I don’t need a Tumblr on top of everything else, so…

…I’m-a share my unfucking stories here and be a member of Team Unfuck Your Habitat from afar. (But before we get into this, go spend some time at that link if you don’t already know about it. It will change your life. I am not even joking one little bit. Mostly because you get to say “unfuck” instead of “clean” and really that right there is enough to change your whole perspective on chores, I think.)

I’ve made some strides lately in my continued quest to have enough storage/recognize that I have enough if I would only use it wisely. First, I found the Hutch of My Dreams (!!!!!!!), which means I can get more things off my counters or out of my kitchen drawers that don’t belong there and start using those spaces for things that do belong there. Then, having this big, beautiful hutch in my kitchen blocked off some access to the shoe bins and also got me thinking about how I don’t like our official place to keep the coats, hats, etc., which is in a messy pile on top of the shoe bins. This in turn led to me thinking about how many pairs of shoes are in those bins but never get worn. I’m sure you know this story. Fix one thing and everything you didn’t realize needed to be fixed suddenly stands out in sharp relief.

Also, I’ve been dabbling in the UfYH method for maybe a month now and it’s really helped me keep a few tough spots under control AND not stress out when things get messy. I was ready for a bigger unfucking and when I got up yesterday and looked at the hutch space and the coat pile I figured this was as good a weekend as any to get this project checked off the list.

Here’s one side of the space (technically the dining room or breakfast nook but when we have a table there we never eat at it and it just becomes another surface that belongs to the cat). You can get the basic idea of the hutch from this shot but I’m still in the process of refinishing him so you’ll have to wait for the full reveal until he gets his own special post one of these days.


This is the other side, with the shoe bins and the coat pile.


So, as you can see, there was much to be addressed in the nook. Most of that stuff belongs there, at least for now, but there were plenty of boxes and piles of mail that would benefit from a trip to the recycling and certainly everything on that bookshelf could use a little tidy up.

To start, I cleared off the bookshelf and put everything back on in a more organized way. I moved it to a new position against the freezer to make room for some coat hooks on the wall. I shuffled things around on the hutch so I could wipe down all the shelves (due to general lack of space, I’m refinishing from the top down so I can use each shelf right away when it’s done and, well, there was flour everywhere). I sprayed one side of the floor down with a vinegar/water/Dr Bronner’s mix I’ve been favoring lately and let it sit a minute, then went after the floor with a Magic Eraser (if you like the kind of fun that’s also disgusting, I highly recommend this).

On the other side, I emptied and then vacuumed all the canvas shoe bins and gave them a light spray with vinegar, just enough not to soak through to the cardboard underneath. While they dried, I wiped down the shelves with some rubbing alcohol after scraping off some stickers I apparently left on there when we assembled them a few years ago. Then I moved them out of the way and gave that side of the floor the same soak-then-Magic-Eraser treatment. Anything that came out of this corner that could go in the trash or the laundry did.

Oh, and I spent my breaks playing Mario. I will get all those giant coins–I WILL!

Anyway, after a 45/15 apiece, this is how the 2 sides looked:





After my last Mario break I sorted the shoes into “keep and wear now,” “keep and hopefully wear again someday” (all my cute heels need to take a break for now because on my list of things to unfuck is some foot/ankle pain that’s making icepacks and orthotics my best friend these days), and “junk it” piles. Then – and I’m not even kidding here – I cleaned all the shoes that I didn’t throw out. Like, vacuumed a winter’s worth of salt and sand off them and wiped them off with a damp cloth so they’d be cleaner when they went into storage/back in their bins. Do yourself a favor and never look at the bottom of your flip-flops. I ventured down to the terrifying space where the dead spiders live basement and found a box so I could pack up my heels. I put all the bins back together and into their new homes, 1 on each side of the nook. I hung up the coats and hats. I kept the most-used shoes out and put the rest of the “keep and wear now” stuff into the bins. I even washed the cat’s dish because it freaks her out when I do that.

When you type it all out like that it sounds like it must have taken forever, but this whole thing about breaking time into manageable chunks and taking scheduled breaks makes things so easy and I’m just shocked at how much I can get done in 45 minutes.

So this is where we ended up:


So much tidier!


It still needs some tweaking but I’ve spent a little over 3 hours on it this weekend and that’s plenty. Next up, I need to do a big hand wash session for the winter knits this week and then that black basket can find a new purpose in life. Also, I need to finish the hutch, of course. I really want to do that by the end of the month so there’s some serious sanding and painting coming this week as well, I suspect.

Lastly, if you came here looking for yarn content and don’t so much care what I do with my nook, I can tell you that I’m 1/3 of the way through the second sock of the pair from my last post. So far it’s looking exactly like the first one so I’m not bothering with pictures. Still loveloveloving the Karbonz needles, though. If you’re sick of wood and bamboo but can’t use metal, I highly recommend them. And I promise to be back with exciting yarn news very soon.

But first there might be a post about our new bed and how we unfucked the spare room.

4 thoughts on “I don’t need a Tumblr on top of everything else, so…

  1. Your nook looks fantastic! You’ve done a wonderful job with the unfucking. Doesn’t it make you feel awesome? I’ve been doing my own major overhaul, though I refer to it as “reverse nesting” since instead of bringing things in to make the place homey, I’m taking things out so I’ll have less to pack when I can finally get a place of my own. It feels amazing, and as bonus: the less stuff I have, the less stuff the cat has to puke on! It’s a win-win situation.

    1. It does feel awesome! We’re doing a mix of nesting and reverse nesting, I suppose. Getting rid of a lot and bringing in less stuff than we’re sending out. And when we bring stuff in it’s with the thought in mind that it will probably outlast this apartment so we want to be able to move with it. (I’m not letting that hutch out of my sight now that I’ve found him!)

  2. Oh wow! Seeing those before and after photos gives me inspiration to reshape my own space. I also love that you played Mario during breaks, best idea ever. Perhaps I’ll have cleaning breaks in between Bioshock Infinite breaks ; )

    1. The before-and-after posts on Unfuck Your Habitat are the most motivational thing in the world! It’s so encouraging to see how much of an improvement you can make in a few hours total. And the required breaks are a huge help – I think I gained another 3 or 4 coins on this project.

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