By Laura Wittman
I am in the process of getting everything organized again after the holidays. And, my purse is no exception. On Monday, when I was heading back to work, I realized my purse was rather heavy. I looked inside and determined that my purse went on Christmas vacation as well, meaning it was a complete mess. It had piles of junk in it from traveling to my hometown for Christmas and not taking the time to clean it out when I got back.
Before Christmas break, I had a nice system going on with my purse and it rarely got messy. So, I had to jump back on my regular purse organizing routine that includes the following rules to help keep your purse organized.
Clean it out once a week.
It doesn't matter how hard I try on a daily basis, by the end of the week, something in my purse is unorganized. The daily hustle and bustle of life can definitely be seen in my purse and that is OK. I just have to make sure I maintain the clutter at least once a week.
This is one of the best things I have learned about organizing my purse. Placing items in separate bags or cases inside your purse keeps things a lot more orderly. For instance, I keep all of my planner accessories in one pouch, all of my cosmetics in a different pouch, and my money, debit, and credit cards in a separate pouch. This helps when I am looking for something particular, like a pen. I don't have to stick my hand in the bottom of my purse and hope for the best. I know where the pens are located and can go directly to that pouch. This saves time and frustration.
Have a system for receipts.
Receipts are the number one thing that create clutter in my purse. It is a never ending battle that I have to face daily. I now have a system for receipts, though, that has helped with this issue. I have a specific compartment in my purse where I place receipts. Once I get home from an outting or when I clean out my purse once a week, I take all of the receipts out of the compartment and place them in my receipt file.
Having a compartment in my purse specifically for receipts helps keep the rest of my purse tidy.
Resist the urge.
This one is hard for me, but I try my best to resist the urge to collect things as I shop or eat. You know, when you are shopping and a nice sales associate is standing in the fragrance section and he/she politely asks if you would like a sample? Yeah! I have a hard time saying, "no" because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I am sure the individual doesn't care if I take the sample or not, but I am a people pleaser.
Then, you know, when you go to the drive-through and they offer you extra napkins and salt packets? I would take them and cram them in my purse as well.
So, by the end of the week, my purse would look like a walking souvenir.
I had to tell myself to stop taking these things when I don't need them. So, now, when I am approached about taking a free sample or free napkin, I stop and ask myself if I really need it.
Store loose change immediately.
How many times do you go to pay for something in a store, get change, and just drop it in your purse? I know I am extremely guilty of it. It is almost like I don't want to stop, breathe, and spend a few minutes putting it in a safe place.
Then, when I am doing my weekly purse cleaning out, I have to spend extra time collecting the change and putting it away.
So now I have designated a spot for all of my change in my purse. I made sure the spot was easy to access as well. If it takes five minutes to find my special change compartment, then I am more apt to shove it in the bottom of my purse.
If I know where all of my change is located, I know how much money I have and don't have to play shake-the-purse to find out.
Have a car supply kit.
When I was growing up, my poor mom was a walking medicine cabinet. She had every type of bandaid, toothpick, and medication we might need when we were on the road. I know her back had to kill her everyday after lugging her purse from place to place.
Now, I get to stand in my mom’s shoes. I have kids that I have to take to and from different places and my purse could easily look the way hers did. But, keeping a car supply kit helps with some of these purse issues.
Instead of carrying the whole kitchen sink in my purse, I keep a nice stash of emergency items in my car. Things like:
· extra hairbrush & hairties
· stain remover
· small scissors
· any other item that my family may use
Medication is something I carry in my purse (in a small pill container) because it can be sensitive to changes in the weather.
Just removing a few of those items and creating a car kit saves my purse and possibly my back in the long run.
Beware of toys.
Can anyone relate to this one? I swear my two kiddos are sneaky little humans. Somehow, by the end of the week, I will have random markers, balls, and toy figurines floating around in my purse. I guess they want to make sure their favorite (which changes daily) toys go with us in case they want to break out a toy session in the middle of Wal-Mart.
I try to have my daughter take a separate small bag or purse with us for her belongings. I already have enough stuff hanging out in my purse without all of her necessities. And, my little man always has a small cinch bag that we carry with diapers, wipes, and a spare change of clothes. So, we try to make sure his goodies go in that bag.
Carry a smaller purse.
When all else fails, carry a smaller purse! If I carry a smaller purse, I carry less in it. The bigger my purse, the more I think I can cram in it. But, this always requires thought. Just because I carry a smaller purse doesn't mean I need to have it overflowing with items I think are essential.
To end, I wanted to share the before and after pictures from my weekly purse clean-out session.