The House Is In The Bag

While Jslow continues to unpack her New York self and take small steps in high heels trying on life in Los Angeles, I continue my house hunt and long for my own packing and unpacking for my new life here San Francisco. I’ll only be moving a few short miles, but it may as well be a long way out in a new state.

It’s been six week since this all began, an exhilarating, frustrating, confusing and education slog through hidden neighborhood gems off the beaten path with names like West Portal, Westwood Highlands, Glen Park, Inner Parkside and Forest Hill — names you’d find in a fairy tale, evoking parks and trees and mountains and magical things one doesn’t typically associate with San Francisco city living.

Happily trading cement for cedar, hoping for our own happily-ever-after, we try on home after home to see what fits us.

As I continue to connect house hunting to fashion and shopping, here is my current analogy: A house is like a handbag.

Mona Milkface bag, circa late 1990s. Fitting my stuff in was a struggle.

Mona Milkface bag, circa late 1990s. Fitting my stuff in was a struggle.

I know, sounds crazy but hear me out:

Having a lot of space in a home would seem ideal: room for your family, your stuff, your “space.” Yet some places we’ve seen seem too big. There would be a room, a closet, a shelf for everything, but would I really keep everything neatly organized? And remember exactly on what shelf and in what room I put stuff? Would I be rooting around all the time like I do in my big Balenciaga bag? I know that I typically salivate over the big bag with loads of compartments, but they stay organized for a few days tops, with everything spilling into the main compartment anyway. Just as I salivate over the big home, yet where do we always gravitate? The kitchen!

Would a bigger house weigh me down like the big bag? Would I buy more and more things to fill up the space? Would it constantly be messy, like all my big bags?

Many years ago, Jslow had a handbag line, MonaMilkface. I bought one of her very first bags, which may as well have been a wallet as far as I was concerned — it was just so small. She gave me the hardest time about the half backpack/half bag I lugged around containing makeup, money, an extra sweater, magazines, gum, candy, hair products, more magazines. But I did it, I slimmed down to just the necessities, which was liberating, better for my back, and far more fashionable.

So with this in mind, we’re going back out today to review some houses, big and small. I’ll be carrying a small Marni bag, with just room for my phone and keys. And hopefully, new keys soon! xo

Red tote bags handbags1: Dooney & Bourke shopper, Macy*s. 2: Balenciaga “Giant Work” tote, Neiman Marcus. 3: MICHAEL Michael Kors Selma stud large North/South tote, Zappos. 4: Proenza Schouler PS1 large leather bag, Barney’s. 5. Valentino Garavani Rockstud tote, Farfetch. 6: Issey Miyake Bao Bao basic tote, NestDallas.

2 Responses


    I am loving all the house hunting updates and fashion metaphors. Such wise words!

    Keep them coming and best of luck! I’ll be seeing you soon.


  2. Paula

    Thanks Jen! We submitted an offer today, a long shot on a place a bit our of our league. This ebay-nature of this all is nerve-wracking! Can’t wait to see you. xoxo

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