Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a book that has helped give me some momentum at the start of each year.

Unfuck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

I have been a fan of the UFYH site for years, before it was even a site and was a Tumblr. It is not about minimalism. It is not about keeping a perfectly clean home. It’s about doing what you can with what you have and not only what you have physically at your disposal, but with what sort of physical and emotional bandwidth you have. This book is about each and every one of us deserving to live in a space that we are glad to be in or at least, doesn’t stress us the hell out because of cleanliness.

My habitat, like that of many others, takes a nosedive when my mental health isn’t its best. Some people have never learned basic housekeeping activities. Some people have disabilities that limit the amount they can clean. Some people live in small spaces or share a space with others or have children or dependents to clean after on top of cleaning up after themselves. UFYH is about doing something, anything, instead of nothing. No matter how small, regardless of your gender (no gender roles here, folks).

Just starting the sometimes massive undertaking of cleaning can be enough to turn anyone off from doing it at all. The author has tips on where to start and is a big fan of what she calls 20/10s, that is, cleaning for 20 minutes then having a rest for 10 minutes. Repeat that as much as needed. It helps mitigate the cleaning burnout that can happen from marathon cleaning, that is, cleaning for multiple hours at a time without breaks. Sure, you can get it done that way but then you’re also burned out on cleaning so you avoid it for the next three months and you’re back to square one.

There are many cleaning basics because not everyone knows how to clean, like an outline of how to clean a bathroom. There are also some excellent checklists, like things to do in the evening to make the next morning go more smoothly. There are also some really valuable talking points for talking to a person you share a space with, how to ask for help, and questions to ask if you’re helping someone else clean their space.

Most importantly, the tone is full of kindness and empathy. It’s been such a valuable resource.

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That’s it for now, book-lovers!


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