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I just finished watching Marie Kondo's new show, Tidying Up, on Netflix. If you're not familiar with Marie Kondo she's the best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Basically, she is the queen of organization. Using her KonMari method of tidying she promises that once you're done, you'll never have to tidy again. Watching the show made me want to get rid of everything. It made me want to take out all my clothes, take out all my books, take out all my miscellaneous items, and sort through them. It made me...

I've written before about my "buy once" philosophy: how I'd rather spend a little more money on something that is better quality or something that I really, really, love, with the idea that it will be a "forever piece." Or, at least, an "as long as humanly possible" piece and not something I am buying with the idea that I will eventually upgrade or eventually replace. Of course, that's not always possible. Sometimes you just need something now and can't wait until you can find or afford the perfect version. When my can opener broke, recently, and I could barely open...

Two years ago I bought a fig tree. It was at once a thoroughly calculated and yet impulsive buy. I'd wanted to get a fig tree, I'd thought about getting a fig tree, I'd researched where I could even get a fig tree in Chicago, if you could even grow a fig tree in Chicago. And then I ended up purchasing one at a farmer's market outside my train stop. I was on my way to work when I spotted a Chicago Hardy fig tree at a stand, handed over $20, and lugged it home. I was late to work...

If you've watched as many home decorating/real estate/DIY shows as I have you've surely come across an episode where a homeowner encounters a pink bathroom. And you can probably guess what's coming next. The homeowner opens the door, eyes widen, eyebrows raise, and the side of the lip stretches back. "No," accompanied by a throaty laugh is usually the first words out of his or her mouth. And then the realtor or contractor assures them it can be painted, it can be renovated, it can be masked. So you can also, probably, imagine my reaction when I was looking for an apartment,...

For the past four months I've been neither here nor there. At the end of October, after over three years of living nomadically, I "finished" my travels, flew back to Chicago on a one-way ticket, and accepted a full-time job. But, in the four months since, I haven't really been "here." Not yet. I was living in a friend's spare bedroom. I was living off of a designated shelf in the cupboard, a designated shelf in the fridge, a borrowed bed, a borrowed pillow, a borrowed towel. All of my things were still in storage at my mom's. I couldn't join a...