Welcome back to What’s In Your Cart, where we ask noteworthy creators, athletes, and celebrities about their favorite products, their shopping habits, and their deal-hunting acumen. If you or someone you know would like to be featured, shoot me an email at email@example.com with the subject line “What’s In Your Cart.”
This time around, we traded emails with writer and organizing expert Rachel Hoffman, whose new guided journal designed to help you build skills and habits while you reframe how you look at cleaning, CLEANING SUCKS, is out now.
The Inventory: What’s your favorite place to shop online?
Rachel Hoffman: I’m really trying to be better about Amazon; one of my 2020 goals is to shop more deliberately with companies that align with my views and values, which can be difficult when viewed through the lens of convenience. So I’m working on it, but the most frequent packages that come to my house right now are Amazon and Old Navy/Gap/Athleta (their tall sizes only exist online).
The Inventory: What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?
Rachel Hoffman: I bought a robot vacuum a while back, using my “not the most expensive or the cheapest, but like third or fourth cheapest option” method. I’d been eyeing one in the $180-ish range, but managed to grab it just as the newer model was coming out, plus there was a checkout coupon, and I had a credit I had forgotten about, so I think I paid around $75 for it. (This is the newer version of it, but mine is still doing its job just fine.)
The Inventory: What’s the biggest purchase you’ve ever made online? Was it worth it?
Rachel Hoffman: My mattress! I bought a Tuft & Needle two years ago, and I’m actually a little surprised that I did, to be honest. I’m a pretty obsessive researcher about big purchases, and I have a really hard time actually clicking that “submit order” button, so buying a mattress sight unseen is a little out of character. It worked out great for me, and I get really good sleep, so no regrets.
The Inventory: What’s something you bought recently that really exceeded your expectations?
Rachel Hoffman: A friend recommended Candlefish candles to me a few months ago when I was looking for something that smelled great and burned well for a long time, but wouldn’t give me a headache or trigger my allergies. I’m in love with their #58 candle, and am now working my way through their other scents.
The Inventory: On the flipside, what was the worst purchase you’ve made recently? Anything you had to return?
Rachel Hoffman: Not necessarily the worst, but my inattention to detail with regards to sizes led to me purchasing two MASSIVE bags of Wint-O-Green Life Savers for part of a coworker’s gift when I thought I was getting a reasonable, human quantity of candy. We’re talking like easily a five year supply. I guess I wasn’t really focused on what $12 of Life Savers actually gets you.
The Inventory: What are three items that you can’t live without?
Rachel Hoffman: 1. Dave’s Coffee Syrup. It’s a Rhode Island thing—like chocolate syrup but fancier, more delicious, and made of coffee—and I will defend it to the death.
2. My Bucky 40 Winks sleep mask. I love a sleep mask, and this is by far my favorite one, because it doesn’t feel constricting.
3. This pet hair remover. I have two dogs, so everything I own is just absolutely covered in dog hair if I don’t keep up with it. This is less work than my old standby rubber kitchen glove method, and it’s easy to use, easy to empty, and doesn’t generate waste with refills like sticky lint rollers.
The Inventory: What’s something you buy a lot of that might seem strange to an outside observer?
Rachel Hoffman: Microfiber cloths. I buy a 12-pack at least a few times a year, which seems ridiculous, but I have them everywhere, use them constantly, and also give them out like party favors because they’re magic. I’m currently partial to these green ones. [ed. Rachel and I discovered that we share a love of those green ones!]
The Inventory: Are there any items that you want to buy, but just can’t pull the trigger on? Anything you keep abandoning in your cart?
Rachel Hoffman: A Ruggable rug or three. Because of my dogs, we’re a hard floors only kind of household, but there’s something very appealing about an easily washable rug. Rugs, like almost everything home decor-related, are way more expensive than I can easily justify, though, so I just go to the site and sort of wistfully visit a few patterns every so often.
The Inventory: What are the last three items in your Amazon order history?
The Inventory: And finally, what are the last three items in your Amazon browsing history that you didn’t end up buying?