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”. (See Monday’s Post about Why Your Bag is a Reflection of Your Spiritual Life.)
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.
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.
If it belongs in your purse, go ahead and put it back into your purse.
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
- Sunscreen stick
- Blush and brush
- Eyeglass cleaner wipes
- Hand sanitizer
Pouch 2: Emergency kit
- Fashion tape
- Needle and thread
- Nail glue
- Couple of adhesive bandages
Pouch 3: Change
Other Things to Keep in Your Bag
- Sunglasses case
- Cell phone
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: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!
The Grand Prize winner will receive this Belvah Quilted Damask Print Large Tote Bag – Black & White (18 x 14.5 x 7)
with a copy of all 8 of my books (for all that beach reading!)
Five runners up will receive a copy of The Get Yourself Organized Project (for you or a friend.)
Just comment below and you’ll be entered to win!!!
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.