Who: Today’s guest is Rachel Hoffman, founder of ‘Unf*ck your Habitat’ and author of the awesome book of the same name.
I was trying to think how best to sum up Rachel’s great work when I came across her about page and I think it sums it up perfectly:
“Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better than Your Mess is the 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 … it 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, among many others. 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. 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 one that brings you happiness, not stress.”
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I hope you have as much fun listening to this one as I did interviewing Rachel … enjoy!
What we cover
- Who she is and why she is well known
- What was the turning point that got her into this area
- Where do most men go wrong with their habitats and cleaning
- Has the gender viewpoints on cleaning and house-work changed over the years?
- Has social media and reality TV shows changed the way we live and view our habitats?
- The philosophy of unfucking your habitat – how should we start sorting out our habitats?
- The 20/10 principle and how it can change your life
- Little changes you can make right now to get the biggest return
- What is ‘Sink Zero’ and why it is so awesome
- How cleaning can be changed for those with limitations on what they can do
- What is an ‘invisible corner’ and why should you worry about them
- How should teach kids to be more involved with the cleaning and organising our habitats
- What should be in our cleaning toolkit?
- How do we keep on top of cleaning during stress times and holidays?
- Where did the inspiration for the book come from and why has it been so successful?
- How some people struggle to get past the title of the site and the motivation for it
- How do we know if we are getting better at cleaning and organising our habitats?
- Why you need a copy of this book right now
- How can you keep in touch with her
- And so much more
Some things to reflect on
- She is not a naturally clean and organised person but taught herself how not to be a slob anymore and you can too
- Most systems assume you have unlimited time, money or knowledge to do these things but weren’t designed for real life, she gives you the starting point and where to go from there
- “You created the mess, so you should be responsible for cleaning it” – cleaning is not a gender-specific role
- Social media are “carefully constructed views” of someone’s house and you think it is real life but no one lives like that in real life
- Remember “In reality, people have messy homes and messy lives” – social media does not give a true reflection of real life
- “Progress is good … it doesn’t need to be perfect right away”
- People should “build small habits over time”
- The reality of cleaning is that it is a cycle, it never ends, little and often works best
- “Take wherever you are and start there, you don’t need to change your life … to get a clean home”
- Kids will treat organising and cleaning the same way you do, your behaviours are the model that your children will adopt
- Let go your “expectation of perfection”
- “You don’t need a lot of stuff to do this”, don’t accumulate more things trying to clean
- “Start with what smells bad”
- People underestimate the link between your habitat and your mood – if you feel good about where you live, you will feel good
Connect with the Guest
- Get the book by clicking the graphic below