My So Called Airbnb Life

The North Carolina Modern Farmhouse Bungalow

I feel like I should have made this post a couple months ago, but…better late than never, right?  You may have seen me mention Airbnb life in a few of my IG and blog posts, so here’s why.

“Let’s find some beautiful places and get lost together”

Towards the end of last year, as my apartment lease was coming to an end, I had a decision to make. I had to decide whether to renew my lease or find somewhere else to live.  I really didn’t care for the complex I was living in, and finding a new place to rent was proving to be harder than I imagined.  Because of COVID and its restrictions on landlords, rental home inventory in my area was pretty locked up.  I didn’t want to move into another apartment, (I was moving from a bad experience with a neighbor and just did not want to be connected to another person). I wasn’t quite prepared to buy another property (I already have a condo that I rent out and am not looking to buy anything else right now), and my rental options were extremely limited for the Southern Maryland region.  As time was winding down on my lease, the whole search was absolutely stressing me out.

In addition, we were around month 9 of this crazy pandemic, we were knee deep in an unreal election cycle, civil unrest was on an uptick, and I felt like I just needed an escape of some sort.  Travel was essentially restricted so a vacation wasn’t really an option, nor was it a long-term solution.

One day, almost as a joke, I said “I should just pack up my stuff and Airbnb it until I’m over it.”

It seemed like a ridiculous idea…until it wasn’t.  What does that even mean?? Airbnb it? What are you even talking about?? Airbnb isn’t even a verb!

After a few conversations with my boyfriend, and a lot of hypothetical what-ifs, we decided what the hell!  We were both teleworking for the indefinite future, all we needed was an internet connection, and that connection did not HAVE to be in Southern Maryland. 

I swear I did not think my stuff would fit!

We came up with a list of criteria for a rental home, we entered said set of criteria, and we searched until we were numb. We whittled down our list and tuned in on one home that piqued our interest. We had probably looked at that Airbnb listing a million times before we made our decision. We decided to go for it, and eventually we made our first monthly reservation. We didn’t really know what to expect.  Could we live in a rental home for an entire month?? What if we hated it on day 1 and were stuck?? We have no place else to go!

The pictures looked adorable but, in this day of filters and angles, anything can be made to look amazing. 

Once the reservation was made, it was time to execute our plan. For the last couple months of 2020, we debated logistics, we purged, stored, and packed all our possessions.  We finished out our lease, and by January 1st, we were in our first Airbnb—an adorable modern bungalow right outside of Raleigh, NC.

North Carolina Rest Stop on the way to our first Airbnb

When move day arrived, we pulled into the driveway well after dark.  We were exhausted from cleaning out the apartment, packing up the car, visiting relatives dropping off random this and thats, doing our last-minute Maryland items, and then driving the four hours to North Carolina.  We fumbled through the self-check-in, we unpacked the car, (dropping a bottle of red wine all over the driveway…sigh…), showered and went to bed.  We barely found our pj’s and toothbrushes before we called it a night.  But the next morning when we woke up, explored our new (temporary) home, and realized how much we loved the idea of what we’d done.

The home was exactly as the pictures portrayed.  YAY!  The décor was adorable, the modern furnishings were so chic, and the personal touches from the host were perfect.  It was peaceful. The scenery was so calming. We felt relaxed and it was wonderful.

Anyone who has taken a staycation can probably relate.  It doesn’t matter if you go down the street or to another country, there is just something therapeutic about being out of your home, your day-to-day routine, your normal space, and in a new environment.  And after nine months of quarantine, and a year of an unpleasant neighbor, new scenery was so refreshing.  Even if all we did was sit inside this home and work, cook, eat, and do normal every day things, we felt like a new peaceful space, and slightly warmer weather, would be just what the doctor ordered.

While it feels super weird to have no fixed address, and to not know where I will be living two months from now, somehow my nerves are less frazzled than they were living next to a neighbor that drove me insane, while constantly watching news that regurgitated the COVID/election/racial injustice cycle.

I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll be an Airbnb vagabond, but I’d love to take you all on this little journey with me.  I can’t promise it will be super exciting, but I will share some homes, experiences, and lessons that I learn along the way. I’m three months and three homes into this experience, and it’s been a pretty interesting lifestyle thus far. 

Have you ever thought of doing anything like this? If so, what would be your approach? What would you want to do? Where would you want to go?

Have questions, hit me up!

Unsubscribe from Those Things Which Do Not Serve You

CollageMaker_20190917_111341365

We all get those emails…and now, heaven forbid…those texts.  The ones offering a sale, or promoting an event, that we can’t quite figure out why we’re being alerted about.  Oh well, no biggie…delete.  Then you get another one, and another one, and a reminder, and before you know it, you’re getting a message a day, then multiple messages a day…delete, delete, delete.  WHY ARE YOU HERE???  WHO SENT YOU???

If you’re like me, it’s not enough to delete and keep it moving.  I want to find the root of the problem and cut off the source, and let them know not to EVER EVER EVER come around here no mo!!!  DO. NOT. SEND. ME. ANOTHER. EMAIL.!!!!  Since the source is probably a sold marketing list from someone I bought something from six months ago…or an event I expressed interest in but never attended (how many times have I done that??), finding the source is not likely to happen, I tuck my tail and opt for the next best, yet not quite as satisfying, thing…I click unsubscribe.

Then to add insult to injury, that little message pops up saying that they hate to see me go, and asking what did they do wrong.  Ha!  What did you do wrong???  You sent me an email!   Please click the box that applies–they ask.  Where is the box that says WHO. SENT. YOU.????

Then they probe me further.  Do we send too many emails?  Do you want to revise your subscription?  I NEVER SUBSCRIBED!!!  Do you only want to hear about sales and special events?  Seasonal messages?  Certain products?  What?  How can we keep you???  Please don’t go!!!

It is getting harder and harder to just live in peace, uninterrupted and unbothered.  Stores and people will intrude on your space without thinking about it for a millisecond.  Any opportunity that they can find to jam their issues or products smack into your face, they will take it.

And it’s not just businesses that do this.  Do you ever find that your day is going along perfectly fine, and someone figures out how to disrupt your peace with their drama?  Can you help?  Can you buy?  Can you advise me?  Can you listen to this?  Take my side?  Do me a favor?

Or what about the oh so important news alerts, or text message notifications from the chat group you don’t remember ever asking to be in?  It is virtually impossible these days to just be.   Uninterrupted and unbothered.  Impossible.

But here’s the good news.  That unsubscribe button…it’s there for a reason, and you should definitely use it.  Use it now, and use it often.  Yes, you should not have to use it, but if it helps to make your life a little less irritating, then click it hard and fast!  And don’t give it another thought.

To preserve your peace of mind, to maintain your sanity, or to save your wallet, unsubscribe from these items ASAP:

  • Emails from stores that you rarely or never shop at
  • Email lists that message often, but you rarely read
  • Any text messages from a business you have no interest in
  • Emails that tempt you daily about a product you don’t need and should never purchase
  • Group chats that are constantly dramatic
  • Emails about items that are no longer relevant (you already bought the house, why do you need to keep hearing from the realtor?)
  • Emails about events that you’ve decided are of no interest to you
  • Emails that are clearly from a company that you’ve never had a relationship with and never will
  • Continuous emails from hotel and travel sites when the promotions aren’t typically as good as they lead you to believe
  • Social media accounts that don’t serve as a source of information, joy, comedy, inspiration, or motivation

Life is hard enough sometimes.  Do you really need mental interruptions that impact your peace of mind?  If the answer is no, do yourself a favor–unsubscribe!!

Ideas for Handbag Organization

handbag organization

If you’re like me, you have a lot of purses.  A. LOT.  Despite my best efforts to purge and consolidate and minimize, I still have quite a few handbags remaining.  This wasn’t so much of an issue when I lived alone.  But now that I live with my boyfriend, I have to reign this in a little bit.  Apparently there’s no room for my handbag dresser, and having them strewn about the home is a no-go.  Fine.

Before I moved in, I trimmed down my purse collection, and now I have them all isolated to a corner of my closet, piled high.  Real high.  It isn’t functional and definitely isn’t pretty.  I find that I kinda just leave the last one I used on top, so it gets easy to forget about the poor ones on the bottom.  Some may ask…”well, doesn’t that mean you should get rid of the ones on the bottom?”  Of course not!  That’s definitely not logic that I’m going to follow, primarily because…I don’t want to.

So…in my quest to come up with ideas for storing my handbags in the space I’ve been allotted, I rounded up a few ideas from around the web that I thought were cute, functional, affordable, and relatively easy to implement.

book case
{glam book shelf}

closet organizer
{Park-a-Purse Organizer}

 

curtain rod
{Curtain Rod Organizer}

hanging organizer amazon
{Vertical Hanging Storage}

ikea hack
{Book Case With Cubbies}

lid rack
{Lid Rack}

peg board
{Peg Board}

purse wall
{Purse Wall}

wine rack
{Wine Rack}

Depending on your particular situation, one idea may work better than another.  For now, I should probably get to measuring and assessing to see which one will work for me.

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Purge–and have it picked up

donations 1

It’s time to get rid of that futon. And that old desk.  And that cabinet with three legs that you swore you’d find another leg for and paint and make brand new.  But you’re going on 10 years since making that promise, and let’s face it — it’s never going to happen.  Ever.  It’s time to let those long-held items go, let them find a new home with an owner that will live up to its promise to refurbish and make it whole again.  It’s not you.  It’s never going to be you.  Ever.

If you’re like me, one of the main reasons those items linger around your home way too long, is because they aren’t exactly going to squish into the back of your fiat or your volvo hatchback.  Even if you have an SUV like I do, some furniture is just too large to fit, or too heavy to carry alone, or would require entirely too many trips back and forth to the organization, or would require you asking a friend, which no one ever wants to do for fear of owing a favor…or you’re lazy.  Like me.  No judgment here, I promise.

So you have to figure out other arrangements.  The good news is that there are lots of charity organizations that will gladly take these items off your hands, and they will come to your home to pick them up from you.  Here are a few organizations that will do just that:

SALVATION ARMY:  This is probably going to be the way to go if you have a lot of random and bulky items that aren’t accepted by every organization.  They accept a wide range of furniture, home goods, appliances and clothing.  This is the option I went with.  They have a very simple website that, in a few short clicks and keystrokes, allow you to set up your pick-up date and location.  You can be present or leave the items in a location outside the home for them to grab.  It doesn’t really get much easier than this.

This organization accepts:  appliances, automobiles, clothing, furniture, household items, and miscellaneous items.

GREEN DROP:  This organization is a one-stop shop for multiple charities.  Your donation to Green Drop can benefit The American Red Cross, Purple Heart, National Federation of the Blind, and/or St. Vincent de Paul of Philadelphia.  You can donate at a Green Drop location or arrange to have your items picked up and they will also notify you when they will be in your neighborhood again.  Because, let’s face it, there’s always more purging to be done.  If you are doing a home clean-out, Green Drop will send a concierge to your home to let you know what they can accept, and to help you and your driver prepare for your upcoming donation.  Say whaaaaat????

This organization accepts:  clothing, bedding, tools, collectibles, kitchenware, toys, small appliances, electronics, musical instruments, and sporting goods.  They do NOT accept tv’s or tubular computers.  All donations must be less than 50 pounds.

PURPLE HEART:  Aside from its charitable work for veterans, this organization is best known its car donation program.  I have personally donated a car to Purple Heart in the past, and found the process to be simple and flawless.  A quick trip to the website and you can arrange to have your car picked up by the organization.  You can also donate clothing and home items by using Green Drop.

Please note, you must have a clean title (no liens) to donate your car.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY:  Best known for their work building houses, this organization also has its thrift store (the Habitat Re-Store), which sells building materials and other items that went unused in their home building, along with furniture and home furnishings.  Some locations will come and pick up your donated items from your home.  Habitat for Humanity also accepts car donations.

This organization accepts: new and gently used appliances, furniture, building materials, household goods, cars, and more.

SECOND CHANCE:  This charitable organization deconstructs buildings and homes, salvages usable materials and makes those available to the public through their 200,000 square feet of retail space.  With the revenue generated, Second Chance provides job training and workforce development for those with employment obstacles in the Baltimore region.

This organization accepts old doors and windows, hardware and tools, ironwork and mantles, and gently used furniture, building materials, kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, tubs, sinks, accessories, household goods, garden elements, collections, lighting or unique architectural items in good to excellent condition.  They even accept automobiles and homes.

COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK:  Started by a couple of college kids in 2003, this organization has grown and is now a franchised moving company that offers full-service residential and commercial moving, junk removal, donation pickups, and moving labor services across the United States and Canada.  Unlike nonprofit organizations, this is a company that charges a fee for its services.  But don’t shy away from that.  If you need stuff gone in a hurry, this is one way to do it.  And we all know, sometimes paying money is worth your peace of mind.

For items that you wish to donate, College Hunks will remove your items and take them for donation to places such as Goodwill, Green Drop, and Habitat for Humanity.

This organization:  does furniture and junk removal, appliance removal and recycling, yard waste cleanup, electronics recycling, carpet removal and recycling, mattress disposal, tire removal and recycling, office equipment removal, trash removal and garbage pickup, scrap metal removal, home junk removal and recycling, hot tub removal, and attic clean-out.  They will also In short, there is not much in your home that they will not help you remove or get rid of.

This is in no way an all-encompassing list.  Each area has local charities that may also provide donation pick-up services.  Do some research and see what your area has to offer.  But the take-away from this post is that this is motivation to get to purging.  Don’t let your car sitch or your lack of help keep you from getting on with your purging efforts.  Get your trash bags and boxes and fill them up.  Make the call, get your pick-up scheduled, and have your items ready to go when your crew arrives!

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