Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat by Rachel Hoffman

Monday, January 2, 2017

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Non-Fiction UfYH Cover
ISBN: 9781250102959
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Finally, a housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who’d describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we’re desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems. The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and people with mental illnesses or physical limitations. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.

Interspersed with lists and challenges, this practical, no-nonsense advice relies on a 20/10 system (20 minutes of cleaning followed by a 10-minute break; no marathon cleaning allowed) to help you develop lifelong habits. It motivates you to embrace a new lifestyle in manageable sections so you can actually start applying the tactics as you progress. For everyone stuck between The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Adulting, this philosophy is decidedly more realistic than aspirational, but the goal is the same: not everyone will have a showcase of a home, but whatever your habitat, you deserve for it to bring you happiness, not stress.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started Unf*ck Your Habitat. I’m someone who adores Marie Kondō’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but finds it highly impractical for real life. The blurb (and, of course, title) for Unf*ck Your Habitat caught my eye, so I had to give it a try.

Rachel Hoffman has a friendly, no-nonsense writing style that makes her relatable from the start and is sure to set any reader at ease. What sets Unf*ck Your Habitat apart is that Ms. Hoffman recognizes that a large majority of people who are cleaning and organizing their space aren’t traditional homemakers. This book addresses a wide range of people, highlighting issues that arise for single people with full-time jobs, those with roommates, students in dorm rooms, people with mental illness or physical limitations, and so forth. I was impressed by the inclusiveness of this book first and foremost. Ms. Hoffman provides helpful tips for multiple situations and gives ideas on how to talk people should you require assistance. I have never before seen a cleaning/organizational book that addresses such a wide range of people who don’t live in the traditional homemaker model, and I really appreciated it.

Glossy magazine articles and idealized Pinterest home organization pins give the idea of a home that is just not attainable for most people. Ms. Hoffman’s 20/10 system (twenty minutes of cleaning and then a ten minute break) is modifiable for those who need it. Furthermore, her method of cleaning and organizing is one most people can adapt to their needs. In this book, there’s no shame in being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Ms. Hoffman’s tips and tricks keep you on-task and prevent you from getting worn out and giving up. All in all, I found Unf*ck Your Habitat to be an interesting, motivational, and – most importantly – practical book for a wide range of people interested in, well, unf*cking their home.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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