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Saving on Cooling Costs: A Parody

17 Jun

When you write about saving money all day, every day, some topics are inevitably more compelling than others. I tend to get distracted on sunny Friday afternoons like this one, when I’d rather be feeling the breeze on my face with cocktail in hand than writing about saving money on summer cooling costs. So, at the suggestion of a most beloved coworker, I drafted the following parody as a much-needed diversion. Read these six tips at your own risk.

40+280 Heat by Bark via Flickr Creative Commons

40+280 Heat by Bark via Flickr Creative Commons

#IceBucketChallenge, all day, err day.
Sure, we all pretended the ice bucket challenge was actually a challenge at peak heat in July. In truth, it’s exactly what we needed, which is why conducting an #IceBucketChallenge every half hour between June and September just makes good sense. Don’t let those hippie environmentalists from California shame you into stopping, either; there’s no such thing as a drought.

Become a nudist.
When people complain about how hot it is, do you notice how much clothing their wearing? Vitamin D is good for us, people. The next time you feel the urge to complain about the heat, strip. It will cool you down while performing the public duty of distracting everyone else from the weather.

Spend your weekends at the mall (and sleep at the office).
To compensate for the unsavory summer conditions, retail establishments and office parks around the country set their thermostats to arctic-like depths. Simply change your summer plans so you can sleep at the office and spend your weekends trolling the malls like a moody, prepubescent teen.

Build a tent around your house.
Why anyone hasn’t thought of this before is beyond us. Simply closing your blinds in the morning isn’t nearly as thorough as building a custom tent made from solar-blocking fabric around your entire abode. Sure, it’s expensive, but this is an investment your comfort. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of building a tent yourself, import a bunch of termites into your home and commission a whole-house fumigation, then request the tent remain intact. You paid for it, after all.

Hire a personal fanner.
It worked for Julius Caesar, so why not you? Place a personal ad for a personal fanner or two and have them follow you around wherever you go. If anyone finds this arrangement curious, just tell them you’re creating jobs.

Attend a hot yoga class.
This one doesn’t sound right, but hear me out. Most hot yoga classes are between 85 to 102 degrees, plus humid as Satan’s armpit. For those living in the sauna that is the south, these classes will feel cool by comparison. For those whining about 80-degree dry heat, you’ll likely die of heat exposure 20 minutes into class and weather will no longer be a top concern.

Tipping: My Financial Bane

9 May

Photo by AberroCreative via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by AberroCreative via Flickr Creative Commons

Confession: I really, really hate tipping.

I’m one of those people who would rather pay more for restaurant meals, transportation and other tip-heavy services just to avoid it. It’s not that I don’t think people in gratuity-based industries deserve tips; they absolutely do. I just don’t have the capacity to calculate an appropriate tip on a whim, and I very rarely carry cash. I’m also often caught off guard, not realizing gratuity is expected until someone is looking at me expectantly. As a result, I’ve committed many a tipping faux pas which has further contributed to my distaste for the practice.

Big cities are where my tipping idiocy really shines. I accidentally gave a valet parking attendant $25 after a one-night stay in Denver, thinking I had to pay him directly for the service. After an impromptu networking dinner at a fancy restaurant, I had to borrow cash to tip the valet who brought me my car. During a business trip to Chicago last year, I watched a bellhop unload five boxes worth of props in my hotel room knowing I had absolutely no cash with which to tip him.

In all these cases, I righted my wrongs: I justified the extra big valet tip as a holiday bonus; I repaid my generous dining companion the next time I saw him; and I tracked down the hotel bellhop later in my trip to tip him for his services.

I’m nothing if not thoughtful.

There’s been talk in the media recently about restaurants that are increasing menu prices and doing away with tipping. While only time will tell on the effectiveness of this strategy, both for restaurant business and for waitstaff wages, I’m totally in favor of the change. In the interim of a successful nationwide rollout of this format, however, the best way I combat my issue with tipping is advanced planning. Preparing my budget for the added expense and bringing the appropriate cash denominations are instrumental in a) keeping me from seeming like a horrible human being, and b) avoiding unnecessary dings to my budget due to lack of planning. Case in point, I researched tipping etiquette ahead of a recent food and wine tour of Gettysburg, Pa., and brought the correct amount of cash to tip our host who was truly a gem and deserved every penny. No humiliation, no remorse.

What’s your biggest financial bane?

Recurring Expense Hacking FTW

19 Apr

An alternative title for this post: Justifying My Cupcake Addiction. The reason will become clear.

Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr Creative Commons

Recently, my husband hacked our auto insurance renewal and saved $250 on our annual premium. Then, he reduced our Verizon bill by $15 a month. His successes led me to finally cancel a $30-per-month supplemental insurance policy I’ve had for over a decade and never used. All this happened over the last few weeks, but it wasn’t until I read Jim Wang’s recent Elite Daily article that I realized what we’ve accomplished.

We saved money without changing our lifestyle one bit.

Spending less is tough when you’re focused on reducing or cutting out specific expenditures. It’s especially hard since the first things to go are often experiences or indulgences we enjoy most. In my case, the areas in which I planned to spend less actually don’t represent hefty expenditures. I dine out infrequently, don’t have cable and spend very little on clothing.

Yet, my first idea for cutting expenses was reducing the whopping $4.50 average monthly cost of cupcakes. There are health reasons for that reduction too, of course, but really? I think I looked at an easy expense to cut and chose that one, because it’s so obviously unnecessary. However, reviewing recurring expenses and making cuts there has had a much bigger impact on our budget without affecting our lifestyle at all.

Obviously, consumers who want to save money should reduce daily spending AND look for ways to cut back on recurring expenses. Together, these pursuits will free up some cash to be applied towards financial goals. But focusing solely on daily expenditures as I initially did is shortsighted and, in some cases, cruel. After all, punishing myself for a $5 monthly indulgence is not going to help me achieve my financial goals.

2016 Spending Goals

19 Feb

Image by m01229 via Flicker Creative Commons

Photo by m01229 via Flicker Creative Commons

Last year, I spent $56 on cupcakes.

I reviewed my year-end credit card summary recently and noticed several charges from ButterCream Cupcakery, the hard-to-resist bakery cruelly located across the street from my yoga studio. This local shop has regular flavors and recurring daily specials, and Thursday’s flavor is the proverbial icing on the cake. To paraphrase Bogart, of all the cupcake combos, in all the towns, in all the world, salted caramel comes on Thursday.

So far this year, I’ve visited the cupcakery twice, kicking off 2016 by spending $8.70 on sugary deliciousness. At the time, the expense seems totally worth it: my teeth sink gingerly into the thick frosting, slowly cascading through the buttery sponge, rewarding my taste buds with a salty sweetness that lingers on my palate briefly enough to have me begging for more.

Sigh. I could really go for one of those right now.

But alas, my goal this year is to spend less on such indulgences. This is not to say I won’t enjoy another salted caramel cupcake all year; rather, I’ll make the experience less common. Ultimately, I’d like to cut my overall credit card spending by one third, specifically focusing on the dining and “merchandise” categories (though the latter is a rather broad bucket featuring everything from groceries to apparel to race registrations). As I aspire toward a more minimalist lifestyle, passing up clothing and shoes will be far easier than ignoring the siren song of salted caramel after a sweaty vinyasa flow. The sacrifice will be worth it, however, both to my budget and to my health-related goals, which include reducing my sugar intake and avoiding such self sabotage as eating sweets after a workout.

So goodbye for now, dear cupcakes. We’ll always have 2015.

Hello…it’s me.

11 Jan

I’m still here, I swear!

Photo by Tim G. via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Tim G. via Flickr Creative Commons

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity, as the holiday season typically is for those of us in the shopping and discount industry. While I’ve been radio silent on this blog since September, I promise I’ve been spreading the good word about bargains, savings tools, shopping strategies and more through other means. That said, I miss my Hassle-Free Savings posts and, in the spirit of joining all the other suckers out there in making ill-fated New Year’s Resolutions, I resolve to post more frequently to this blog in 2016. Am I instilling you with confidence yet?

My problem, like most maintaining a blog, is coming up with clever, captivating content that doesn’t revolve around TJMaxx as the ultimate shopping solution. I also struggle with creating content that doesn’t shove minimalism down the throats of readers seeking practical money-saving solutions to everyday expenses and splurges. That being said, something I heard Joshua Fields Millburn say during a recent podcast by The Minimalists inspired me to re-commit to this blog (and other pursuits I have in the hopper):

“Our affinity for perfection or getting it ‘just right’ prohibits us from actually doing it.”

How true is this? I think it’s the perfect statement right now, during a month in which many of us make lofty resolutions that inevitably lose steam in just a few weeks. As a perfectionist, I’m hesitant to start anything unless I know it will work out “just so,” which is completely ridiculous. In reality, my standards are made impossibly high so I can opt out of change altogether, even if change is what’s desperately needed.

I may be getting off track here but the quote was so inspirational that I had to share it with you! And I’m using it as a launching board to get back on track with this blog, however imperfect my attempt may be. I look forward to interacting with my readers again and learning about the ways in which you’re making your life, money-related and otherwise, more hassle-free in 2016. Cheers!

Seeking Savings on Sight: My Experience with Warby Parker

22 Sep

Disclaimer: Warby Parker did NOT pay me for this review, nor did they request it. 

Confession: I’m blind as a bat.

My first pair of glasses graced my visage in the second grade, during which time I distinctly remember wearing those funky black paper glasses they give you after dilating your eyes all. day. long. I failed to understand the glasses were only for the trip to school and maybe during recess if it occurred within two hours of my appointment. When I arrived home still wearing them, my mom greeted me with an expression of bemusement.

Fast-forward to today and I’m seriously wondering how much time my eyes have left. I’m hoping for LASIK surgery but that can’t happen until my prescription evens out, which it has yet to do. I required a stronger prescription YET AGAIN and now have to order specialized contact lenses not offered by the likes of Bausch & Laumb because it’s JUST THAT STRONG. In addition to poor eyesight, I also have astigmatism in both eyes, which could sabotage my dreams of laser surgery. And the final cherry on top: I’m at a pretty high risk for glaucoma.

Thankful for your eyes yet?

The point of this rambling is that eye care is expensive for the average person. For someone with my special needs, it can be exorbitant. Insurance only gets you so far, and since walking around sans either contacts or eyeglasses is not an option for me, I need both. Insurance doesn’t cover both, at least not in the same calendar year. So, I typically put off spending money on frames every year and instead spend my insurance money on contacts, since I wear those most of the time anyway.

The last time I purchased frames was about three years ago. Instead of carefully studying the “non-designer rack” –> i.e., the frames insurance pays for in full –> I opted for an exorbitant super-cute pair of Michael Kors frames. After adding all the bells and whistles that now come with glasses lenses, including the high-index option to keep me from looking like Urkel, I paid over $500 for those puppies.

From a cost-per-wear perspective, I’ve definitely gotten my mileage out of the frames. However, I know the expense is totally unnecessary, especially when you can find similar-looking frames for less. This time around, I decided to try Warby Parker. A close friend with whom I spent my 30th birthday weekend was sporting her WPs (I just made that up — clever, no?) and they looked very similar to my pricey frames. A few weeks ago I started the process, which includes a Home Try-On kit featuring up to five frames.

kit

All but one of these frames cost $95, including lenses. The final frame cost $145 with lenses, possibly because of the metal detail on the side of the frames. After trying each frame on, I narrowed it down to three contenders.

contenders

As a test, I wore each of the three contenders for 30 minutes to see if any of them slid down my nose like my current frames do. Two out of three did, including the pricier pair.

The winner.

The winner is a two-toned looker called Wilkie. With a base price of $95, I added high-index lenses for an additional $30. Total damage: $125. Already I’m about $400 ahead of the game with these frames.

Submitting my prescription was a cinch — I uploaded a photo from my smartphone. The next day, I received an email from Warby Parker saying they needed a measurement not listed on my prescription, something called a Pupillary Distance. To get this information, I was required to do this:

sb-pd-reading

While ridiculous, I commend Warby Parker’s creativity in acquiring technical information from people with absolutely no grasp of optometry. Throughout this process, I was reminded of just how difficult it must be to manage a mostly-online business selling products as personal as eyewear.

I received my shipping notice email Sept. 9 and was giddy (albeit surprised) to learn my glasses would arrive by Sept. 11.

Imagine my disappointment when they didn’t arrive. The tracking information didn’t update until the next day, and I received a quirky apology from Warby Parker and updated information on the status of my glasses. They arrived the following Monday, still just four business days from when they shipped.

When I giddily opened the package, I was disappointed again. The frames were way too wide. They fell off my face almost immediately, invalidating their original appeal. I decided to email WP to see if I needed to return them for a proper fitting, and then realized how dumb that was. Obviously they can’t adjust my frames remotely, so I took a quick trip to a nearby optometry practice with whom I’ve worked in the past and waited for my turn with the glasses person. During that time, I received an email from Warby Parker apologizing for the poor fit, along with this:

wp-fitting

Whaa? How awesome is that? They managed to exceed my expectations by actually elevating them to a practical level. What I mean is this: my expectations are often low when it comes to service transactions because it seems like EVERYONE wants to nickel and dime you these days. It makes sense that a eyewear company would want their customers to be 100% satisfied with their product, and a proper fit is a big part of that equation. Covering the cost of a fitting is the obvious right thing to do, and yet so many companies FAIL TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

I didn’t end up paying anything for the adjustment and couldn’t be happier with them. It’s only been a few days so time will tell if they wear as well as my pricey pair, but I have high hopes. As a marketing major, I also have to give mad props to the marketing people at Warby Parker – their communication is on point, offering levity without sounding juvenile and providing instruction without overdoing it. Case in point, this response to my survey:

warbyparker-survey

So, there you have it. If you managed to stick with me this far, remember that Warby Parker did not pay me for this review. I figured anyone toying with the idea of trying their service might find my experience helpful. Also, remember the company donates a pair of glasses through their nonprofit partners to someone in need. How cool is that?

Sunshine (On My Blog) Makes Me Happy

19 Aug

sunshine-blogger

I was surprised recently by a direct message from one of my favorite bloggers, Kristin Wong over at Brokepedia, telling me she’d just nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. Whaaaa!? Warm fuzzies broke out everywhere, my friends!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award, you ask? Well, I would try to top Kristin’s description, but why mess with perfection?

It’s more of a movement than an official award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is a networking tool to get bloggers to connect, support, and get to know each other. Nothing wrong with that. There’s a lot of solid, useful content out there, and the personal finance blogging community, in particular, is pretty stellar.

Well said, Kristin! As her post suggests, I need to:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated me. THANK YOU KRISTIN!!
  • Answer her questions.
  • Nominate other bloggers.
  • Create a list of just as many questions.
  • Notify the nominees.

Easy enough. Here goes!

Q&A:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to save cash?

I once returned something within minutes of purchasing it. My hubs and I thought we wanted a Wii gaming system, but after swiping my card for over $400 in charges, we instantly regretted it. The electronics department at our local Target is located at the back of the store, and we walked directly to customer service at the front of the store to return it. We felt silly but realized the sick feeling we both shared was a strong indication of a bad buy.

What do you love most about blogging?

I love writing and engaging with people on shared topics of interest. Not everyone in my immediate social group wants to hear about my latest shopping and saving exploits (shocking, I know), so blogging offers an outlet to engage with others who enjoy nerding out about saving money. I’ve also always loved writing, and the ability to create stories and be inspired by others’ styles and experiences is a true joy.

On a side note, I’d love a space where I could not only write about money but also about other topics of interest, including minimalism, yoga, wanderlust and others. I’ve been mulling over a plan of attack for this and hope to have something in the works soon.

What’s the hardest part about maintaining your own blog?

I have several other writing-related responsibilities that keep me from updating my blog as often as I’d like. That’s hardly an excuse in this community, as I know several full-time freelancers who manage to keep their blogs up-to-date while also showing up practically everywhere else on the Interwebs sporting unique content. Props to all you hustlers – you inspire!!

I also struggle with coming up with new, interesting angles about which to write. There’s only so many times you guys want to hear about my exploits at TJMaxx, after all. When I feel like I’m in a rut, I visit my favorite bloggers’ sites and am often inspired by a post or experience which then leads to a unique story of my own.

What’s your favorite book?

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Before you roll your eyes for my lack of originality, hear me out. I read this book once every couple years and every time I’m struck by the language. Thanks to working on the Internet all day, I’ve become a skimmer – I have to consciously remind myself to slow down and absorb what I’m reading. With Austen, this is a necessity, not an option. To access the full value of the experience, it must be read slowly and with purpose. You’re rewarded with a beautifully constructed jab, reprimand or insight that more often than not brings a smile to your face. At least for me. I fall in the love with the English language when I read Pride & Prejudice: it inspires me to be a better writer, to expand my vocabulary and to create a more precise-yet-polished way to convey my ideas.

In essence, this novel “bewitches me body and soul.” Muah! Plus, there’s a lot more sarcasm and snark than you might expect, delivered with such eloquence that you can’t help but respect it.

What’s the best money advice you’ve ever received?

Hmmm…I’m going to break the rules and offer two. First, from my mom: earn your own money. Second, from my husband: debt is evil. The first lesson helped me avoid financial dependency, and the second helped me reign in my spendthrift habits. I’m grateful to everyone who has influenced my money habits and while I have a lot to learn, I’m incredibly blessed to be where I’m at financially.

Now, on to my nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award!

Questions:

  • What first prompted you to start a blog about personal finance?
  • What’s your top piece of advice for driving blog engagement?
  • Describe the best deal you ever scored, and how.
  • What was the last TV series you binge-watched?
  • What app are you using a lot these days?

Another BIG THANK YOU to Kristin for nominating me! I look forward to reading what my nominees create and finding new bloggers to follow.

That Time I Wore Alpaca

13 Aug

alpaca-show

I need to work on my model smile, apparently.

On my way up to the set of KDVR’s Good Day Colorado this morning, I was asked by a Colorado’s Best guest to help model her designer alpaca clothing.

Um…sure?

While I had back-to-school bargains on the mind, I thought it might be fun to do a little twirling in a material with which I have zero experience.

You can view my segment with Good Day here, where I discuss stocking up on loss-leader supplies, comparing prices, requesting price-matches (especially from Staples, who is currently offer a 110% price-match guarantee), and buying gently-used clothing and electronics. With school supplies increasing in price, it’s important to save as much money as you can!

Now, back to the alpaca threads. Northern Colorado dwellers can attend the second-annual Suri Strut Fashion Show at Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colo., starting tonight at 5:30pm. Admission is just $5 plus you can get autographs from this gorgeous Colorado celebrity. Interwebs, meet Cody the Alpaca!

I could never pull off those booties. You go girl!

I could never pull off those booties. You go girl!

 

Isn’t she fabulous? Apparently she is one of the smallest surviving alpaca babies, weighing in at just 6.5 pounds when she was born (compared to the average alpaca birth size of 15 to 20 pounds). She was very weak and very sick, but a dedicated ranch owner nursed her to health and eventual fame – she’s now a children’s book author! You can read more about Cody here.

Aaaaand that’s a wrap. I never imagined sharing the green room with an alpaca, but I’m pleased to have met Cody and hope the fashion show goes well tonight!

Changing My Relationship with Things

22 Jun

Photo by Annie Mole via Flickr.

Photo by Annie Mole via Flickr.

Hi, my name is Kendal and I’m a Materialist.

I love new things. New clothes, new shoes, new decor, new accessories. I consider shopping a hobby and crave the high I get when I buy something I love. In recent years, however, my attitude about new things has started to change. I’d like to say it’s a natural progression toward maturity, but it’s not — it’s been the result of a conscious effort to enjoy what I already have and save money for less materialistic pursuits that I’ve identified as more important, namely travel and financial freedom.

It’s not been easy and I still struggle with the desire to buy things. To curb impulse purchases, I’ve adopted three primary strategies to help myself focus on my long-term goals.

Focus on what I own vs. what I have yet to purchase.

After reading a book on tidying that prompted me to donate over 50 items of clothing, I found myself content with the clothing that remained. I say “content” because every now and then I feel uninspired by my choices, but feel incredibly good when I create a new outfit I enjoy, anyway. I achieved that feat three times this week and feel a ridiculous sense of accomplishment. Same goes with home decor – when I want to switch things up, I shop other rooms and get creative with items I have around the house to create the look I want so I can decorate for free without adding anything unnecessary to my possessions.

Being honest with myself about what I use.

Intense decluttering requires honesty — there’s no room for “maybes” or “somedays” or “eventually.” As I work my way through my possessions, I’m taking a brutally honest approach about what I use and what I just think/hope/assume I’ll use. I then apply this same discipline when I’m considering a purchase — am I buying this for true utility, or am I buying it because it represents someone I want to be? Typically, the Joneses’ don’t just live next door – they live in your head, and you need to make a concerted effort to keep them out of your decision-making!

Planning my weekday meals better and JUST DOING IT.

I’ve always been a brown-bagger and typically prefer leftovers to any fast food joint near my office. However, when the leftovers run dry, I’m left to making lunch on my own and have recently fallen short. So much so that I’ve been eating out more which means I’ve been spending $6 here, $8 there on work lunches. LAME! I have all the time in the world to meal plan and get food and ingredients prepped for lunch, but laziness has been sabotaging my good intentions. When I kick myself in the butt and get things planned and prepped, I feel a lot better about myself and my week ahead. That’s priceless, and exactly what I focus on when couch time is all I want.

How do you keep yourself from allowing spending to sabotage your financial goals?

That Time I KonMari’d My Closet

23 Apr

krpdrawer
This past weekend, while many of you were being social or enjoying the outdoors, I was holed up in my bedroom, organizing. Specifically, I was applying the KonMari Method, a strategy created by Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, to my clothes. You see, I’m increasingly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff I own, and I’m turning to self-help literature to get it under control.

After reading the first few chapters of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I’ve been giddy with excitement to get started. I literally kept myself awake at night last week pondering the process, looking forward to the moment I could remove everything from my closets and get started.

On Saturday morning, the fun began. I emptied everything from my drawers and closets and organized them by category on my bed and bedroom floor (stopping half-way through to vacuum so my clothes wouldn’t get overtaken by dog hair and rawhide shrapnel). After everything I owned was in its rightful pile, I counted each garment and placed a notecard with the total on each section.

In total, I had 142 items of clothing to my name.

Honestly, I’m surprised by this number not because it’s big, but because it’s smaller than I thought it would be. In fact, I actually hoped it would be closer to 300 so I could purge 75% of it and feel really good out myself. But, 142 pieces is nothing to sneeze at and I was ready for the next step.

Deciding what to keep and what to donate proved harder than anticipated. I started with the tee shirts and immediately hit a road block. I’ve received several new tees over the last few months, but honestly most of them do not “spark joy” as advised by the KonMari Method. They were comfortable and functional to be sure, but did I feel a sense of pleasure when I recalled the last time I wore them? No, but the idea of parting with them led to guilt, which completely undermined my process. Instead of getting defeated, I moved onto another category in hopes of having more success.

Altogether, some categories were easier to purge than others. I struggled most with tees, cascade sweaters and long-sleeved button-up blouses. In fact, after I made my initial selections and had my rejects sitting in bags, I dug through them to retrieve a recently-purchased chambray button-up and v-neck tee. I also paraded around in a mint cascade sweater before wadding it up and throwing it back in the bag.

This is what's left of two closets full of clothes.

This is what’s left of two closets full of clothes.

In total, I filled two garbage bags with clothing rejects, and my husband joined the fun and discarded a full bag himself (though he didn’t take my meticulous approach). In addition to my bedroom closet, I cleaned out my guest room closet which once stored off-season clothing. I also got rid of outerwear from the entrance closet, as did my husband.

Now, the drawer that once contained a mess of wadded up casual clothing is a dream of KonMari-style folded sweaters and loungewear. The guest room closet is free of clothing and the entrance closet has never looked tidier. And my bedroom closet is so empty that I’ve requested a custom shoe, scarf and bag storage system from my husband, the design for which he whipped up in AutoCAD on Sunday.

My biggest regret? Not photographing the process for this blogpost. I was so excited that I powered through the task, partly out of excitement and partly out of fear that I would lose steam if I stopped to snap photos. However, my journey has only just begun and there will be more opportunity to better document my progress. Clothing was the easy part — next up is home decor, books, gadgets, and all the miscellany currently cluttering up my junk drawers and decorative baskets. Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: Ms. Marie Kondo did not pay me or compensate me in any way for this post. I’d love to meet her someday – I think we’d get along swimmingly.