In honor of my new book, THE GET YOURSELF ORGANIZED PROJECT, I want to help you get your life together, and I want to start with your handbag…


I’ve always known the truth: the bigger your purse, the smaller your butt looks.

But with a large purse come the ability to fill it to the tippy top with a back breaking amount of “stuff”.

I knew I had issues when I casually mentioned to Roger, “I wish they had purses with wheels on them.” His reply, “They do. They’re called suitcases – and you have a problem.”

I would love for you to have the feeling that wherever you go, you are not weighed down by “stuff”.

Here’s my super-speedy way of cleaning out my bag. I simply take my purse and dump it out into a plastic grocery bag. I sort the dump into Put Away, Put Back, and (in this case) Throw Away.

Put Away

Anything I want to keep that doesn’t belong in my purse gets put away. This is also when I go through receipts I’ve carefully placed in my wallet (or, more likely, the ones I’ve quickly thrown into my purse…) and random notes or other pieces of paper. If you’re away from home while you’re sorting, just put these items into another bag to put away when you get home. And when you get home, put them away in the right spot.

Put Back

If it belongs in your purse, go ahead and put it back into your purse.

Throw Away

Anything that’s left over in your plastic grocery bag (food wrappers, cash receipts you don’t care about, and so on,) is now garbage that gets recycled or thrown away.

The beauty of the grocery-bag organizing system is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Just grab a grocery bag and start sorting while you’re waiting for your kids to get out of band practice or while you’re on the phone with your mom.

Clean it Up

Give your purse a good shake and get out any stray bits, crumbs etc. I’ve even used a hand held vacuum to really get the bag clean.

Label It and Put It Away

Assign a spot for everything that belongs in your purse, bag, or backpack. I use three zippered pouches. Everything goes into one of those three pouches or into your wallet (or in rare cases, onto your key chain). The fewer items you place in your purse, the easier it is to know what’s in there.

Wallet. I recommend you keep in your wallet only cash, receipts, checkbook, and credit, debit, and gift cards.

Pouch 1: Makeup bag

  • Lipstick and gloss
  • Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Sunscreen stick
  • Blush and brush
  • Eyeglass cleaner wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

Pouch 2: Emergency kit

  • Fashion tape
  • $20
  • Needle and thread
  • Nail glue
  • Advil
  • Couple of adhesive bandages

Pouch 3: Change

Other Things to Keep in Your Bag

  • Sunglasses case
  • Cell phone
  • Keys

Keep It Up

If I sort through the items in my purse once a week, it really is easy to stay on top of it. It takes only a couple of minutes to keep it up.

Do you have to do it exactly like this? No. I just want you to have a clean purse that is functional and doesn’t give you a hernia. So tell me here in the comments that you cleaned out your purse by May 18th (and I’d love to hear what the strangest thing you found in there was!), and here is what you could win:


One winner will receive this beautiful Vera Bradley tote on the left filled with Kathi’s entire collection of books

And FIVE winners will receive my FAVORITE tote ever: The “My Husband is a Hottie” bad filled with all of my books!