to bring the mini carpet scrubber upstairs after I vacuum, then I can start cleaning my current bedroom to prepare it, and move the mattresses out. My bed needs to be flipped and with the bedframe waiting for me, I have the motivation to do it!

I never realized that you could feel good after you start cleaning because you’re seeing just how good your house can look. And there’s room to move around and you’re not stepping over stuff. The cats won’t be able to knock anything down anymore and you can actually make your room awesome!

My friends have been an invaluable source of encouragement!! They keep me going and love seeing picture updates. Especially Miss Sparkles. I probably would have quit a long time ago if it wasn’t for her, and the 45/15’s.


I did a lot of unfucking today. I washed out a humidifier with vinegar (win!), cleaned up my shoes, swiffered my bedroom, living room and dining room floors, cleaned the bathroom using UFYH app challenges by room (which was sweet!), and did some “invisible corners”! Here are some before and after photos. The last one of the recycling corner in the kitchen by the back door to the mud room has no “before”. Sorry.

With my roommate’s help, my house is cleaaaaaan! The kitchen has been thoughoughly scrubbed, dishes done, living room and dining room are clean, my room is clean, the bathroom is clean (still ugly though. Sigh.), and the little bit of carpet is vacuumed! I feel like I can bring people over now. At least roommate #3 is tacking the porch with all her junk.

The only thing that would be better is if those home remodeling shows picked my house to redo the kitchen and bathroom!


As a final recap, this is what I started out with back in May:



It got better and worse in varying degrees over the months, but it wasn’t until the run-up to Christmas that I decided I needed to concentrate on it, once and for all. It’s the warmest room in the house, and I thought it would be nice to hang out in here with the kids for most of Christmas day, watching movies and such.  (Presents and breakfast will be done in the living room, as per family tradition, and dinner will be done in the kitchen, but the rest of the day we can hang out here.)

Over the course of 4 days, we (myself, plus the 3 kids) turned the computer room from (roughly) what you see above to this:





Cleaning out the vacuum’s filter helped a lot, but there was also a blockage that I wasn’t able to find; B did, so it’s working now!  \o/


That’s B’s desk on the left there.  It’s still a little messier than I personally would like it, but it’s HIS desk, so HE can do it if he wants to.


We didn’t use 20/10s (mainly because my 2 youngest spend more time standing around looking lost than actually doing anything; in 20 minutes they wouldn’t get anything done) but we did concentrate on one area of the room at a time.  We worked on it this way:

  • started with the floor in front of the dresser
  • then I did the corner to the left (and my desk) on my own
  • then we worked on the corner to the right
  • then I did the top of the dresser on my own
  • then the couch and the corner by the door.  

I had told B my plans for the room re: Christmas, so he did the opposite wall (where the radiator is) on his own, since it was mostly his stuff anyway (and still is, that’s a bunch of his tools up there, but at least it’s neat and organized!).

One unfucked computer room, all ready for Christmas!



  • Me: Ever?
  • B: … we moved in?  No, wait, it wasn’t even that clean then.
  • Me: Like I said.  Ever.

To refresh your memories, this is what I was left with last night:



After about an hour and a half (the majority of which was spent dusting off books and restacking them), the corner now looks like this:




After a break, during which I finished watching Supernatural Season 8, Episode 5, the dresser now looks like this:



The only things left to do now are:

  • pull out the couch and clean under/behind it
  • clean out the inside of the couch
  • clean the corner right by the door
  • re-clean under B’s desk (the kids seem to think that’s their personal dumping ground)

That’s it.  I should have this room completely finished by TOMORROW!

Also: do you think we have enough books?  >.>


(Edited because I finally realized I duplicated a pic up there.  :-/ )


Hey, I wasn’t just blowing smoke when I said I wanted to get this room ready in time for Christmas!  I may or may not be able to 100% of what I WANT to do (wait and see, really), but this room is already looking 1000 times better than it did before.


First, we have Invisible Corner #1: near my desk.  (Not what I consider my actual desk area, but it’s closest to my desk.)









After putting stuff back:



While I was at it, I did my desk too:



Things found:

  • an old cookie tin with a couple of my homemade chocolate chip cookies in it.  The embarassing part?  I only make them on Christmas, and I can’t be sure WHICH Christmas they’re from.  They may be several years old.  
  • Clothes I forgot I had and probably don’t fit anymore.  If they’re salvagable through washing, however, they’ll go to C1. She’s only slightly smaller than I am and kind of needs clothes anyway.  And she dresses a lot like me to begin with - she’s always stealing my clothes without asking as it IS.
  • A box of old photographs - photographs that I thought I’d lost.  I plan to scan them and upload them to FB at some point.  Some of them are from the very beginning of my marriage to B, when C1 was only 2 years old!
  • Framed photographs: now I knew these were there.  They’ve been there since we moved into this house 5 1/2 years ago.  But I mention them because when C2 came home and saw some of them, she asked me a question that had me doubled over laughing.  ”Mom, who’s that little girl?”  … it was C1.  >.>

AAAAAAND in this corner, we have: Invisible Corner #2!





Obviously not finished, but considering the fact that I did the other corner completely, I’m a-ok with leaving this corner unfinished until tomorrow.

You know, if the world doesn’t end.


and just as I finished masterfully cleaning my tea-stained mugs, my roommate presented me with a monstrocity that had been lurking in her room for some time. These photos are not for weak stomachs, let me tell you, so be warned.


God knows how long that had been festering, so I just let it run under hot water and the crust just floated, and came out in a solid piece.


The ancient coffee left quite a ring around the bottom of the mug as well, but a little barkeeper’s friend wiped it away nicely.


I must be a barkeeper, because that stuff is certainly my friend!


To refresh your memories, this is what it looked like back in May:

It got better, and then it got worse again.  (Dear children of mine, moving things from the living room to the front hall is not actually cleaning it up.  kkthxbai.)

And then, WILL WONDERS NEVER CEASE?! B actually VOLUNTEERED to hang some hooks up in that front hall.  VOLUNTEERED!!!!!

So, after hanging said hooks, and after digging out a full load of laundry (mixed bag of coats, scarves, gloves and actual normal clothes), this is what it looks like now:

To be fair, those shoes and roller blades were not strewn about like that when the kids left for school this morning.  *I* did that in the process of digging clothes out.

So the plan for right now, while the kids are at school, is this:

  • Dig out laundry.
  • Wash it.

That’s it.  HOWEVER.  Once the kids get home?  Heh, they’re helping.  They don’t know it yet, but they are.  For a couple of reasons:

  • Some of the stuff in that pile is things that need to find a home.  Books, toys, etc.
  • Some of those shoes need to go.  I need to know what they want to keep, what they can still FIT, what doesn’t have a match, etc.
  • We need to get rid of shit.  They know it, I know it.  Even if it’s still usable, if it’s not GETTING used, it needs to go.  Instead of me just throwing shit out, I’m going to make them part of the process.  They’re old enough to begin making decisions like that, but at the same time, I know I need to be part of that process as well.  So… GROUP EFFORT!

Once we pare everything down to nothing but shoes, coats, and peripherals (scarves, hats, and gloves), I can sweep and mop (I MIGHT even get crazy and get down on my hands and knees!), and then I’m going to be bringing down a small dresser from S’s room.  (The room that I still haven’t been in, 14 months after losing custody of her.  It’s still too painful.)  It’s small enough that it can sit in the front hall without us banging into it all the time, yet big enough (I think) that I can fit a laundry basket for shoes underneath it.  I would like to eventually repaint it so that it looks nicer (it’s old and banged up and looks it, but it’s still functional) but for now, I just want to get shit put AWAY.

But I’m going to need help getting that thing out of S’s room.  It’s not exactly heavy, but it’s awkward, and after falling down the stairs with the dryer last month, I’m honestly afraid to try and get it down myself.  So I need either B or C1 to help me with that.

I don’t know if I’m going to get it all done TODAY, and honestly, I don’t CARE if I get it all done today.  It would be nice, sure, but the point is not to get it done NAONAONAORIGHT.THIS.VERY.SECOND.NAO, just to get it DONE.


Since I don’t really sleep in the small bedroom all that much anymore, I’ve taken to using it as a storage area/study area with a bed for guests to use when they come. Unfortunately ‘storage area’ translates more often as ‘big heap of random stuff’, and I desperately needed to put away my laundry. So now the bed is made, clothes have been folded and hung up, craft items have been put in the craft box and random items have had places found for them in my tiny room. Always much happier when my room is clean :)


There’s a financial advisor type bod coming to see my parents this afternoon. Thanks to UnFuck Your Habitat (which I put the parental units on to) the house (still chock full of 30 years of my dad’s hoarding) will be outsider-ready.

Yes, there are still piles of dusty books in the living room and the dining table still has piles of railway magazines on it, but they’d already made a start on the unfucking so it doesn’t seem so daunting!

Thanks again.

P.S.: any chance of an Android app/I don’t live where you live so your prompts are useless/why can’t you change the space/time continuum for me?!?!? ;)

P.P.S: don’t hurt me!

P.P.P.S: here’s a ninja bear to demonstrate how I feel about housework!

Ninja Bear

It’s a good thing I know you’re kidding with that P.S.


I read a tip on Pinterest which claimed that you could clean window screens with Magic Erasers without removing them…so I tried it 15 minutes before my sister-in-law and her boyfriend came over to play Catan, because even though I’d cleaned the screen earlier that year, it was coated in dust and grime. Well, if by “worked” you mean “got little bits of black crud everywhere”, you’d be right. So in a panic I took it out and washed it in the shower. However, this gave me an opportunity to tackle the black crud around the window with vinegar, a toothbrush, and paper towel. It worked quite well, so two days ago I tackled the bedroom window, and the spare room which I’m not sure has ever been properly cleaned. Here’s the window before:

And after:

Success! Although I would point out that cleaning things with straight vinegar and no rubber gloves will damage your finger nails…just sayin’.


A few weeks ago I posted a plea for help. My long distance boyfriend was coming 4000 miles just to see me, and my room was a disaster.

Through the support and advice that I got at UfYH, I was able to pull myself together and get my room (and the rest of the house, which wasn’t so bad) in shape. My room was so far gone and I had so little time to fix it that the only real choice I had was to make it look presentable. I have a huge walk-in closet, and that became my dumping ground. However, I was able to cull 2 large bags of garbage and donations, dust, vacuum, and clear off the surfaces. It looked good, and best of all, my boyfriend and I didn’t have to climb a mountain of clothes to get into bed.

My dresser and closet are still beyond fucked. But for once, I’m not panicked about it. I’ve given myself the whole of winter to dig myself out of this. Every day, I do at least one 20/10; sometimes I do a couple, and sometimes I do a 40/10. The progress is gradual, but I’m OK with that.

The mess is out of sight, which I think helps with my anxiety. And I’m moving forward. As long as I keep moving forward, keep working at it, I feel accomplished and grown up.

And that’s a pretty big change in my way of thinking. I used to say, “THIS week, THIS WEEK I FIX MY LIFE!!” And then I’d be so paralyzed by the pressure of fixing everything, I’d do nothing. By the end of the week, I’d beat myself up for wasting so much time and being lazy.

But now it’s the end of the weekend, and I can look around my room and say, “OK, it’s not perfect, but I’ve not only maintained the order I’ve already created, but I also did 4 loads of laundry and cleaned out a dresser drawer.” And I feel like I’m getting somewhere. That’s really nice to feel.

I have a messy life and it adds to my messy mind. The stress of living in a mess has weighed down on me so much — I didn’t even realize how stressful it was. It’s such a relief.

I can’t thank UfYH and TeamUfYH enough for the support and all the lessons I’ve learned. My mind is blown by how I’ve been able to change the way I look at cleaning and organization. Thanks so very much, I can’t tell you what this means to me.


It’s been in that state for nearly three weeks… Took under 20 minutes to clean up and sort out! We are just too lazy :’( Now to finally bring my books upstairs and put some of them on it…. 


There is literally a mountain of CRAP that is going to be hauled away at some point in my parent’s driveway.

It all used to be in the garage and basement.

There is more walking space than stuff.  All that is left is the “laundry” corner.  and that is not so bad.

We went through bins that my mom had full of clothes, and she got stuff out for donations. and consolidated.  We had enough plastic bins left over to move holiday decorations into them and back onto those shelves that I posted the pic of earlier.

A bunch of metal shelving was all chucked because it was all damaged when the water softener overflowed (causing corrosion).  Let this be a lesson: if you want to store steel shelving in the basement known to have a small amount of water, put that portion that is on the floor in a plastic bin, or something, to protect that metal!



I don’t have any before pictures, but I plan on documenting the mountain of crap and then the finished result to show.

I told my parents that helping them do this was their Hannukah present.  I can’t really afford anything this year.  But I can give them my time, energy and strength and willingness to help them get this done.


Not only is the counter done, but it’s done classed up. I really love vintage-style hand mirrors.

I love your makeup storage!