The 10 Most Awesome Things I Found While Cleaning The Hell Out Of My Apartment

I can't believe I let these treasures out of my sight!
Publish date:
August 29, 2014
shoppables, accessories, storage, cleaning, tchotchkes, guest rooms

To call my home cluttered would be an understatement. In addition to the areas where cluttered is an accurate description (a pile of shoes on an upholstered chair is normal clutter, right?) I have a dire situation going on at the back end of my railroad apartment.

See, I’m in possession of something very rare among young(ish) New Yorkers: an extra room. And instead of using that room as a guest room or an office or a pinball mini-arcade like a normal person, I use it for storage -- unorganized, chaotic storage.

But I promised Rachel that she and her boyfriend can stay in that room when they visit New York next week as long as they don’t sex-pop my air mattress, so I’ve been in full-throttle cleaning mode.

As much as I dislike cleaning -- my brain is weirdly overwhelmed by the act of organizing -- it’s actually a lot of fun to find awesome things I totally forgot I have. So in addition to donation and throw-out piles, I’ve got a “Whoa, why was I hiding this from myself?” pile.

Here’s some of the great stuff I’ve rediscovered as I try to purge my soon-to-be guest room.

Jason Wu sample glasses

A couple years ago, I took a long lunch (sorry, former boss) to go to a designer-eyewear sample sale. I spent an hour in a small room with a table covered in glasses, trying on pretty much everything and making lifelong friends.

I forked over $20 for these Jason Wu frames and promised myself I'd get prescription lenses put in ASAP, but opticians I called wanted to charge way more than I expected, so I sort of forgot about them. But I really should find room in my budget for the lenses, because they're cute as hell.

Super-sparkly pasties

*high-pitched xylophone note to convey glistening*

I have no memory of how I came to own these, but I admire their craftsmanship and promise to consider wearing them one day for a few seconds alone in my apartment maybe.

A notebook that looks like a sandwich cracker

I have bought so many cute and ultimately un-written-in journals. In this case, I was shopping solo one day and found this Daycraft notebook, which has orange pages that look like cheese, at the MoMA store. Not the one that's actually attached to MoMA itself -- the one in Soho. I don't go to museums alone. I get scared.

An “Adventures of Pete & Pete” VHS tape

Sadly, this tape isn't actually mine. It belongs to my friend Kristina, and I accidentally (I swear! I don't even have a VCR!) put it in my bag after hanging out at her place one day, and I will give it back to her the next time I see her.

FUN FACT: In 2006, I briefly dated the guy who played Wayne "The Pain" Pardue.

A lifetime supply of tights

I found no less than 20 pairs of new tights with clearance stickers on them, and I didn't buy any of them. My mother sends me packages every now and then, and for some reason, she always includes tights in interesting colors and patterns, even during the summer. Thanks, Mom! I promise to start wearing them.

Ceramic massage stones

I know they look like Jonathan Adler tchotchkes, but these are actually massage doohickeys by Jimmyjane. From what I can tell, they don't make them anymore, but they do make a $3,500 platinum and diamond vibrator, so go ahead and treat yourself (and maybe don't lose it in your extra room).

Holy crap, a vintage Gucci bag!

OK, so my mom's packages sometimes include stuff besides tights. Not complaining.

A toothbrush holder shaped like a ram’s head

The name Marci is derived from the Roman god of war, Mars. The Greek equivalent is Ares, which is homonymous with Aries, my astrological sign, which is represented by a ram. In Chinese astrology, I was born in the year of the ram/sheep. And my Hebrew name, Malka Rachel, means "queen ewe."

Anyway, that's why I bought this toothbrush holder.

Kate Spade earrings

I received these as a gift, and I recently found my dog, Rufus, devouring the box they came in. I freaked out and started Googling phrases like "Will my dog poop out the earrings he ate or will they perforate his intestines?"

I was fully expecting to see lavender jewels shining through one of Rufus's turds, but instead, I found them safe and sound and undigested. I might even wear them.

Touchable bubbles!

They're bubbles! You can touch! If you're wondering why I didn't include a photo of myself doing exactly that, it's because I'm considering writing an entire article about these.

What's the best thing you've ever found while cleaning? What have you hoped to find that just hasn't reappeared yet? I was crossing my fingers that my vintage WPLJ Billy Joel sticker would jump up and wave at me while I was cleaning, but alas, BJ is still MIA.