Things I've Kept

The original inspiration for this was Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which I really enjoyed. Kondo’s thesis is simple: anything that doesn’t “spark joy” in your life should be gotten rid of. So, I purged, and everything I kept (and why I have it) is listed below. If you like something and it’s underlined, click on it! You’ll be sent to its online listing so you can buy it and try it out for yourself.

I began this list January 11th, 2018. It’s the first iteration of this post, which I’ll (try to) update annually. The most recent update was on: January 4th, 2021. You’ll notice an obscene amount of detail here; that’s purposeful. By admitting to every item in my home I have to be willing to defend every item, or to accept that it’s indefensible. If you have suggestions please give them! I keep notes on what I think I to put more thought into in my “What I Need to Improve” section, and would love to put your notes there as well.

What I Need to Improve

What I Need to Improve

  • I haven’t put a whole lot of thought or research into what goes in and around my body during bathroom time. Seeing as things like soap, toothpaste, and deodorant touch sensitive parts of me every day, I should probably do some research.
  • Specifically within the bathroom I should cement my knowledge of hair and makeup products. These things can affect my confidence a lot during the day, and I’m currently blundering through them.
  • Should upgrade from plastic to glass for kitchen items like Tupperware and pitchers.
  • Does the kind of soap I use for things like dishes and laundry matter? I feel like it might but don’t know, so that needs researching.
  • I’ve got way too many things in my desk. Really need to cull that down.

Everyday Carry - My Backpack

  • My stepmother’s Navy-issue backpack - When my stepmom, who was an equipment operator chief in the Navy reserves, retired she got rid of all her military-issue supplies, and she gave me the option to take anything I wanted. My entire life I had gotten a new backpack at the beginning of each school year, torn it to pieces via the weight and stress of my schoolwork, and repeated the process. I took her backpack on a whim, thinking it might stand up a little longer to my textbooks. That was in 2014, and it’s still holding strong today.

In That Backpack

  • American Airlines blanket - I don’t create a lot of body heat, and I spend most of my days in frigidly air-conditioned buildings, so I often carry one of those free American Airlines blankets with me for emergencies. I probably use it once a week. I haven’t found any blanket as perfectly small, warm, easily folded.
  • Collapsible green travel umbrella - Purchased in a little shop in DC when I found myself caught in the rain, this umbrella is perfect for emergencies.
  • Plastic Bag of drugs, band-aids, backup birth control, & feminine products - Also useful for emergencies, especially for helping others.
  • Allies bag tag - Awarded to me after my completion of LGBT Allies training at SMU.
  • Restore Your Vote Button, Philosophy Owl Patch - For decoration

My Purse

  • Leather Fossil Cross Body purse - A gift from my dad that combines fashion and function. Quality purses hold up to a lot of use, and this cross body is perfectly sized and professional enough for business carry, while still remaining casual enough that I can be comfortable using it everywhere - even biking in it.

In That Purse

  • Grey Giorgio Armani glasses - I need them to see, and I look objectively better with them on.
  • Pink Oliver Peoples sunglasses w/case - Expensive as all get out, but I feel confident in them
  • Teal Glasses Cleaning Cloth - It’s a color I like, it works like a charm
  • iPhone XS - Another gift from my dad and stepmom. I love the huge screen.
  • Otterbox blue and pink phone case - A good combination of sturdy and fashionable.
  • RE yellow card/coin purse - Replaced my old coinpurse with this one for more capacity. Holds my health insurance card, cash and coins, and whatever gift or rewards cards needed on a particular day. Also brings me joy, because it’s yellow.
  • Tiny carabiner - Only a couple inches in length, but it holds my house keys.
  • Precise V5 RT Pilot Pen - The smoothest ink pen I’ve found. Good enough that I’d re-buy it if I lost it, unlike every other pen I own.
  • Symphonized Wood Headphones - Aesthetically pleasing and they function and fit my ears. They come with a little shirt clip that really helps to keep at least one ear from slipping out while I exercise.
  • Audio-Technica ATH-SR30BTGY Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones
  • Headphone to phone adapter - Because Apple sucks for removing the headphone jack
  • Headphone/Charger Splitter - For train and plane rides when charging and listening to music at the same time becomes necessary
  • Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
  • Blisovi daily birth control
  • A tampon, some Benadryl, and a tiny nail clipper - For emergencies
  • Albuterol sulfate inhaler - Because sometimes my meat suit betrays me and forgets how to breathe.


Sleeping Space


I got rid of the largest number of items when I cleaned out my clothes. Years of gifts and hand-me-downs had completely cluttered my closet and drawers, resulting in a mass of items I didn’t like and no way for me to realize what I actually needed to buy. Now that I have less it’s way easier to pick outfits! Clothes below are ordered vaguely by category and style.

In Drawers
  • 2 sports bras, 1 bralette, 2 regular bras, 1 set removable boob pads
  • 24 pairs of undies
  • 26 pairs of socks (13 ankle, 1 tall, 6 fuzzy, 2 fashion boot, 4 hiking)
  • Fashion tape, disposable pasties, envelope of safety pins, 4 pair hose/stockings, suspender belt
  • 5 pair gloves, teal balaclava, 3 beanies, rabbit fur infinity scarf
  • 18 bottoms (2 skirts, 3 non-athletic shorts, pajama shorts, 2 biking shorts, 4 yoga pants, 2 full length athletic pants, 2 leggings, 1 sweatpants, 1 harem pants)
  • 19 tops (7 t-shirts, 1 crop-top, 5 fashion tank tops, 3 pajama/layering tank tops, 2 Hogshead shirts, pajama top)
Closet Things
  • 16 dresses (2 business, all non-long sleeve)
  • 46 tops (12 short/no-sleeve blouses, 11 not-quite-long sleeve, 7 long sleeve, 3 long sleeve base layer, 10 sweaters, 3 sweatshirts)
  • 15 over-layers (3 blazers, 5 cardigans, cardigan sweater, Yale jacket, denim jacket, heavy coat, light coat, rain coat, rain jacket, puffer jacket)
  • 13 bottoms (5 pair jeans, 1 denim capri, 4 slacks, 3 business skirts)
  • Three piece suit
  • Formal dress
  • 3 belts on belt hanger
  • 16 pairs of shoes (3 professional heels, 3 fashion booties, 2 summer derby punch oxfords, rain boots, snow boots, knee-high boots, house shoes, flip flops, athletic shoes, black Converse, gold fashion heels) on a three tier shoe rack
  • 3 piece suede care kit
  • Apron
  • 2 robes and 1 narwhal onesie
  • 3 renaissance fair getup - Crop top, dress, mini-horns
  • 7 accessories - 3 scarves, 2 umbrellas, ascot, tote bag
  • Roughly 15 extra hangers
Closet/Storage Things
  • Box of moving boxes
  • Vacuum w/four extra attachments
  • Black medium rolling suitcase
  • Blue and cream large rolling suitcase
  • Monogrammed bag containing extra bags: latin and smooth shoe bags with shoes, renaissance festival purse, 2 extra grocery bags
  • Trash bag containing packing materials - Bubble wrap and mattress bag, etc.
  • 3 Vera Bradley duffel-style bags
  • Deuter hiking backpack containing re-usable produce bags
  • Canvas drop cloth
  • Painting kit: Reusable paint tray, large paint roller, small paint roller w/two covers, 2 inch paint brush, paint stirrer
  • Large window fan
  • Tide pods
  • Meyers Clean Day lavender dryer sheets
Working Space
  • Desk
  • Stick-on cord holder on back of desk
  • Tiny pumpkin - Named Work Friend, Mister Friend to his friends
  • Desk Chair
  • Pillow for lumbar support, the bright yellow cover for which I sewed myself
  • Medium multi-color rug
  • Rose gold 8 GB 2020 MacBook Air with M1 Chip and charger - Named Lap Lap Clack Clack, Duchess of Processing Lane
  • Wifi Modem - Not actually on my desk currently, but it goes with these things
  • Acer 21.5 inch external monitor
  • UBeesize desktop ring light
  • Two USB-C adapters: Apple brand 3 in 1 and ikling 9 in 1
  • Purple hole puncher
  • Purple stapler
  • Pencil Organizer containing 17 writing utensils (4 pilot precise V5 RT click pens, 2 No. 2 pencils, 4 plastic 0.5 mm mechanical pencils, rOtring 600 0.5 mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil, blue ink pen, felt tip pen, and 4 sharpies) and a pair of scissors
  • On-desk bookcase
  • Wooden bowl containing 3 erasers, 3 containers of extra .5 lead, binder clip, and Scotch tape
  • Google Home Smart Speaker
  • 3 Sticky note pads - All different colors
  • 2 tea light candles
  • 2 notes to self
  • White index cards - About a half inch tall stack
  • Book Stand
  • 20th Edition Bluebook
  • Plastic bag of sticky labels for Bluebooking
  • Vera Bradley On a Roll pencil bag - Nomadic floral patterned
  • 2 binders
  • 3 folder with pockets, one containing important tax documents
  • 2 Decomposition Books
  • Pack of printer paper
  • Pack of envelopes and stamps
  • 2 Small moleskin style notebooks
  • 4 Small legal pads
  • 4 Very small bound notebooks
  • Below-desk cable organizers
  • Curved stick for self-applied back massages
  • Elastic band for resistance exercises - Lives on my desk to remind me to use it
  • Surge protector
  • IKEA FILUR trash can - A very artistic friend decorated mine beautifully with sharpie, and now this simple household necessity is a tiny beacon of happiness.
Working Space Wall Decorations
  • SMU Diploma
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • The Future is Bright Hanger
  • Move Mountains Hanger
  • Gavel
  • RBG doll
  • Jabot
  • Hamilton Cross Stitch
  • Boba cross stitch
  • Chalkboard hangings
  • Slytherin patch
  • Small Bird - - Mighty Fire sticker in frame
  • 2020 Women in tea wall calendar cards - From Gweneroo
  • 2021 American Jewish wall calendar
  • 12 pages of favorite quotes, hung around wall calendar
  • Cork and teal foam wall art for hanging - Holding 10 reusable masks and a list of home improvement to-do’s

Sitting Space

  • Large multicolor rug w/ yoga mat folded under it for covert working-out space
  • Homemade fancy chair crafted from 1 camp chair covered in one orange couch blanket that is pinned to the back and side with safety pins
  • Second pillow for lumbar support, the bright yellow cover for which I sewed myself
  • Teal storage cube covered in homemade teal and purple knitted blanket from Great Aunt Kathy
  • Items stored in cube: Yellow fabric scraps, 3 extra towels, wash cloth
  • Small coral tea tray
  • Two-Story Fire Escape Ladder
  • White Bookcase
  • 30 books: 4 yearbooks, Harry Potter box set, 5 school books, 6 poetry/creative writing collections, 3 coloring books, 2 collections of music, DBT Workbook, Eating the Dinosaur, The Picture of Dorian Grey
  • Glasses cleaner spray
  • 2 jewelry holders: 1 wood and white, 1 llama themed
  • Items in wood jewelry box: Engraved business card holder, watch face with 2 interchangeable bands, 2 chokers, 3 lapel pins, pink bracelet, 2 rings, arm circlet, long necklace, earrings for renaissance festival costume
  • Hen’s egg and shredded fear card from magic show
  • 2 small decorative llamas
  • Basil and cucumber candle
  • Tiny plastic dinosaur - For guarding the window
  • Essential oil diffuser clip
  • IKEA KALLAX Bookcase with bright yellow curtains that I sewed myself draped from a curtain rod below the first shelf
  • Small decorative globe
  • Post-graduation brandy from Orlando, adorned with a flower crown
  • Mason jar of tickets from traveling
  • Paw print from Mister Bear
  • 6 leather notebooks, one containing Hamlet, one containing yearly goals
  • Ceramic narwhal
  • Mason jar of coins
  • Passport in cover
  • Clutch of gift cards
  • 2 international outlet adapters
  • Phone arm band
  • Paper coin rollers bound in rubber band
  • Wand from Harry Potter World
  • Vial of lavender essential oil
  • Box of checks
  • Large travel case for regular glasses and sunglasses
  • Zenni backup glasses and case
  • Working snacks: Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bars, organic raw walnuts, gummies
  • Tupperware of coconut oil - I stopped using body wash a while back because it’s probably bad for your skin. I started putting coconut oil on after most showers instead, since hot water, like soap, strips good oils from skin. I haven’t noticed any negative effects, and I now have the occasional hilarious interaction where a friend puts a hand on my shoulder or back when I’m wearing a strappy dress and is shocked by the softness of my skin, which makes me feel very fancy.
  • Extra camp chair and camp chair bags
  • Kobalt power drill w/carrying bag, instructions, 33 extra bits, 5 twist drill bits, and drill holder
  • Plastic bag of extra wall cord hangers and screws
  • Tool bag with: level, hammer, box cutter, tape measure, wrench, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, 2 big screwdrivers, 10 extra bits, 5 tiny screwdrivers, Zinus ratchet (for putting bed together) box of picture hangers, large lock and key (for moving vans), mounting putty, bag of cork board pins, bag of command strips and hangers, extra hose seals
  • Teal box containing art supplies: 2 inch stack of colored cardstock squares, box of extra precise V5 RT clicky pens, box of markers, box of extra staples, ruler, 1.5 inch paintbrush, box of chalk, 2 glue sticks, 3 rolls masking/painters tape, roll shipping tape, pencil sharpener, 2 rolls washi tape, plastic bag of extra small clothespins, grey twine, extra roll scotch tape, extra pink pins
  • Scattered Games/DVD’s: Dominion, PlayStation 4, 3 controllers, The Last of Us PS4 game, Spider-Man Miles Morales PS4 game, Immortals Fenyx Rising PS4 game, Tombstone DVD, Lord of the Rings trilogy Extended Edition BluRay discs
Sitting Space Wall Decorations


I got my first kitchen all to myself in the fall semester of 2017, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to cook ever since. On the hardware side I try to follow Saint Alton’s advice and stay away from “Unitaskers,” and I have so many opinions about what foods we put in our bodies that I wrote a Tedx Talk about food and used it to talk to kids about drugs.


  • Chicago Cutlery 9 Piece Knife Set - A large, medium, and small unserrated knives, plus 6 steak knives
  • Chicago Cutlery Honing Rod
  • Hardwood Cutting Board
  • 4 Wine Glasses
  • 10 Ball mason jars and tops - Aesthetic, so they can be used as cups for parties and for decorations, and seal-able, so they’re great for throwing smoothies or snacks in to take to work.
  • 20ish disposable plastic Tupperware with lids
  • Large, medium, and small ZipTop Tupperware
  • 4 Large plates, 4 small plates, and 4 bowls - These are bright yellow and made of something that makes them dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. They couldn’t be better.
  • Large, medium, and small teal ramekins - Handmade by an artist at the DC Farmer’s Market
  • Faberware Blender
  • 4 nonstick Pans & 4 Nonstick Pots
  • Teal silicon heat resting pad
  • 6 pot and pan lids
  • 2 glass oil pour containers
  • Digital meat thermometer
  • Spoon rest
  • 3 cookie sheets of various sizes
  • Glass Pyrex casserole dish with top
  • Collapsible strainer
  • 2 glass (medium and small) measuring cups
  • 4 teal two-sided wet and dry tsp and tbs stacking measuring scoops
  • 8 Knives, 7 Forks, 8 Spoons, 2 Sets of Chopsticks
  • Large thin-edge spatula
  • Wine opener
  • Feather bottle opener
  • Drink-mixing set
  • 5 metal mixing bowls
  • Items stored under the bed that were duplicates of what housemates had: metal whisk, zester w/glove, metal tongs, Star Wars spatula, holed and un-holed cooking spoons, soup ladle, oven thermometer, garlic powder and oregano
  • An Upsetting Number of Things in my Kitchen Catch-All Drawer - 4 scoop measures, holed and un-holed cooking spoons, soup ladle, wine bottle opener, can opener, tongs, mixing spatula (Star Wars themed), 2 wooden spatulas, whisk, bottle opener.
  • Google Home Mini - Very helpful for cooking timers
  • Step ladder
  • Green squishy floor mat - For foot comfort during long cooking and dish cleaning
  • Trash can


I don’t have a natural talent for cooking, nor do I particularly enjoy it day to day, but nutrition and health are important to me, so I try to be conscious of what I eat. Below are some of my most common dietary choices, all of which I’m trying to improve.

  • Grass-fed whole milk - I drink more than is socially acceptable
  • Pasture-raised eggs - Used most in burritos and occasionally in mixed bowls and pancakes, I buy expensive eggs because I think they’re better for the planet and better for me
  • Bacon - This almost certainly isn’t good for me, but it’s a relatively harmless vice to be put in burritos and mixed bowls
  • Mexican cheese blend - Also for burritos
  • Burrito tortillas
  • Banza protein pasta - Because pasta is easy to batch and tasty, but contains too many simple carbohydrates to be eaten daily
  • Whole Foods pesto - For the pasta
  • Chunked pancetta - Usually from my local Italian market, for the pasta
  • Cherry tomatoes - A new addition to be blistered and added to the pasta, and occasionally to burritos
  • Olive oil - For pasta, but also just for general cooking
  • Kodiak Cakes protein pancake mix - I batch small pancakes and freeze them for quick breakfasts or between-class snacks
  • Frozen cauliflower - Boiled and hidden in the above-mentioned pancakes, for nutrition
  • Sweet potatoes - Generally cubed and frozen, I use these for a base in bowls
  • Avocado oil - Has the highest smoke point of common cooking oils, and so is probably the best to cook with
  • Avocado oil mayonnaise - Usually in bowls with the sweet potatoes, so tasty
  • Fire roasted frozen corn - Used for sweet potato bowls
  • Rice - Sometimes I just need carbs
  • Frozen peas - Sometimes I just need vegetables
  • Butter - For the peas, the pancakes, the everything
  • Fruit: In the summer, cherries, in the fall, pomegranates, in the winter, kiwis, and in the spring, blackberries, raspberries, and peaches. I usually get a sugar craving in the evening and I try to curb it with fruit.



  • Over toilet storage
  • Shower speaker on carabiner and lanyard
  • Gold patterned shower curtain
  • Shampoo & Conditioner - Usually whatever smells nice, occasionally in bar form
  • Hand Soap - Changes constantly, and is often just a fancy soap given by a family member in a stocking.
  • Razors - I have a subscription to Billie that makes always having a sharp new razor easy and affordable. I love it.
  • 3 towels: 1 body towel and 2 hand towels
  • Bath Mat - Unfortunately quite a bit lighter in color than I thought, but it’s better than the towel I had been using.
  • Elephant Toothbrush Holder - This little guy is adorable and perfectly solves the fatal flaw of all toothbrush holders, which is that they retain water in the bottom and get gross.
  • Toothpaste, Floss, and two of the Quip Toothbrush, - The Quip toothbrush has seriously improved my oral health, and the toothpaste and floss are whatever I have lying around.
  • Nubian coconut and papaya deodorant - My favorite by far, without aluminum, which might be bad for you, but we’re unsure
  • Kotex Tampons, and Pads, - I keep them in a monogrammed little bag that brings me joy, which makes them pass the KondoMari test, but I try to use as few as I can by sleeping in Thinx undies
  • Toilet Paper - The nice kind, because your butt is worth it.
  • Lint Roller - For that last minute in-the-mirror touch.


I’m not amazing at doing hair, so I cut most of mine off, which means I now use a barrage of aerosols to turn what hair I do have into something presentable each morning. I don’t really know how any of these work, but I’ve slowly figured out how to put some of them together in a way that gives me the pompadour ducktail I crave.


I don’t really use makeup. I used to use it for interviews, but since I don’t show up to work in makeup, I stopped advertising myself as a makeup wearer in interviews. If I’m dressing up for a formal event, I’ve found it’s much more relaxing to pay to get my makeup done professionally than to do it myself, and it looks a lot better that way too. Still, I have these creams and powders, just in case I ever want to cover up a pimple or provide options that are matched to my skin if a friend is doing my makeup.

Medicine Cabinet

All things that I don’t use every day, but that I do use enough to keep around. Hoping to reduce the amount of medicine I keep on hand by getting healthier as a person, but I have no intention of reducing my festive Band-Aid collection.

  • Cotton balls, and Q-Tips
  • Nail Polish Remover and One Polish
  • Tweezers and Super Nice Japanese Nail Clippers
  • Neosporin, Shakespearean Insult, Avengers, Star Wars, and regular Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen
  • Oral Thermometer
  • Walgreens and CVS brand Sudafed
  • CVS and name brand Benadryl
  • NyQuil Cold and Flu, Mucinex DM
  • Debrox Earwax Removal Aid in plastic bag
  • 2 bottles 70 SPF Sunscreen
  • Deep Woods bugspray, Aveno anti-itch lotion
  • Fluconazole and backup birth control
  • Medicine for passing a kidney stone
  • First aid kit
  • Travel container for toothbrush and shampoo/conditioner
  • Travel toothpastes
  • Extra toothpaste, toothbrush battery, hairspray, shampoo, and razor refills
  • Drain cover for bath



I count tea as a hobby, not a food, because the purpose of tea is never to nutritionally sustain myself. Yes, green tea will hydrate me, but buying, owning, and offering tea is really about learning new things, refining my pallet, and meeting new people (you’d be amazed what kind of friends you can make with leaf water). Also, I regularly spend way more money on tea than I do on food. While some of these teas are grocery store buys, several of them come from The Cultured Cup, Te Company, and other high-quality tea vendors, where a single ounce can be over $25. I have no regrets.

Cross Stitching

I picked cross-stitching back up during the COVID-19 plague and found it to be a very handy strategy for distracting my hands while my brain needs to sit still and pay attention during Zoom class. I keep all these materials together in a little crafting nook in my room, so that they don’t take over the rest of my space, and oftentimes home-improvement materials find their way here too.

  • Coffee Table
  • Camel pillow - Lives under the pillow, is pulled out for sitting on while at the table
  • Teal and pink desk lamps
  • 3 name tags - Magnetically attached to the desk lamps, for Dedman College Scholars, Tower Scholars, and Georgetown Law respectively
  • 83 fluffs of DMC floss wrapped around tiny clothespins labeled with the DMC numbers, hanging from grey twine suspended on the wall
  • The world’s most perfect teacup pin cushion from hannahdoodle w/4 needles in it
  • DMC 14 count white AIDA cloth roll
  • DMC 28 count white evenweave cloth roll
  • 14 count grey AIDA cloth
  • Scrap of 14 count oatmeal AIDA
  • 10 inch bamboo hoop
  • 7 inch plastic hoop
  • 5 inch bamboo hoop
  • Current project cloth
  • Printed instructions for current project
  • Plastic bag containing materials for current project: 3 DMC skeins, 2 clothespins, foldable sewing scissors
  • 26 DMC skeins for next project
  • Printed instructions for next project
  • Plastic bag containing non-cross stitching materials: Yellow thread, non-cross stitching needle, 2 soft thimbles
  • 2 candle lighters, one flashlight, and an extra battery
  • Turquoise rustoleum spray paint
  • 4 sanding blocks of various grains
  • RBG When There Are Nine cross stitch finished project

Keeping Things Alive

During the COVID-19 plague, I started getting more interested in keeping plants. I’m not great at it, but is’ nice to have something other than me alive in my apartment all the time.

  • Purple pot with a ZZ raven plant named Raven in it
  • Two turquoise pots, one with an aloe plant pup in it, one containing an autumn dwarf fern named Fernie Sanders
  • White pot with tradescantia nanouk named Missy in it
  • Light blue pot containing aloe mother
  • Small grey pot containing mystery broad-leafed plant
  • Purple pot containing aloe plant teenager
  • Watering pot
  • Humidifier - Really for my sinuses, not for the plants, but I remember to turn it on for the plants way more than I do for myself, so I’m counting it as their humidifier
  • 5 yard leaf bags
  • Gardening gloves
  • Rectangular shovel