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 Amazon 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: August 24th, 2019. 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 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, & feminine products - Also useful for emergencies, especially for helping others.
  • 8GB 12 Inch MacBook and charger - Owned by a friend of mine who let me borrow it when my laptop crashed during finals. This lappy is perfectly small so as not to weigh down my bag every day, but also heavy duty enough to help me manage all my work.
  • Decomposition Books - A stylish and environmentally friendly option for school notes. A little more expensive than a plain composition book, but worth it for classes where I have to handwrite my notes.
  • Vera Bradley On a Roll pencil bag - Nomadic floral patterned. Holds various pencils, pens, erasers, highlighters, and Sharpies that rotate as I find and lose them, plus the one special pencil below.
  • rOtring 600 0.5 mm Black Barrel Mechanical Pencil - I was using the cheapest mechanical pencil I could find for years until I was gifted this beauty. It’s heavy enough to sit nicely in a hand, the lead virtually never breaks, and it writes wonderfully.
  • Allies bag tag - Awarded to me after my completion of LGBT Allies training at SMU.

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/bag - Expensive as all get out, but I feel confident in them
  • Coach Glasses Cleaning Cloth - Came with an older iteration of eyewear. Just a piece of cloth, but it says Coach, so I’m fancy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sasha’s lip balm
  • Minastrin daily birth control
  • Probably a tampon
  • Albuterol sulfate inhaler - Because sometimes my meat suit betrays me and forgets how to breathe.




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
  • 3 sports bras, 1 bralette, 1 regular bra
  • 21 pairs of undies
  • 30 pairs of socks (19 ankle, 4 tall, 1 fuzzy, 2 fashion boot, 4 hiking)
  • Fashion tape, disposable pasties, 1 pair nude hose, 1 bag of ballroom dress accessories and extra parts
  • 23 tops (5 workout tanks, 7 t-shirts, 5 non-workout tanks, 1 crop-top, 5 nicer short/no-sleeve)
  • 23 bottoms (2 skirts, 4 non-athletic shorts, 2 biking shorts, 5 yoga pants, 3 full length athletic pants, 6 leggings, 1 sweatpants)
  • 2 two piece and 1 one piece swimsuits, 1 pajama top, pajama bottom, 2 pairs tights, 1 pair calf-height stockings with suspender belt
In the Closet
  • 18 dresses (2 business, all non-long sleeve)
  • 34 tops (7 business-ey short/no-sleeve, 12 not-quite-long sleeve, 12 long sleeve, 3 long sleeve base layer)
  • 16 over-layers (3 blazers, 4 cardigans, 1 cardigan sweater, 5 jackets, 1 heavy coat, 1 light coat, 1 raincoat)
  • 12 bottoms (2 jeans, 2 colored jeggings, 1 capri, 4 slacks, 3 business skirts)
  • 4 belts
  • 19 pairs of shoes (1 flip flops, 5 flats, 1 sandals, 1 athletic shoes, 1 Converse, 1 pink shoe, 3 booties, 2 tall boots, 1 rain boots, 3 professional heels)
  • 14 accessories (1 poncho, 2 regular scarves, 2 infinity scarves, 2 buffs, 2 beanies, 4 pairs of gloves, 1 ascot)
  • 5 ballroom dancing pieces (standard dress, 2 Latin dresses, Supadance standard shoes, Very Fine Salsera Latin shoes)
  • 8 Renaissance Festival costume pieces (dress, corset, 2 shirts, skirt, flower crown, 1 pair earrings, mask)
  • 3 robes and 1 narwhal onesie
Office Space
  • Desk
  • Desk Chair
  • Pink desk lamp
  • 2 SMU name tags - Magnetically attached to the desk lamp, for Dedman College Scholars and Tower Scholars events, respectively
  • Pencil Organizer containing 18 writing utensils (7 non-mechanical pencils, 7 mechanical pencils, 1 expo marker, and 3 sharpies) and a pair of scissors
  • Wooden bowl containing 3 erasers, 3 containers of extra .5 lead, and Scotch tape
  • Hole puncher
  • Stapler
  • On desk bookcase
  • Google Echo Dot
  • Poem
  • Box of checks
  • Four books
  • 2 binders
  • 4 Small legal pads
  • White flash cards - About an inch tall stack
  • 3 Sticky note pads - All different colors and sizes
  • 10 Blank notes and accompanying envelopes
  • Envelope full of 2017 tax information
  • 4 folder with pockets, one containing important tax documents
  • 2 Decomposition Notebooks for current classes
  • 2 Textbooks for current classes
  • 9 inch stack of printer paper with USB chord
  • Chord desk organizer
  • USB to lightning cable
  • Extra laptop charger
  • Dell B1160W laser printer
  • 3 Small notebooks
  • Surge protector
Wall Decorations
  • SMU Diploma
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • The Future is Bright Hanger
  • Move Mountains Hanger
  • Gavel
  • RBG doll
  • Jabot
  • Hamilton Cross Stitch
  • Chalkboard hangings

Living Room

  • Couch
  • 2 IKEA throw pillows with yellow covers
  • Camel pillow
  • Orange throw blanket and teal and purple knitted blanket for back of couch
  • Coffee Table
  • Glass Flower Vase, usually containing flowers
  • Dominion, Cosmic Encounters, two decks of cards, three die, and a MTG duel deck
  • Multicolor rug
  • TV Stand
  • Playstation 4, w/two controllers and a charging chord
  • 5 Playstation games: The Witcher 3, Spiderman, Horizon Zero Dawn, Borderlands The Handsome Collection, We Happy Few
  • 54” Insignia TV
  • Google Home
  • White Bookcase
  • Purple pot containing aloe vera pups
  • 10 books: Poetry anthology, 3 coloring books, DBT workbook, 2 collections of music, 3 yearbooks
  • IKEA KALLAX Bookcase - For holding tea and knick knacks
  • 2 jewelry holders (1 wood and white, 1 llama themed)
  • 9 pieces of jewelry (1 choker, 1 watch face with 2 interchangeable bands, 3 lapel pins, 1 bracelet, 1 necklace)
  • Faberge Egg
  • Pouch of gift notes
  • Hen’s egg and shredded fear card from magic show
  • Rigid glasses container
  • Suede maintenance kit (three pieces)
  • Keys to mail slot and dad’s house, attached to Georgetown key chain
  • Light blue pot containing aloe mother
  • Wand from Harry Potter World
  • Paw print from Mr. Bear
  • 6 leather notebooks, one containing Hamlet, one containing yearly goals
  • Small decorative globe
  • Mason jar of plane tickets
  • Mason jar of coins
  • Paper coin rollers
  • Passport
  • Clutch of gift cards
  • 2 international outlet adapters
  • Pepper spray and arm band for biking
  • Wall-mounted vacuum
  • Teal box containing art supplies (5 rolls electrical tape, 3 rolls washi tape, 1 roll scotch tape, 1 roll painter’s tape, 64 count colored pencils, 10 count markers, 12 sticks chalk, pack of chalk labels, chalk marker, 2 glue sticks, 1 baggie hot glue gun sticks, pencil sharpener, 6 extra V5 pens, box of extra staples, ruler, 11,000 piece melty beads bucket, pack of Perler ironing paper, 2 Perler trays)
Wall Decorations
  • Long curtain rod w/3 purple blackout curtains
  • Wall-mounted llama head
  • 34 playbills attached to the wall with twine and clothespins strung between picture holders


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 and used it to talk to kids about drugs.


  • Chicago Cutlery 10 Piece Knife Set
  • Chicago Cutlery Honing Rod
  • Hardwood Cutting Board
  • 8 Glass Cups - Because BPA from plastic is probably bad for you.
  • 4 Wine Glasses
  • 10 Ball Mason Jars - 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.
  • 9 Plastic Tupperware with Tops
  • 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.
  • Faberware Blender
  • Cast Iron Pan - Though often harder to cook on than my non-stick pans, cast iron probably won’t give you cancer, unlike non-stick pans, which might. So, I’m trying really hard to learn to cook eggs on this thing.
  • 4 Nonstick Pans & 5 Nonstick Pots
  • 7 Pot and Pan Lids
  • 2 glass oil pour containers
  • 3 Cookie sheets of various sizes
  • Oven Thermometer
  • 2 Strainers
  • 2 Glass Measuring Cups
  • 8 Knives, 8 Forks, 8 Spoons, 3 Sets of Chopsticks
  • 5 Metal Mixing Bowls
  • Glass Pyrex Casserole dish with Top
  • 33 Magnets: Container, Light, Cat, Dog, Farm, and Safari Butts, and Teeth
  • 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.
  • Step ladder
  • Trash can

In and Under the Sink



  • Over toilet storage
  • Shampoo & Conditioner - Usually whatever smells nice, occasionally in bar form
  • Tupperware full 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, but I also haven’t noticed anything positive, so who knows.
  • Hand Soap - Changes constantly, and is often just a fancy soap given by a family member in a stocking.
  • Face Wash and Washer - I’ve had pretty noticeable acne all my life, so I’ve experimented with soaps a lot. Origins Checks and Balances does a great job for my skin, and only takes about 60 seconds in the shower thanks to my Olay Face Brush. I use this sparingly, but it’s great for taking off makeup or the sweat of a long day.
  • Razors - I have a subscription to Billie that makes always having a sharp new razor easy and affordable.
  • Towels - Right now I have two sets: one purple, and one grey.
  • 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.
  • Quip Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss - The Quip toothbrush has seriously improved my oral health, and the toothpaste and floss are whatever I have lying around.
  • Deodorant without Aluminum - Still figuring out what deodorant works best for me
  • Kleenex with Lotion - Boxes of these are all over my place, but the extras live here so here’s where I’ll list them. These are the softest and sturdiest tissues I’ve found, and I blow my nose constantly.
  • Kotex Tampons, Pads, and Panty Liners - Trying to go away from these and to the Diva Cup and Flex. I keep them in a monogrammed little bag that brings me joy, making them pass the KondoMari test.
  • Diva Cup - Safer and less trash-producing than tampons. Switching to this was weird, but now I lovingly refer to it as my blood cup.
  • Toilet Paper - The nice kind, because your butt is worth it.
  • Lint Roller - For that last minute in-the-mirror touch.
  • IKEA FILUR trash can - The perfect size for sitting next to the toilet with a handy dandy lid to cover up the nasties within. A very artistic friend decorated mine beautifully with sharpie, and now this simple household necessity is a tiny beacon of happiness.


I’m really bad 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, and whether or not I have a good hair day is often about as dependent on my skill level as it is dependent on the phase of the moon and the number of seagulls over the West coast. Nevertheless, these tools seem to help.


I like makeup in the same way I like my laptop: I’m 100% sure that I use it incorrectly 50% of the time, but it’s fun and useful nonetheless. Most of my collection is either gifts, free samples, or pieces my helpful friends at Sephora have pointed me to when I come in with an empty foundation and a look of terror. Bless them and their patience.

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, Cotton Pads, and Q-Tips
  • Nail Polish Remover and One Polish
  • Tweezers and Super Nice Japanese Nail Clippers
  • Witch Hazel, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Neosporin
  • Rudolph, Star Wars, Disney Princess, SMU, and Shakespearian Insult Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Naproxen Sodium
  • Oral Thermometer
  • Cough Drops
  • Walgreens and CVS brand Sudafed
  • NyQuil Cold and Flu, Mucinex DM, CVS Brand Cough DM
  • Debrox Earwax Removal Aid
  • 50 SPF Sunscreen
  • Condoms and Fluconazole



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 and other high-quality tea vendors, where a single ounce can be over $25. I have no regrets.

Rock Climbing

I think hauling myself up vertical surfaces is incredibly fun, but it’s also dangerous and complicated, so I use this gear to maximize enjoyment and safety. I got a lot of this second hand, so I don’t know exactly what kind it is, but I really like it.


I already enjoyed biking for exercise and relaxation and wanted to be the kind of person who biked for transportation, so I went all in and got a possibly unnecessarily nice bike for myself around Christmas of the junior year of my undergraduate. I’m now the kind of person who bikes for transportation, and I love it.