For three years I worked in the two-toned brown building in the lower right corner of this photo (Carnegie Hall Tower). Before the stupid “billionaires” tower went up right in front of it, our view was of all of Central Park. It was so nice. I think I can (almost) see the apartment building that I lived in for six years on Central Park West. 

I’m so glad that I moved uptown after college. 

Giving It All Away

I’ve been reading my second book on de-cluttering, The Joy of Less and I was KonMari’ing again last weekend and gave a bunch of stuff away. It felt really good to give my stuff to people who would give it a new life. These are inanimate objects, but humor me. 

Although my couch was old and kind of crappy (I bought it from IKEA in 2008), it was still totally usable and I really wanted it to get a new home and not go to a landfill. After little success on Facebook and with my IRL friends, I asked the intern at my office if she could post an ad on the Columbia University Marketplace on Facebook. I live quite close to Columbia and I knew I had a pretty good chance of finding a new home for my couch if I got the ad in front of Columbia students. Minutes after she posted it, I received three emails and narrowed it down to one after revealing when I could move furniture in and out of my building (there are very strict rules – M-F only). Three roomies came for the couch the day after I got my new one and thanked me profusely via text message after. I never met them but I’m glad some students who are paying high tuition have a free couch. And I’m very happy my couch has a new home.

Next on the chopping block were two yoga bolsters. I had three in my apartment but let’s be real, how many can I use at once? Answer: One, but I actually don’t even use that one all that often. So, instead of hiding the extra two under a chair, like I had been for months, I advertised on my Facebook wall that I had these two extra hardly-used bolsters and won’t someone please come take them from me? They were gone in a day. Yay!

After that I decided to purge my shoe collection. The floor of my small walk-in closet was covered and I touched about 4 pairs of shoes regularly. I did a Marie Kondo and put all of my shoes on the floor of my living room and picked through them. At the end I kept about dozen pairs – enough to be hung in the shoe holder on the back of my bedroom door and tossed a big bag after. Well, not tossed, donated. I also donated a small bag of clothing that had been sitting on a chair in my bedroom for a while.

I tackled the contents of my coffee table and ottoman, too. I was keeping far too many magazines – Time Out New Yorks – that I would ever look at again. So I kept about 10 issues that I especially liked and recycled the rest.

My bookshelves also got swept. When I was boxing up books, I decided to get rid of a few dozen plays that I’ll never read again, and some books that I read, enjoyed, and will never read again. And let’s not forget about books that I never read and probably never will. I’m taking these over to Book Culture on Saturday.

Previously I’d cleaned out my kitchen island and my tupperware (because as long as there is takeaway, there will be plastic containers, sadly).

It’s a privilege to be able to give stuff away and I’m fully aware. 

I’m not done yet, but it’s nice to start the process of streamlining. And please don’t worry, I’m not killing myself. No, no. I just got a new couch and cleaned out some junk – more than ever, now is the time to enjoy my apartment. (That sounds ridiculous, but you get what I mean.)

The Upper West Side Wins

Of course it does. 

I feel like I keep seeing these New York Times’ and Curbed articles about people who love the Upper West Side. And then I feel extremely grateful that the prior few bidders on my apartment didn’t know how to fill out a board application and I was – or my broker was, to be clear, because that shit is complicated.

I live within a couple of blocks of the water and two massive parks. I live two blocks from the best bagels in the city (not my words, everyone else’s), I have some awesome bars, Columbia’s sprawling, green campus, an adorable independent pet store that comes complete with an adorable pet store kitten, Book Culture, The Hungarian Pastry Shop, and a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Westside Market. And lots of trains.

I love my ‘hood and I am very fortunate to be able to live here.

And if I have the means, I’m never leaving. 

The Upper West Side Wins

Cleaning

Brain dump ahead.

I really hate cleaning my apartment. My apartment is all of 475 square feet, and it doesn’t take very long to clean at all (half-hour?). But I hate doing it. 

But the time has come where I feel like I must be regular about this whole cleaning thing. For myself, and for Playbill. I am insanely paranoid that she’s going to get worms again, or something worse, because I’m not a diligent enough cleaning lady. I changed that today.

Yesterday, after J and I had dinner and he left to watch the final NBA game, I hunkered down and spent some time cleaning my apartment. I swept, I Swiffered, I used 100 little antibacterial wipes. I dusted every shelf and surface. My TV. Under things. The bathroom. The stovetop. Cleaned the kitchen counter tops. Desktops. Dresser tops. 

I cleaned it all and I hope it’s good enough. I’m going to start putting reminders on my calendar to clean once a weekend. Wish me luck.

Cool Apartment

I loved my apartment from the moment I stepped into it. I walked in, took one look around, and said, “I’ll take it,” and thus began 6 months of paperwork and interviews. The set up of my apartment building is neat in that every room has windows – even the bathroom (which in New York is a total luxury). What I didn’t realize until last summer (and was reminded of yesterday) is that my apartment stays eerily temperate on hot summer days. 

Yesterday was New York’s first 90* day since last summer and I was worried about my cat. The air conditioners are from the last owners and they don’t work very well. The “temperature control” on the one in the living apparently doesn’t really work at all, so I couldn’t leave that one unless I wanted it to be on ALL DAY. 

To circumvent killing the environment, I put the AC on for the morning while I was getting ready to cool the place down and before I left, I open two of the windows (not big enough so she could jump out, but just enough for air flow).

While I was walking outside yesterday, I didn’t think it was too particularly scorching out but because I’m fueled by anxiety, I was a little anxious. I know cats like the heat and there wasn’t a lot humidity so I hoped for the best. 

The windows in my place face north and east. It gets a lot of sun in the morning and then not much for the rest of the day. This might sound like a downer if you’re a person who likes SUNLIGHT 24/7, but I’m not. The apartment gets light but not all-day sunbeams in the window creating sun patches for the little lion (aka my cat) to sleep in. 

Although my view is obstructed, somewhat, so is the sun. And that’s awesome because who wants to come home to a super hot apartment? No one, that’s who.

But I did order two new air conditioners yesterday anyway, including one smartphone controlled one, because I was paranoid during the day and I didn’t want to have to feel like that again. 

#cityliving

KonMari Method

So, like I mentioned the other day, I was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I just finished it yesterday. I loved it. It was amazing. I spent a lot of last Friday evening going through my bureau and got rid of two bags worth of stuff and re-folded everything.

Marie says you have to be able to see everything when you open a drawer so piling stacks on top of each other just doesn’t work (because you can’t see things) so she suggests folding so you can stand items up next to each other. To my astonishment, it worked. I even have an extra drawer now! I’m working on my wardrobes and walk-in closet whenever I have time this weekend.

Above are three of those drawers. I didn’t think you had to see my sock drawer and the drawer where my tights are. I also used the “does this bring me joy?” method of discarding for my bookcases and I was able to re-arrange and clear out an entire bookcase (anyone want a bookcase?). 

Thank you to my clothes and books for bringing me joy whenever they did. Now it’s time for you to bring job to someone else when I donate you.