National Clean Out Your Purse Day May 15th

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!

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  1. Awesome giveaway!!!! I just cleaned by purse out, but I am SURE that it will need it again by then. ;)

  2. Yes this is a much needed day. My kids and husband are afraid of my purse and fear it will bite them. If I clean it out will they feel more comfortable getting in it?

  3. Catha Huff says:

    Cleaning out my bag and I just found some cute pumpkin erasers I used as BINGO markers in a fall activity in Sunday school. My cleaning out was LONG overdue. Thanks for making getting organized SO fun!

  4. Jeanette Plummer says:

    WooHoo! I cleaned out my purse and my shoulder is already thanking me. Besides finding 6 pens, 4 lipsticks, 3 straws, 3 packages of mints, 2 packages of gum, business cards, coupons, CDs and a ton of receipts, I finally found my small bible and my flash drive with my Israel pictures! Who knew one medium purse could hold so much!

    BTW – I love the idea of the pouches but I must admit that I minimized the ‘makeup pouch’ because everyone has to take me ‘just as I am’!! I’ve decided to put this little task on my monthly ‘to do’ list as I know it won’t stay this way.

    Thank you and my shoulder thanks you! :o)

  5. I’m going to clean by purse right now. I love your idea of having the separate pouches. I have just one and it is easier when I am looking for something. My purse isn’t usually too cluttered but we did have a busy MOPS meeting today so I threw everything into my purse on my way out to pick up my girls. =p

  6. I clean out my purse pretty regularly.
    Strange is in the eye of the beholder. I KNOW I have stuff in there others would find odd.
    swiss army knife, plastic barbie sized gun, lime green jump drive, featherweight bobbin and other assorted sewing items, non single-use feminine protection, cloth grocery bag. Right now, it looks pretty good, in a day or two, receipt city!

  7. Blessing P. says:

    i always felt i had rocks inside my bag! lol even if i sort and clean it regularly it still feels that heavy. lol again! but will give your ‘tips’ a try if it can make my bag less heavier than it usually does then its worth it :) thanks!

  8. I do the dump too!!!! Soemtimes I am lucky and found long lost objects or money I did not know I had!!!!


  9. OOPS, strangest thing? 2 year old movie tickets OR fossilized food items

  10. I just cleaned mine out last weekend. My shoulder has been killing me and my purse is part of the problem! I found 5 yogurt covered raisins (free floating, no box) in my make up pocket… not sure how they got in there. And about 17 Sonic mints. You can tell where those free mints go when I stop to get a quick drink. :)

  11. I was given the purse my great-grandmother used. In the 30-40s women didn’t think they had to carry as much as we do now. It is quite small. Think Aunt Bea on The Andy Griffith Show. I just started using that and I love it.

    The strangest thing I found in my purse though when I switched on Saturday was a rock I grabbed to throw at a pigeon. When I stepped outside the door, the pigeon flew off and I must have just slipped the rock in my purse. And really it’s not a cute small rock at all, more like a mini-boulder.

  12. I actually found money! what a surprise.

  13. I’ve got a smallish purse that ‘just’ fits my most basic stuff and since space is a premium the strangest thing I might find is a stray movie ticket or kids drawing. Boring. I’d rather walk out the door most days with nothing to carry if I can help it. However, my work bag is a big sack of mystery most of the time.
    Good project, great ideas!

  14. I definitely go with the “big purse makes your butt look smaller” philosophy of pocket books. I just got a new zebra purse for my birthday and had to clean out my old purse to put things in the new one. It’s funny how a purse’s contents can say so much about you.
    tons of coupons = frugal
    snacks and candy = prepared
    paci = mom of young child
    lipstick, but no other make-up = put together, but not high maintenance
    business cards = always looking for opportunities

    You get the idea. Great post! Thanks for the prompt to purge and the great ideas to keep the shoulder boulder clean. :)

  15. I cleaned my purse out and have kept it organized for about a month! This practice alone is a sanity saver! I actually have a small portfolio that I organize my receipts in and go over them at the end of the month!!! That little thing alone is worth its weight in gold, keeps my purse some much nicer.

  16. I just cleaned out my purse. THANK YOU FOR THE INSPIRATION! I used to clean it out every Friday afternoon waiting for the kids to get out of school, but I haven’t done it in a long time (I think summer break messed up my routine and here it is just a few weeks until the next summer break). The strangest thing I found in my purse (I have 4 boys so there are a lot of strange things) – maybe the empty film canister (I have a digital camera)? Whether I win the books or not (which I hope I do), I have a clean purse – so I still won!!!!!!!

  17. I use a diaper bag as my purse:) And I cleaned it out this past weekend. I don’t know that I found anything all that strange, but I certainly found a lot of suckers and toy cars!

  18. Okay, I found a dried, swirveled up, petrified french fry in an inside pocket and I haven’t eaten french fries in months!

  19. Katie Scott says:

    Love to clean out my purse! Thanks for the motivation! You can tell I am a mom–found a pacifier and dirty kid socks. Love it!!!

  20. I try to stay on top of my purse cleaning, I dump it out and start over also. There was nothing too crazy in my purse – some coupons and receipts from today’s trip to the grocery store and a toothpick from a sample from today’s trip (thank you dear daughter for deciding my purse was the right receptacle for the stick your chicken sample was on!).

  21. I just cleaned out my purse recently. I found a pair of dirty socks …ew! An old french fry…ew! A matchbox car, among other things! I love the theory that the bigger your purse is, the smaller your butt looks! I have a big purse, a big but, and back problems! LOL!!!

  22. Cleaned my purse out! Found a few stray pennies, some expired coupons, and my boys took the pack of gum I found! Nothing very exciting.

  23. Carol Boley says:

    Ever since I had babies and started carrying a diaper bag (28 years ago) I can’t leave the house without every object necessary to sustain life. In fact, I consider my car a purse on wheels.

    Here’s a take on your pouch idea: keep a small pouch with wallet inside your bigger bag so you can grab it to take into the store, not having to lug the whole thing.Not a strange object to find in my purse, but most mysterious? A plum that had evolved into a prune. Nice!

  24. I cleaned out my purse and nothing too strange, other than the fact I keep underwear in my purse (kids underwear not mine). You never know when a child is going to have an accident.

  25. Jessica Lincoln says:

    I cleaned out my purse today and the strangest thing I found was a bag of Chic O Sticks in the bottom that i didnt realize were in there

  26. OK, I recently cleaned out my purse (before the challenge) and I found a Babel Light Laughing Cow Cheese Round, completely wrapped and in tact – I am guessing it was in there about 3 or 4 weeks. SO; I did put one in there, I wasn’t going crazy when I couldn’t find it. YIKES!!!! ;o) I can’t even blame it on my kids, wait a minute, what is that stuff made of?….I have Tootsie pops that don’t fare that well in my purse!!!

  27. I love this I actually dump my purse out on a daily basis. I need to work on the wallet though I like your idea on what to put in it. I didn’t find anything good at all in my purse :( although I did notice my wallet had fallen out in the car.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I cleaned out my purse! Condensed to a smaller one and put in compartments, I feel so much better! Thank you!!

  29. Carol Boley says:

    Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., says that according to the American Chiropractic Association, you should carry a purse that weighs no more than 10 percent of your body weight, in order to avoid neck and back strain, joint soreness, and even bad headaches.

    He makes a good point, but now I will have to find some new weights to use to work out.

  30. I clean out my purse(s) fairly often because I have a collection of them – I like purses waaaaaay too much – or at least, my husband thinks it’s too much :-) I just cleaned my purse out and the strangest thing I found was a 2 pieces of drift wood – quite small. I had picked them up as memory-pieces, one for my daughter’s birthday beach party, my birthday beach party and hopefully I’ll find a third, tomorrow for my husband’s birthday beach party.Thank you for a clean purse analogy – one I can definitely identify with!

  31. I just cleaned out my purse =) I also downsized to a smaller purse and cleaned my “extra” stuff out of the diaper bag =) Putting everything into compartments is next. Thanks for the idea and motivation!

  32. D'ana H. says:

    Ahhh – feels so good to go through the cute little dump I call a purse! Why do we hold on to the dumbest things?? Or is it just me? I mean really, am I really going to use that extra straw they gave me at McD’s today? And for crying out loud, put those receipts in their proper home….trash or filing cabinet! I’m on a roll now – maybe I’ll actually tackle those photographs in the basement today!!!!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas and for the awesome adorable giveaway opportunity!!

  33. Oh man! When I cleaned my purse, I found a little lotion bottle that was sticky and covered in dirt and sand- but I didn’t find what made the bottle sticky… I just knew there was a spot in my purse that was nasty, but I didn’t have time to get to it! Yuck!

  34. I cleaned out my purse on Friday and threw away a couple handful of receipts that could be lived without. And the most unusual thing I carry around? A little pack of toilet seat covers – just in case I need one.

  35. Joanna says:

    Currently, my diaper bag doubles as my purse, so there is a lot of room for extra “stuff.” Your email arrived at the same time an unusual smell arrived in my bag…a perfect time to dump everything out and start fresh! I located a bunch of unnecessary items and the source of the nasty odor – two food/mold covered serving spoons that had been hiding in the bottom of my bag since our last MOPS meeting two weeks prior. Yuck!

  36. 1955nurse says:

    O~M~G!!! Thanks so much for the * SUGGESTION * , this is a GREAT idea!!! I accumulate so much JUNK it’s not even funny… almost empty lotion/lip balm/body spray/ mints, etc. I’m getting a new bag & this was FABulous timeing, glad I won’t be in a rush now, transferring all that misc. “stuff” that I don’t need & that weighs me down!!! ((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) And thanks for the great giveaway, Love the Vera Bradley bag (& the other is cute, too!!!)

  37. Clean out your purse day is my birthday!!!!
    The sad thing is I carry a tote as large as the one you are giving
    away by Vera Bradley and I carry another one of those Eco-friendly
    bags to carry the overflow from my purse/tote.
    Thank you so much for helping me lighten my load.
    I hope I win what an awesome birthday gift a new purse and a clean

  38. I love a good challenge. And a dare. In fact in my mind they are almost synonymous. So I’m diving in. In fact I plan on having fun with this and blogged my beginning.

    But it won’t be live until tomorrow.

  39. Pat Toler says:

    I love big purses too. The strangest thing I ever found was a set of class papers,
    folded length-wise with a rubber band around them, way down in the bottom.
    Lots of stuff covered them, so I didn’t remember putting the papers there.
    Needless to say I had wondered how I misplaced that class’s papers.

    It is amazing what we cram in our purses! We also end up carrying everyone else’s
    stuff so they don’t have to.

    I started keeping a tote bag that I take to the car whenever I am going somewhere.
    I leave the bag in the car, but it is the keeper of my camera, calendar, bottle of water,

    Noticed even though I do this, A leather-type purse is heavy all by itself.
    Love your organizing solutions!

  40. Laura Russell says:

    Hey, I can’t wait to celebrate clean out your purse day. I have a magic purse that holds everything. I have noticed it needs re-stocking. These last few days, I haven’t been able to find a pen in the bottom. I am using a version of your three pouches– I have one with a ribbon attached that holds my cell phone and my daily notebook so I can find them quickly. Will now upgrade to more pouches.

  41. I found PS. 56:8 written on a piece of paper dated in 1995 along with a quote that said, “God’s most precious gifts are crystallized tears”. I wrote it down during a particularly hard season in my life and have carried it around with me ever since as a reminder that God sees my tears, is catching them in a bottle, and will use them in a positive way some day. I was shocked to see that I still had it with me all these years!! :D

  42. Two tape measures! ( who can measure up to that?)

  43. I just cleaned out my purse and found 3 lego minfigs, 2 extra body parts, 1 head, and 3 squatty body action figures. But that’s not all…. I also found 5 lip chap stick tubes – one of which is completely empty. Plus the black sharpie. Huh? What’s the purpose of carrying that around? and of course 4 half pieces of gum. I guess that’s pretty good though. I used to find old pieces of sausage that my kids hadn’t eaten on the way to school. Thanks for this challenge!

  44. Nichole Laliberte says:

    Super funny! We did a purse clean out at our MOPS meeting and I had a bottle of terriyaki sauce I had forgotten I had purchased in my purse. I had no idea how long it had been in there. It gave us all a really good laugh. I love getting organized, so I am super excited for this project, it seems no matter how hard I try to get organized…it’s always just out of my reach. Bring it on Kathi, I am ready!!!!

  45. nothing to scary in my purse…just lots of crayons for that imprompto tic tac toe game! But I did noitce I need a new purse!
    Would love to win the hottie bag ?

  46. Ive cleaned my purse… My shoulder really hurts. I’m always looking for new ideas to organize my purse. I found my daughters front toothin my coin purse. My daughter just turned 18 this week! Lol! Sooo embarrassing. Thanks for you ideas. I’m sure I will clean again b4 the national day.

  47. Melody S says:

    I just cleaned out my purse. I didn’t really find anything too weird, but when I was a kid, my mom once found half a McDonald’s hamburger in her purse, and it was my fault. I had asked her to put it there so I could finish it later. We both apparently forgot about it, because she found it while she was looking for someone else, in front of one of her friends. She said it was hard as a rock! I guess it must not have smelled much either, or else she would have thrown it out.

  48. See my purse in all it’s glory on my blog post here:

    Weirdest thing… packing tape..!!!

  49. Dawnette Thomas says:

    My purse contained not one or two but four bouncy balls. I think I need to create a kids “toy” bag just to limit how many toys I hold.

  50. I cleaned out my purse last Wed. using your system. I was so proud of myself and enjoyed knowing I had my little emergency kit and all. We went out to eat Thursday night and I stuck a small container of leftovers in my purse. Sunday morning I discovered those same leftovers still sitting in my purse! I laughed so hard and told my husband- how long would they have been in there if I had NOT had a clean purse! Yuck! So my forgetful ways are not behind me but at least my purse is clean enough to discover things before they have come alive and crawled out!
    Wierdest thing I have found- I don’t know which item wins-maybe finding plumbing parts I had carried with me months prior to find a replacement at a hardware store. Nastiest thing was a dirty diaper that had been forgotten and buried at the bottom. Had to wash the purse an everything in it! Yuck!!! As you can see I desperately need some order to things… too bad I can’t “organize” my brain!!!

  51. My purse is clean! And so much lighter! I put pictures up on my blog….

    I found receipts from over a year ago….:(

  52. Mary Preston says:

    I cleaned out my purse. I put all the loose change into my daughter’s piggy bank.

  53. LOL, are you ready for this? I just changed purses so it is nice and clean right now. What I found while switching was, a urine sample container. My daughter was suspected to have a UTI and was supposed to give a urine sample. She couldn’t go so I put it in my purse and would bring it back later when she finally could go. Well, we forgot and I just found it. lol

  54. Hannah Connolly says:

    My purse (or you could call it a bag these days) is clean!! The collection of pens is now put back in the kitchen drawer, receipts from months ago put away, ketchup packets thrown out, wipes, diapers, and pacifiers put back in baby’s diaper bag, granola bars that are smashed to a pancake are thrown out, coupons from last year thrown out.. yep I guess you could say it’s a lighter more organized purse! Thanks so much for the challenge to clean out the excess and be more organized!!

  55. I love the Vera bag! I love bags with lots of pockets to keep organized. My wallet and makeup bag are the biggest items in there but for some reason I am always searching for a hair clip ;)

  56. Clean purse? Check :) I keep buying smaller purses…and then going back to the jumbo ones. Todays stash? Seven li glosses, six ink pens and eleven receipts. Oh brother! Thanks for the clean purse reminder. Love the three smaller poucnes idea!

  57. Anonymous says:

    I cleaned out my purse too. I got rid of all the receipts and put all my lipgloss in my little case. It is so much nicer.


  58. sand swank says:

    All nice and tidy!

  59. Julie Haakenson says:

    I JUST cleaned out my purse over the weekend. My ritual is to clean out my purse every time my wallet has too many store receipts. I also use the pouch method and find it works fabulously. Certainly makes things easy to find. Happy Clean Out your Purse day!

  60. Mary McCarthey says:

    WOW! My purse has never been this clean and organized! Thanks for the great plan and motivation :)

  61. Michal Margala says:

    My purse is clean! It’s big too and I have a ton of room in there after I got rid of the old granola bar wrappers and goggles…thanks for the encouragement!

  62. My purse is cleaned out! Love the tips you shared. I love order and organization! Thrills my soul! I loved the comment and am claiming it today~”the bigger your purse is, the smaller your butt looks.”

    Happy Tuesday!

  63. I just got a new purse, so when I moved all my things from the old bag to the new one I made sure that the receipts, cough drop and candy wrappers, and miscellaneous crumbs will no longer be traveling with me! There are probably a few other things that I could remove, but you never know when you might really need that back-scratcher with the telescoping handle, or the Tide stain stick, or some hand sanitizer, or…. LOL!

  64. Jennifer says:

    I have a “Thirty One Cindy Tote” I use for my purse and it is clean! All organized with pouches, coupon holder, coin purse and wallet. I threw out one thing and straightened up the rest and it’s all good.

  65. Very timely blog posting! I’m a working, homeschooling mom of four, which is enough to keep my purse cluttered on it’s own. :) Add to that that I’ve been traveling a lot over the last couple of months, and you have a recipe for “purse disaster”. Thanks to your motivation, I faced the monster, and cleaned out my bag this morning. In addition to the prerequisite lip glosses, pens and bandaids, I also had various diabetic supplies such as needles and glucose test strips ( one son is diabetic) don’t worry – they were clean , two airline boarding passes, a pocketknife, screwdriver, several church bulletins, many, MANY receipts of all types, and no less than three drawings from my youngest daughter. Everything is now neatly organized. Thank you so much for the tips!

  66. I cleaned out my purse before work this morning.

  67. Lindsay says:

    No purse for me yet… still toting a diaper bag for a few more months… But I did clean it out and found enough raisins and granola bars to feed my kids for 3 days in the bottom. Some open… some still wrapped. Someday I would love to have a purse with lipgloss again! No room yet with all the butt paste and wipes and snacks! But thanks for the reminder.

  68. Jennifer Ross says:

    I cleaned my purse out by cleaning receipts and organizing them in my coupon holder under a tab of it’s own. I organized all make up items in the zipper pouch and put the cell phone in the intended cell phone pouch. I also use my roomy purse as a diaper bag so I put wipes, cream, and diapers in a cloth pouch that fits right in my purse. Thanks so much for you advice!!! I feel so much more organized. Now I can find what I am looking for in a flash.

    Jen Ross

  69. Cleaned out my purse! It sure did need it!

  70. Christi McKeen says:

    Great post! I have 2 teenagers and a surprise newborn so needless to say my life is hectic and my purse is the last thing on my mind. I tried using the diaper bag as a purse but it’s too heavy that way and was getting confusing on the rare occasions I go out without baby! So after reading your post I cleaned out both the purse and the diaper bag. I am loving life now! Both are much lighter and I can find everything in both of them. Even the teeny tiny baby nail clippers!!!!

  71. Cleaned out my purse! Nothing too scary in it. Makes me want to go shop for a new summery purse and switch from my black one though.

  72. Purse is clean. Thank you for the tips. I have back problems so I have to carry a tiny purse with only the essentials, which are pretty much just the contents of a wallet plus keys, pen, mints, chapstick….as well as the randoms that end up with Mama…play pearls, stickers, etc. Tote bags are my weakness…can’t resist them….your books are my strength and can’t resist them either! Keeping my fingers crossed for one of those fabulous prizes!!

  73. Did this right now this morning (so needed it) and it felt so great that I am taking this idea to our planning meeting for MOPS this morning and having them do the same while they have a little time! Thanks!

  74. It feels good to have a clean purse! Thank you for the inspiration. I didn’t find anything really unusual, but I did find a gift card that I thought I’d lost! So I’ve actually already won. Thanks.

  75. Tracy Lowe says:

    my purse is cleaned out! I found a lot of receipts I didn’t need anymore. I also put my purse size hand sanitized in the side pockets to find easier. I also found my purse hanger to hang my purse when I go to restaurants that I forgot I had!

  76. Hey Kathi!
    “Loved the National Clean Out Your Purse” post! This is something I’m so passionate about! Okay. Not really, but I did recently find a way to make me passionat’ish about it. I’m kind of a girly girl and I really like to match. Sooooo….I have cute purses in different colors. They’re the colors I usually wear: Black (because black is New York sleek), Brown (because everyone needs a brown purse), Blue (because even if I don’t have a blue top on, I wear a lot of jeans. And let’s face it, blue goes with jeans), and of course, pink (because as I said, “I’m a girly girl”). I have other purses too, but these are the top 4 that I use ALL the time. So, because I like to match, I have color coordinated combs, lotions, & pens in each of these purses that stay there. I also have gum & mints that stay in each of these purses. So, when I need to change purses (a few times a week), I pull out my make-up bag, my money & my keys and put them in the strategically chosen purse. At the same time, I pull out the receipts and extras that you just throw in (because you’re always in a hurry). This really helps me to keep my purse clean and steps up the cute factor too. ;)

    And what was the weirdest thing I’ve found while cleaning my purse? I’m not sure anything tops the gal with the urine cup. LOL I’ve found socks from a past visit to the doctor (Hey! It’s cold in there!), a rather large pocket knife (don’t ask), a screwdriver & a tape measure. My dad was a home builder? Yeah! That’s why.

    Thanks for always making us smile!
    Luv ya!

  77. I just got a new purse about 3 weeks ago and so it wasn’t too untidy. I did find a bunch of kleenex tissues lurking around on the bottom of my new purse. Can’t say if they were used or unused … yuck! Glad to be free of those!

  78. Mindy Stader says:

    Cleaned out my purse, got rid of all of those old receipts!

  79. I love this post Kathi! Not only have I recently cleaned my purse, but I actually bought a Butler bag with the built in organizing compartments to help me keep a clean purse!

  80. I cleaned out my purse…ta da!
    As I was going through my purse, I found myself reliving the memories of places gone (receipts) and times with friends (socks from when we went bowling 6 weeks ago). I also found a mountain of change that will cover my lunches for the next week…or make a nice donation to a kid going to church camp. But I guess the best find was seeing the bottom of my purse. It really is very nice and I haven’t seen it since I bought the purse.
    Thanks for the inspiration! I can’t wait to to get my hands on “The Get Yourself Organized Project”!

  81. I want to see what your 3 little pouches look like! I cleaned out my purse… it usually just fills up with receipts and old church bulletins. But I don’t have all the special goodies like you do in your 3 pouches!

  82. I cleaned out my purse this morning–partly because I was looking for a receipt for work. Have everything all nice and neat. Trash thrown away, coupons in the organizer, a pouch repurposed just for work receipts, wallet cleaned out. I also came across the clamp that was on my son’s umbilical cord and the security tag when they took it off of him at the hospital 6 weeks ago right before we got to come home!

  83. My purse is clean – hopefully it will last! I put all of the loose change in a coin purse and organized my receipts. It’s so nice to have an organized purse!

  84. I change my purses almost daily so I don’t have things to clear out. I am pretty OCD about my purses, I sometimes change them several times a day.

    My doctors want me to use small purses because of arthritis, but I have medical supplies to carry etc. and they don’t fit in small purses.

  85. I have cleaned out my purse…finally! We moved to a new home last September and while doing the final cleaning/packing of our old house I found a cuticle stick, baby proofing outlet cover and a pack of sunflower seeds to plant. I removed all those things from my purse today. :)

  86. just cleaned out my purse! old receipts and lists the main clutter, but some things that do not belong got put away. Thanks so much for the challenge! would love that Vera Bradley!!

  87. Paula Davies says:

    I seems that recently I have had to change purses more often. It may be because of the climate changes (winter to summer) or simply the color of my outfits….As I change them, I tend to pull out all the trash and reorganize. Out go the kleenex balls, grocery lists and receipts, loose change, lost bills,old pills, chewed gum wrapped in torn paper, balled up coupons, business cards I pick up everywhere, appointment notices, pills bottles, wrappers from lozenges, empty tic tac containers ( save those for my grandsons bug collections), two or three sunglasses, and odds and ends of broken jewelry and a multitude of makeup and pens. Isn’t it strange that you either can’t find any pens when needed or there are at least 10 in there!….Once my purse is cleaned out, I usually dump it on the counter or bed, then I carefully place everything back in their own pouch, or pocket, or bag. There! Now we begin again!

  88. Kathi, I did it! I cleaned out my purse…or small suitcase, since I discovered that thing holds quite a ton! Since I gave her all my loose change, my daughter thanks you. And my son thanks you for the 3 packs of hockey cards that I found stashed away for him. :) And my back and shoulders thank you very much!

  89. Christina says:

    I loved your idea for organizing purses. I cleaned mine out and tried organizing it like you did. I still find I do not need most of the stuff in my purse but I love carrying a book or my Kindle so I need to keep it organized so that I can. Unfortunately, I did not find anything unusual in it but I switch purses every week or two. Thanks for the tips!

  90. Cleaned out my purse and then decided to polish it while it was empty. It’s a bag that was handed down to me when my Mom died 10 years ago. Thanks for the incentive to take care of something I can hand down to one of my daughters-in-love. With the pile sitting on my desk, now I know why the purse had gotten so heavy!

  91. Melissa says:

    I did it. It was much needed. I went to a bridal shower this weekend and we played the “What’s in your purse game” I came a little too close to winning. This came to me at the perfect time. Thank you!

  92. Hi Kathy,
    Just wanted to say thanks again for your teaching at the women’s get away .lots of reminders of reasons why relationships get messed up me included I cheated I just grabbed a new purse and put only what I needed in it .thanks again had a great time .glad I had the pleasure of meeting you and relearning a few things.hope to see you again

  93. Arlean Moses says:

    Hahaha…this was a great one for me. My children gave me a new purse for Mother’s Day! But I have been trying to be better about keeping a clean purse. I am a CAbi consultant and I am trying to match my purse to whatever I am wearing ( people do look to see that I am correctly accessorized, lol). It is way easier to switch bags when you have organized chaos in your purse :). I love ya girl…you got me cook’n better, pray’n for my man, and now a clean purse….yap, you can now add miracle worker to your list of accomplishments!

  94. Sheri Devan says:

    Love this. I dumped my purse out on my bed, even though I thought my purse was clean, I still found a few items that didn’t need to be in there and added an extra pouch.

  95. Joan Unwin says:

    Got rid of the peppermint wrappers, dog biscuit crumbs, and used tissues! I even went smaller and feel better all over not lugging such a large bag. Enjoyed hearing you speak in Tucson, AZ!!! God bless!

  96. Great way to clean out your purse and lighten your load. I just finished and I and my purse feel great!!!

  97. I cleaned it out, but it still weighs a ton… That’s the problem with a concealed carry purse… Guns tend to weigh a bit.

  98. Dee Williams says:

    I would clean out my purse every day for “My Husband is Hottie” bag!! Out go the receipts, old tissues, gum wrappers, smashed protein bar, coupons I forgot to use, an old subpoena (for reporting a hit and run accident) ), detailed print out from Hooters Hotel in Vegas (hey! At only $39 a night?? You bet I’ll stay there!). Now for what stays, wallet, Miche organizer (don’t own a Miche purse tho!!) fold up fan (I’m a grama, ok?), reading glasses (refer to above note), tiny container of almonds, skinny photo album, (see above comment!), 3 MOPS calendar handout cards (I am lead mentor mom), little bag with necessities, infant teething toy in zip lock bag (grammi…), inhaler, anti-barf bracelets (don’t ask), 4 lip glosses, tiny Bath and Body anti-bac gel, reusable grocery bag that looks like a tiny cluster of grapes AND my keys!! Oh, and purse bling, you know…. =]

  99. ALH1203 says:

    I try to keep it pretty neat – but there are always a few stray items – today’s haul included a sample toothpick (thank you dd for dropping it in my bag after you ate the chicken off of it) a handful of receipts and coupons and two nails. Not fingernails, nails; as in use a hammer to put something in the wall nails. Odd.

  100. Jessica says:

    I did it! It’s a huge relief to be able to find my wallet and take some of the kids toys out!

  101. Lynnefair says:

    Love this assignment. Just finished my first semester of nursing school and THIS is homework I can jump into!!!

    I emptied my purse of toe separators (from mother/daughter pedicures last week); my basic calculator (only type allowed during Finals); ponytail holders – my hair is short!

    A bit lighter today! Thanks!

  102. Angel Kovarik says:

    I usually keep my purse neat. I found that cell phone cases make great business card holders. I have one that I keep looped on the shoulder strap within easy reach. I have a pen fettish, so I keep all my pens in a small makeup case, which frees up the small pockets in my purse for gum, lipstick, pepperspray and phone. Wallet, glasses, note pad, first aid kit and keys are neatly inside. Now I don’t have pennies lining the bottom.

  103. Vicki Powell says:

    I just bought a new purse today. I ended up getting a $49 purse for $14 today at Kohl’s. I still need to go through my receipts and coupons. That is my mission today. thanks for listening.

  104. Traci Francis says:

    I love to change purses and totes, so I have to go through and clean out the receipts, sort them . I have 3 bags that I keep in my purse. 1 is for medicine, small mirror. 2 one is for lip stck, hand lotion, 3 one is for change, other misc. stuff. Then I have my pockets, for pens, wallet, phone, keys, . If all goes well I can find all my stuff everyday ( yea right) as long as the daughter doesn’t think she needs something out of my purse and then there goes my organization. Oh Well back to the drawing board!!

  105. Paula Draper says:

    I try to clean out once a week, but sometimes all those receipts and little papers get away from me.
    I love the idea of the different pouches. I have a change purse attached to my wallet, but have decided to put receipts in the third one until I can decide to keep or trash ‘em.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  106. Patricia Small says:

    Cleaned! It needed it. I had so many papers that needed to find a new home, the recycle bin! Thanks for the suggestion of a pouch. woohoooooo!

  107. Cynthia Smith says:

    Done! Thanks for the assignment!!

  108. Kelly Daniels says:

    As always, some great and practical ideas for living. Thanks so much Kathi! Keep those fabulous ideas flowing!
    Many blessings! :o)

  109. Thank you Kathi – I didn’t realize there was a “National Clean Out Your Purse Day”!!! I just finished cleaning out my purse of old receipts/lists and the loose change that was at the bottom of my purse.

  110. Cheryl Primeaux says:

    After having done a purse clean out at our local MOPS group a few MONTHS ago, I thought I wouldn’t have a bunch of extras in my purse (small backpack)…. Yikes… :) Lets see with 3 little guys I find my purse becomes the mobile trashcan, the mobile firstaid kit, the mobile snack closet and itty-bitty toy stash…. you get the idea- but the nasal strips are probably the strangest things I keep in there. :) Thank you for the reminder and the opportunity. Blessings, C

  111. Catharine says:

    What a great idea! My purse always needs a good shaking out from the granola bar crumbs. Now I store them in their own baggy.

  112. Umm, probably not what you want to hear, but, I cleaned out my purse and added some needed stuff to it. It is a little bit heavier today (I think I need a bigger one). I did get rid of a ton of receipts and change that I had “stored” in there, I really did not need those! ;) But I added a few bible resources that I feel I need in there and I couldn’t find room for my tablet that I carry everywhere so it would be nice if I could find a purse that it would fit in. But I do have to say, it is nice to have it organized, I know where everything is and I don’t dig around for 10 mins trying to find something! Thank you!!!

  113. Heather Krause says:

    It seems that I no longer carry just a “purse.” It is my purse, diaper bag and convience e store all in one. While cleaning my bag out, I realized that I was carrying around 12 lipglosses, snacks to feed an army, enough hair clips for my daughters entire Kindergarten class, and an old diaper. Lovely! Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention. Now for the other 4 bags I’m also using!!! HELP!

  114. Natasha d says:

    Cleaned my purse!! I have all o fmy cards in a business card holder and a little change purse forall of my cash and change. I have changed to a smaller purse so that it only fits what i really need in tehere!!

  115. Did It!!! With 3 boys….needed it before today….great tip…thanks

  116. I cleaned my purse and found my bag of flossers had opened and spilled around the bottom. My purse is also a make-shift To Do List : invites I need to RSVP to, bills to pay, coupons to use before they expire, etc.

  117. The part I loved doing most was after its all out, just dumping the rest into the garbage, crumbs and all…yahoo! I’m lighter. And I love the big purse to make my buttay look smaller comment. That’s great!

  118. I cleaned out my purse! Yes!

  119. I cleaned out my purse!!

    I found a sucker stick from my four year old. Ewwwwwww

  120. Bridget S. says:

    Thanks! I just cleaned out my purse making sure the rectangular base was put on the bottom,not just slid down the side of my purse. I carry a Gigi Hill hand bag and have a Gigi Hill Gia crossbody as my wallet which holds cash, credit card, lipstick, and my cellphone. I carry the big hand bag with my Gia along with my makeup bag, and emergency kit. When I get out of the car, I leave my big handbag and take my crossbody as it has everything I need without the weight. This is a great way to travel, too. I am student so my big handbag is great when I need to haul a textbook or even my laptop around. I guess I need to carry a pencil bag because I found eight writing utensils, none of which belong to one of my my kids.

  121. Chris Wingard says:

    WOW! I had no idea my nail clippers, eye drops and my toothbrush were in THERE!! Ah well, and after paring it down to the essentials, I think I can probably cancel my chiropractor’s appointment for this week, too. ;-) Thanks, Kathi, for the nudge to start somewhere!

  122. Linda Dietz says:

    To save space & stress on my shoulder, I usually look for a purse that has an organizer part that takes the place of a wallet…however, those kinds of purses must not be “in style” at the moment because they are hard to find! My purse itself doesn’t have much of my stuff in it…but I am a grandmother & often take my granddaughter shopping or on errands…thus the need to carry various & sundry things for the “maintenance” of a 4 yr old!

  123. Grace Lee says:

    Actually, it was easy to clean out my purse. It’s a small purse. Only one compartment and 2 side slits. No room for granola bar crumbs. But there were a lot of receipts shoved in it.
    So, there you have it, one clean small purse to go with the small butt.

  124. Christy says:

    The best part about your assignments are they are doable. Totally doable and not overwhelming! I had my 5-year-old daughter help me clean and organize my purse. Not sure what was the strangest item – the googly eye from one of my daughter’s art projects or the lollipop from Valentine’s Day that my daughter really wanted to eat because it was still wrapped.

  125. says:

    Great post! Shared it with all my MOPS friends, too. Our shoulders and backs will be better for the effort. Thanks!

  126. Well, I did it. This was a major undertaking since I keep changing purses. Not for fashion, mind you, but because the one before was too small. I even had a purse inside of a purse.

  127. Leila Wagener says:

    What a great way to motivate all of us. Thank you – I did clean out my purse and it was a perfect time. I have been on the go for the past two months with a family emergency and I had everything you could imagine inside my purse, not too mention it was heavy from all the extra loose coin. My back thanks you too. Now, I need to focus in on the other home projects to go through. Thank you for the starting point.

  128. I finished my homework!!! I found some strange stuff, like baggies of half eaten pretzels and cheez-its, trader joe’s stickers, and a random assortment of trains and cars. Can you tell there are little boys surrounding me? I just love a clean purse, it’s just so hard to keep it that way! Loved this assignment! I just need to write a reminder on my calendar to do this more regularly! And that Vera Bradley bag is soooo cute! Love me a big bag that makes me feel girly!!!

  129. My purse is clean – and much lighter! I posted about it here –

  130. I’m free! I’m free! Of an unorganized purse!!! ;)

  131. I actually got this done today! I transferred all my things to a cute crocheted purse with bright colors and got away from the dark winter purse? A good excuse to “restock” and make sure my favorite lip gloss was in an easy reach spot. :). Thanks for the challenge!

  132. Katrina says:

    I found a disassembled hot wheels from my 2 1/2 year old son and the headband to my daughters baby doll. LOL business cards of my husband and his Dad, about 20 each

  133. Katrina Brown says:

    In cleaning out my purse, I found a flexible carrot stick. Meaning, OLD and GROSS! On the bright side, at least it was a healthy snack… I can feel good about that!

  134. So, I commented here already after I cleaned my purse. Well….the other day I realized it was a total mess again! Had to completely redo all the steps and reclean! Ugh, I need to learn! Lol.

  135. only one time a year?? I have to take care of mine every thursday eve. dump on the bed and it has to get taken care of before one can finally go to bed that night.
    ***I have a beautiful red purse on wheels and a special handle -these do not show when not in use. great for dr visits for ones self, spouses, parents and other visits for taking care of the issues of aging parents.;then they go into hiding when just a purse is needed.

  136. Becky delaware says:

    I love this idea. I know there’s a ton of stuff I don’t need in my purse, I
    I will do this when I get home from swim lessons

  137. Sara Ontario says:

    I just cleaned my purse out and went a step further..instead of the ziploc bags, I got the small luggage orgnanizer bags (sort of like a clear cosmetic bag) and sorted those into my make up/ meds and emergency etc bags….
    Loved it! It’s amazing what you can find in the bottom of a big ol’ purse!! =) But it feeling lighter and everything is very neat and tidy now!

  138. So, heard about this at my MOPS meeting, where we cleaned out our purses! I did not carry a purse, but yet, a backpack! Cleaned it, DONE! Moved on to the actual purse, AND the other 4 “social” bags I carry around! Lighter weight, lighter heart, lighter stuff on my mind! I knew it was bad when I dumped my purse out, only to have ANOTHER, smaller purse fall out! I had stuffed the smaller purse in the bigger purse so I could downsize “on the go”! Didn’t happen! I think I was going for the purse version of a Tur-duck-in,lol!

  139. I cleaned out AND switched to a smaller purse to keep myself from cramming everything I own in there! Everything that came out of the huge purse, I asked myself when was the last time I’d actually used it. Digital camera? I can use my phone. Forty-two ball point pens? I only need one at a time. Notebook? I switched to a small pack of spiral-bound index cards instead. I think my shoulder is gonna thank me tomorrow! :-D

  140. It was a good feeling to take all my crumpled up receipts out of my purse, as well as old church bulletins. I stick things in my purse and they just stay there taking up room and making my bag heavier!

  141. Heather says:

    In my purse/diaper bag, I found a dirty diaper!! Thank goodness it was only wet and I think from this weekend! Oops!! Needed to get that cleaned out. Now the snacks are in a side pocket instead of being crushed on the bottom! :)

  142. Danielle says:

    I cleaned out my purse of some very old receipts. I feel much more organized, at least in that one little area. But, hey, every little bit helps!

  143. Thanks so much for this assignment Kathi! I purposely switched to a fairly small purse a couple of years ago to force myself to downsize on all the “necessities” I schlep around! (When it comes to purses, mine are *always* full – sort of like the way goldfish grow bigger the bigger their bowl is! ;) I was getting constant headaches from the weight on my shoulder! Anyway, the smaller purse has definitely helped me pare down and be more organized, but my receipts had multiplied like rabbits and it was a great opportunity to clear them out. AND that led me to go through all of the other receipts in our filing system, which I almost certainly would *not* have done were it not for this assignment. THANK YOU! :)

  144. Melissa Kilburn says:

    I cleaned out my purse and I think I may have a small lipstick/gloss addiction. I have 23 in my purse and that isn’t even all that I own.

  145. Illya Gonzalez says:

    Just cleaned it and I already feel lighter.

  146. Yay! I cleaned out my purse, too. I can’t say I found anything weird but I DID find a good fortune from a fortune cookie that I saved from a visit to my favorite Asian restaurant a few weeks back. :-)

  147. Tammy Brooks says:

    My purse is now clean! Thank you. Just an FYI , the weirdest thing I found in my purse – an opened McDonalds BBQ sauce and yes it was a big old mess. I smelled BBQ sauce for a week. It does pay to clean out your bag at least once a week! Thanks Kathi.

  148. So not only did I clean out my purse today but I actually changed it to a new one! I love my old one but it was beginning to look pretty ratty. I started by treating myself to a Starbucks frappaccino ( I don’t ususally buy at Starbucks) but not only was this a treat/reward but it began my purse cleaning by using up the four pounds of change in the bottom of my purse and in my coinbag. I love a purse with lots of outside smaller pockets- one for cell phone, one for gum, one for personal female necessities, etc. I learned a long time ago to put a doule ended clip (like the clips on the end of a dog leash) onto my keys and then I always clip it onto one of the rings or straps of my purse so I never have to look for my keys which were always shifting to the bottom of everything as soon as I dropped them in. In going through the receipts and filing them I also found my tithing check I haven’t been able to locate to give at church the last couple of weeks- See, God knew I needed your encouragement to clear the clutter and take care of the really important thing!!!

  149. I cleaned out my purse and found $5 worth of change. I will spend and save my shoulders from pain.

  150. Elizabeth Hulshizer says:

    I DID IT !!!! What fun to see all that I had!!!

  151. Kari DeLyser says:

    This was super easy for me because I just got a beautiful new purse for mother’s day!! Love that I am all moved in and organized. :) Love all your writing and hope to win some books!

  152. Marilyn Baron says:

    This time it was easy for me, too because I got a new purse for my birthday and I cleaned it out to go on vacation. Now I will have to go back home and clean out my other purses, which are currently disaster areas.
    Marilyn Baron

  153. Manuela Lehmann says:

    Hey everyone,

    It was actually just the other day that I reached the point where I couldn’t ignore my aching right shoulder anymore….and guess why…my new purse (which I had bought because it was big enough to put all kinds of “important” things in it…) had been too heavy for quite a while. So today, after reading this, I dumped it out and found quite some interesting things… a plush manaty that my boy friend had given me two weeks ago and that I had totally forgotten about since that day (I could have sworn it was in my apartment…) and lots of stuff my boyfriend had asked me to put in my purse so he didn’t have to take his backpack with him… binoculars, a book,…:)

  154. Tanya Aitken says:

    MIssing case of the dirty diaper…
    I loved this challenge, it actually gave me motivation for cleaning my purse out. I call it a purse but I’m sure like many moms out there they have a combo bag, diaper bag slash purse. You wont believe what I found and I can’t even believe I’m going to post this but a dirty diaper… Sadly it’s true… I change my baby and knew I put it in there and even went back for it but didn’t see it so I thought I threw it out. Nope! It was a pretty dry one so that saved me but I still can’t believe that I found that in my purse. Truth, when I was cleaning my bag out my son was “helping” and said mommy, look it’s sissy’s diaper. Good luck to the rest of you!! :) LOL

  155. Tanya Aitken says:

    So wish we could show pictures because the before and after would shock you!

  156. Adriana Dement says:

    I found a baby tooth!!! Since my oldest, who is nine still believes in the tooth fairy I probably just threw it in there when I ran out of his room before he caught me LOL

  157. Oh my! I have 4 (YES FOUR) purses/bags hanging in my entry way. One of which was last used in December during a trip to The Biltmore House. I’ve got 2 1/2 hours to myself this morning. I thought I’d be spending it getting groceries, but I think this JUST may be a more productive way to spend my time. Stand by on “strange items” found.

  158. This was just the nudge I needed. My handbag was WELL overdue for a clean out & I had been telling my self to do it for the last 2 weeks, but just kept putting it off. The bottom was layered with a mixture of Mentos, Mini Smarties (which had both fallen out of their broken boxes), blended with biscuit crumbs. There was also plenty of old shopping lists. It’s so nice to have a clean organised bag again.

  159. Sarah Ward says:

    Hi, Kathy; as a mom of four (and on vacation in AZ) right now, I am constantly cleaning out my purse and other bags. At the end of each day it seems! I find old, half-eaten sandwiches barely zipped in their bags, dirty (but not poopy diapers), straws (previously used unfortunately . . .how do those get in there??) small toys, and bits of nature. Yesterday I had half a rock, two acorns and the husk of some strange plant’s hard fruity seed thing . . . .life with little is exciting. I love more ideas on getting organized :) keep up the great blog!

  160. My current purse is a diaper bag, and if I don’t sort through daily, I never know what I might find.

  161. Amy Ohms says:

    I cleaned mine out yesterday, which was the first time I actually “cleaned” it since I am such a fanatic about using a differant purse every week I am contantly switching between several purses, depending on my mood, feeling girly, I use the little patite flowery one, feeling fat, I use the great big tote, feeling rich,( cause I have 20 extra bucks after the grocerys are bought)…. well I take the oldest ugliest one I have and tell the hubby I am going to buy a new purse,lol . I do like the differant compartment idea, I usually just throw it all into the new purse and go, weeding out trash. So I will be implamenting that idea.

  162. Colette Plagmam says:

    I am a purse junkie. I LOVE purses. I have several and I change them quite often.. I am using a small purse right now and find that I HAVE to clean it out frequently or I won’t be able to get anything else in. The worst thing I usually find is about 8-10 lipstick tubes. WHY????? Oh well, I love the Vera Bradley tote… has my favorite colors on it!!! Thanks for reminding us about the National Clean Out Your Purse Day.

  163. My purse is a diaper bag right now, so the main pockets get sorted daily. BUT I do have the habit of throwing money and receipts in a small zipper pocket. Not too long ago I found a $50 bill that my grandpa gave me and I completely forgot about!

  164. Kim Ernst says:

    I love purses and have many more than I seem to get to use if I don’t do a regular clean out and swap. I have found that the perfect sized purse has good straps, long enough to shoulder without banging on my hip. I love bright colors and cute themes plus, lots of bling! When cleaning out for the transfer, I find going on the seasonal archeological dig lets me relive some of my most resent adventures and memories. Occasionally, I even find a treasure like my back seat driver’s license, something every good passenger needs!!

  165. Lisa Rittenhouse says:

    Wow! That was fun! I had NO idea what was going on in there. I organized and even switched to a more summery purse. Now that my daughter is six, I didn’t find too many surprises. I used to house more of her stuff than my own. The strangest thing though – and I totally forgot about this – was something that is still unopened. When you read what it is, you’ll think “Ya…she’s a mom all right”. My husband had a business meeting out of town on Valentine’s Day and so we arranged for my daughter to stay with her grandma so I could go with him. We hadn’t had a trip alone in years! On the way we had stopped at a Rite Aid. At the register they had “Lotto for Lovers” scratch off cards which we thought looked hilarious! We figured at the very least we would scratch them off and just laugh. Well…..we were so excited for some uniterrupted sleep that we forgot we even had them, and they have become the strangest thing in my purse….still in the package. LOL!

  166. Melissa Baker says:

    Thank you for the tips! My purse was in desperate need of cleaning and organizing! It was getting pretty bad. I would love one of those purses!! I only have 2 or 3 purses and hardly ever get to change it up. Mine are all boring and plain black. Again, thanks for the tips!.

  167. Robin N says:

    I cleaned my purse out! Nothing too odd as I had just done a road trip but I did find a Borders membership card in my wallet that I didnt need to be lugging around anymore.

  168. Okay, I admit it. I let my purse get all yikky just so i could do the challenge. I am not a purse junky, in fact, I only changed purses becasue I got a new one for Christmas and I carried my other one since 2002. I purge weekly and I almost always find something odd in it that I KNOW I didn’t put in there. Still can’t figure out how I came to be the proud owner of a plastic fork.

  169. Hmm…

    I use a combo purse/camera bag. I used to put my camera in my purse, but it got a little banged up and since it’s a nice camera I decided that had to stop. Now my camera bag is my purse.

    I don’t think mine is that bad at the moment, but I want to enter the giveaway. (THAT and I’d love to find my keys… I’ve been tearing the house apart since yesterday (not that I haven’t repeatedly torn through my purse looking for them) Sigh. )

    Verdict: Lol, I stand corrected: Along with various papers etc I found not 5 but probably 20 or more recipe cards from the grocery store, 2 sheets of toy story stickers and probably the strangest thing but I remember seeing them there other times I went through my bag: 5 paper Christmas ornaments.

    Still no keys :(

    I like the vera but they’re both nice. :)

  170. Purse cleaned and moved over to a fresh one for spring. Found — lots of change, lipsticks (even though I never remember to wear them), dried out mints, TONS of receipts, a $50 gift card (!), and several crochet hooks. That’s how I roll!!


  171. Kathi:

    As usual, your encouragement had a ripple effect; I cleaned out my purse and then started on the bathroom drawers. Wowzers.

    Suffice it to say, I am a trial size product hoarder…

    Thank you for being such a blessing!


  172. I clean out my purse every few months but still wish it had less stuff in it…I’m heading to my mom’s big purse…AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  173. Julie Carnesi says:

    I cleaned out my purse and used a cute make-up bag that I had just received “with purchase” of some make-up. I now keep business cards and coupons in one section and my lip products in the other. So much better! As for the most random thing I found. Um well, I found the stink in my purse was from my daughter old daiper GROSS!!!!!!!!!! Old urine in a purse….yuck! I’m now wondering how long it had been in there.

  174. Leticia Bachman says:

    This is EXACTLY the challenge I needed! I’m happy to say that I survived the clean out but I’m embarrassed of some of my finds! Just mentioning that I have 3 toddlers should explain it all!!

  175. Elizabeth K says:

    I found a melted crayon in my purse yesterday! Def need to read this book!

  176. Janene J says:

    I have a very small purse because I used to carry too many things, and I could never find my keys! Needless to say, since I now have a small purse, I also carry a tote bag with the things that do not fit in my purse. So I decided to clean out both. ;). Nothing too strange in either. I did come up with a couple pet shops, and a plastic child’s chopstick, and way too many pens. Now I know where to look when I can’t find one around the house. I tend to carry a couple books in my tote, one in there now is “The Get Yourself Organized Project” by guess who??? LOL. With little ones, you never know when you will get 5 minutes to read a little bit. Anyway, thanks for the reminder to clean the purse. Nice to clear out all the paper clutter.

  177. I recently found an unwrapped stick of gum in my purse, with all sorts of fuzz and nasty things on it. haha, and the worst thing was i pulled it out in front of people. whoops!

  178. Michelle says:

    I cleaned out my purse. Love the pouch idea! It has helped so much for me to quickly find what I need.

  179. I actually don’t usually carry a purse, just a tiny wallet with the essentials. So, it doesn’t need cleaning out because it holds only the essentials!

  180. I am trying to be more organized! I just cleaned out my purse, computer bag and wallet! Oh, I hope I win!!

    • I am trying to be more organized! I just cleaned out my purse, computer bag and wallet! Oh, I hope I win!!

      In my purse: I had almost an entire pack of gum’s worth of WRAPPERS, an EMPTY five hour energy bottle, a few broken pens, two brushes, 3 hair ties, The MISSING lipstick I have been looking for (THANKS! :) ) and two dollars in change!

      I couldn’t figure out why it was hard to get my laptop to fit inside my bag anymore!! This was why!:

      In my computer bag: two pair of sunglasses, a few business cards I had stuck in there to remind me to e-mail (I had forgotten about, but have now followed up!), a pack of crayons, a bag with gel-pens, a brush, cell phone charge (that I don’t even HAVE anymore!), an empty plastic Easter Egg and IDK how many candy wrappers! Whew, now everything fits nicely and is super organized!!

      I hope I win the My Husband Is a Hottie with the books! :)

  181. I don’t carry much in my purse, just the normal necessities, but my friend carries just about everything in hers including a hammer. We had a party where the women were asked to find the strangest thing in their purse. some of the items were a pair of false teeth, an EKG tab, kids underwear (she is potty training her child). One mama had over 100 various crayons, markers and pencils in her bag.

    Congratulations on your book!

  182. Stacy McGrath says:

    Thanks! I cleaned mine out and it looks great!

  183. Dawn Paradise says:

    all done! You know you’re a boy mom when you find assoreted rocks, half a cheese stick, loose raisins and a sock….among other things;-)

  184. I try to clean out my purse every few months. It’s always filled with expired coupons and loose goldfish crackers. Once I woke up with a taco in my purse(rough night)!

  185. Ani G W says:

    I found a capri sun. Unused.

  186. I cleaned out one of my purses and found a pair of children’s underwear (for my potty training child lol), and old soother, and a toothbrush! Clearly it had been a while since I had cleaned, or used, that purse!

  187. Juanita says:

    Hi Kathi,
    Well I cleaned out my purse and relieved it of some old receipts and business cards that were not needed. I also found some change, yay!

  188. Jeannell says:

    AH! I am very organizes!! BUT sometimes my purse isn’t so organizes! So, with this in mind, I quickly did the clean up and found a mini snickers candy bar in my purse and a piece of paper with a phone number to add to my cell phonebook.
    I am starting the Husband Project Book this Sunday! After about 4 yrs of wanting this book, I was able to buy it at a Flea Market! A friend had it in her book collection that she was selling! I am very eager and excited to start this book!
    Kathi, you are awesome!! Keep up the good work! Would love to come to your speaking event if you are ever in the San Francisco Bay Area again!

  189. Diana Hatch says:

    I cleaned out my purse! Found money I didn’t know I had!! yay

  190. Holly S. says:

    I cleaned out my purse! I usually keep it pretty clean, but I did find paper clips that I didn’t know were in there. Thanks!

  191. Hey Kathy, I got my purse cleaned out…got all the stray, one-sided Easter eggs, the bibs, and spoons and trash out of that thing…my purse is mine again (besides the diapers and wipes, of course). Thanks!


  192. Shawna P says:

    I cleaned mine out too. Nothing weird. Just the usual receipts and loose money that I put away in my wallet.

  193. Done!

  194. I did it! My diaper bag is my purse now so it needed a LOT of cleaning out! Thanks for the motivation! And being a mom of boys, of course I found Hot Wheels in there!

  195. Tina Montes says:

    I cleaned out my bag. It was so heavy! I found some iron men, a couple of hot wheels, 3 packs of opened gum and a sticky hand…obviously I am the mom to boys :)

  196. Sheila Leitsch says:

    I cleaned out my purse! I found lots of pixie dust in there…lol! The little pixie sticks that were left over from Easter that my daughter loves. They went right in the trash since she had already forgotten about them!

  197. Chris.A. says:

    My purse is clean!! Rewards cards in order, appointment cards moved to planner, receipts filed. Ahhhh.

  198. Jackie Hawks says:

    Got a new purse for my Birthday so this was perfect timing & fun to do! Funny what you find lurking in the bottom when you haven’t been organized :)

  199. I just happened to clean out my purse this morning before seeing this blog post. I had the typical receipts and scraps of paper, plus tissues (yuck) and a couple small french fries :) My purse has 3 sections and 3 zippered pockets. The one pocket has space for credit cards so I am super organized in this bag.

    I am partial to the Vera Bradley bag since I don’t have a husband :)

  200. Heidi J says:

    That Vera Bradley bag is beautiful, filled w/ your books makes it awesome! My purse is cleaned out…have found a ton of change and crumbs. My purse is pretty simple – Dave Ramsey wallet, notepad, pens, iPhone w/ charger & earbuds, lipstick/gloss, fem. products in small cute plastic holder

  201. Melissa says:

    operation: clean purse {check}
    feels so nice to have a clean big bag/tote with smaller zipper pouches where everything can easily be found.
    operation: keep it clean {always in progress} :)

  202. Karen Dyck says:

    My purse is all cleaned out….I actually have a couple of funny stories to share…
    the first one is….a couple weeks ago I was in a fabric/craft store and at the check out stand I knew I had put some coupons in my purse…but I couldn’t find them….so I was digging and digging…the guy who was there (he was actually very funny) looked at me and said, I think you need to clean out your purse…I told him I know, but I am waiting until National Clean out your purse day….he looked at me kinda weird and said there is a such a day…I told him yep…and he said…here’s just a thought…you don’t have to wait until that day, you could do it…say like…today….we both started cracking up.
    then the other day I was in the car, heading to my son’s scout troop meeting and wanted a piece of gum, but it was buried in my purse. Now all my kids know I have been waiting for the 15th of May to clean out my purse…I finally had to ask my son to look for the pack (as I was starting to swerve a bit), my son looks at me and asks, are you adding more stuff like papers to your purse so when you clean it out it looks better…we both just cracked up..then I looked at him very seriously and said no…..

  203. Jennifer says:

    My purse is cleaned out and stuffed with snacks, sunblock, water, and sunglasses!

  204. Susan O. says:

    Alas, I cleaned out my purse. You’d think after giving a devotion at MOPS a couple of years ago that touched on this very subject, I’d keep a clean purse. But it just isn’t so. I had a large purse that began to balloon in size, so I switched to a fanny pack. Tired of looking like a perpetual hiker, I pulled out a dressier purse for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t, however, cleaned that out before setting it aside (how long ago was that??) and had to dump everything out of it before adding my current items. I found small games for my kids in there, ancient coupons and a nice, squished, past-date granola bar–just to name a few things. Determined to keep this purse lighter, I just cleaned it out and feel a sense of hope in maintaining it. Maybe.

  205. Savannah Miller says:

    I cleaned mine out….. and found of the hard way that all the things my son picks up and shows me that he thinks are just the greatest things ever…. GO INTO MY PURSE!! I found rocks, a metal drink cap, for some reason I found a key I never saw before not sure if this is one of my sons finding!?!?!? We sat down and had a little talk about mommies purse lol and he told me it was a treasure bag :/….. The wonderful mind of a 4 year old :) Oh the plus side I did get out about 8:15 in change :)!!

  206. I found a bar of soap!

  207. Yay! I cleaned out my purse and transferred the contents to my new 31 skirt purse. Nothing really strange just lots of receipts and a few little girl hair barrettes. It looks so clean and organized now!

  208. Jessie goodwin says:

    I cleaned out my purse and found a half a french fry and a busted, leaky ink pen. Thank goodness the ink came out with a little scrubbing. :) Thanks for the chance to win.

  209. Sheila Foley says:

    Yep, you guys motivated me to clean out my purse…found that donut I had been searching for. I have a feeling I could use the books:)

  210. Sheila Foley says:

    great blog post and ideas…thanks!

  211. amy craft says:

    Definitely could use the books! Found a sucker that my daughter had licked and stuck in my purse…no idea how long it had been in there….found a few things stuck to it LOL

  212. Iliana Reyes says:

    I would love to win! I found like $5 in quarters in there and my ipod shuffle that I thought I had lost!

  213. Just got back from a road trip and cleaned out my purse. How does that stuff get in there???

  214. Done! Feels lighter and I love it. I can’t believe I found some Chuck E Cheese tickets and an unsed reward certificate. We haven’t been there for over a year! My boys will be thrilled. You can hardly read the reward number, but they never expire. Of course, if I tell them, then I have to take them. Dilema, dilema. :)

  215. I recently went to a small crossbody purse . . . had to go to a smaller wallet, too. Purse stays cleaned out ALL of the time because there’s no room for anything extra. Today I was looking at totes . . . oh, the temptation! :-)

  216. Patricia Crowley says:

    For me….the strangest thing I found was a clean diaper….I don’t have children…LOL (it was for my nephew.)

  217. Jennifer Metz says:

    What a fun contest! I have 5 kids so my purse is always a disaster. I actually did clean out my purse today, mainly because I got a new wallet/organizer thing-a-magig. It has a space for my license, credit cards, cash/change, checkbook and came with a calculator. I couldn’t believe all the junk in my purse though – expired coupons, gum wrappers, old receipts, hair things, ugh!

  218. Kristie D. says:

    I need to clean out my purse very much! I tried recently but I think it might be a bottomless pit. I have medicine, old receipts, coupons, a hairbrush, a cell phone, postage stamps, my phone book.. and the list goes on. I admire that you stay on top of it. Good for you. Thanks for the great giveaway. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com

  219. Donna K says:

    I cleaned out my purse a week ago. I found a book of coupons.

  220. Cynthia says:

    Two years ago, when baby number three was born, I combined my purse with a small diaper bag. It was one less thing to carry and one less thing to forget. And not to mention, less prone to being stolen. On the flip side, oh the things it can collect. So, it has been cleaned, dumped (sand and woodchips), washed and reorganized. And just in time for a trip to visit family. :)

  221. I know I’m a little late – but I cleaned out my purse (and covered to a new one!) and figured out I only needed five things – wallet, phone, sunglasses, lip gloss, and my favorite four color pen (yes, I’m old school). Yay! thanks for the challenge. Oh and Cynthia, I converted to a new larger purse that is perfect to add in the diaper case (cute little package of wipes, diaper and changing cover) and ziplock of paci / snacks. Love it!

  222. Monica Robinson says:

    I know I’m late but I come to your blog every so often cause I love it and there it was… front and center… a message from God himself…. speaking through you to clean my purse…. It is so heavy and I can barely zip it… In addition to that, my right shoulder has been hurting and I point ointment on it today and thought… I must clean my purse…. then I go to your blog… I MUST,I MUST, clean it tonight…. I’m at work, otherwise, I would totally clean it. ha, ha. Thanks Kathi!!!! I need to follow your specific guidlelines… and maybe I will treat myself to a new purse… a much smaller one… God bless

  223. Julie Warkentin says:

    What a wonderful contest! I just changed purses and while I am organized oriented, there are always the odd items that get left in there for a while. I had 2 or 3 of the exact same chapsticks in my purse!

  224. Anonymous says:

    I know I’m a little late on this but had to post! It is so nice to find each thing where it belongs! Now I really know if the kids have gotten in to my purse. lol Thanks Kathi

  225. Shannon Whalen says:

    I know I’m a little late on this but had to post! It is so nice to find each thing where it belongs! Now I really know if the kids have gotten in to my purse. lol Thanks Kathi

  226. Liberata Gasasira-Traore says:

    Just read about cleaning up day, it is a good idea, and I will make sure I clean mine and let you know.
    How can follow your stories, writing every day? Do I have to log in somewhere? Thanks for the information.

  227. Cleaning out your bag to have essential items is critical! Here are some of our tips to make your bag a greener place

  228. Cleaned out my purse today and found one of my son’s toy cars in the bottom of it, along with a dried leaf that must have blown into it during the last storm. Oh and a glove….

  229. Cleaned out my purse today :) Nothing super strange, but I did find a few coupons I’d forgotten about and just in time to redeem before they expire!!


  1. […] organized person would never tell you how to clean out your purse by dumping it all into a bag but I do, because you, like me, want fast and instant and impressive […]

  2. […] And take a moment to post “I CLEANED OUT MY PURSE” on Kathi’s blog entitled  National Clean Out Your Purse Day  […]

  3. […] I’m reviewing…The Get Yourself Organized Project. She also has some fantastic ideas on how to clean out your purse….. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Book Reviews, […]

  4. […] it’s your turn.  Dump, sort and organize. If you want detailed instructions go to Kathi’s blog for a list of ideas for what to keep in the […]

  5. […] if you head over to her website and leave a comment you also have an opportunity to win a new purse filled with all of […]

  6. […] to Kathi Lipp and leave a comment to win. You have until Friday, May […]

  7. […] more tips, check out organizational guru Kathi Lipp’s super-speedy purse cleaning […]

  8. […] 4:23-24 I just saw that my fabulous friend Kathi Lipp is doing several funtastic give-aways for National Clean Out Your Purse Day on May 15.And it occurred to me that The PURSE-onality Challenge is really “Clean Out Your […]

  9. […] and played along on the Giveaway Hop. I also participated in the National Clean Purse Day with Kathi Lipps, author of the Get Yourself Organized Project book.  Kathi kindly donated a copy of her book to […]

  10. […] and doesn’t give you a hernia. As an added BONUS for participating this week, hop on over to Kathi’s personal blog, in the comments tell her that you cleaned out your purse.  For all those that comment by May 18th […]

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