Purse or Suitcase?

Have you ever felt like you were carrying a suitcase around with you all day long? Do you have to go to the chiropractor to help with shoulder and upper back pain? Every time you need to find something in your purse does it seem like a black hole out in the universe with no end? Even if you aren’t ready to downsize your purse, can you find everything in it that you need immediately or are you constantly searching? Your purse is one of the easiest and fastest areas of your life to organize and see an immediate and significant impact.

We will use my 6-Step method to get S.I.M.P.L.Y. Organized

S – Start with a purpose

Since you are reading this I hope you are ready to get started. But sometimes the starting is the hardest part. Not knowing where to begin or what to do next can be pretty daunting. That is why I developed the 6-Step method you are working through right now. Don’t be scared to begin. I will take you step-by-step through the whole process. Before you take the first item out of your purse, let’s figure out your purpose for your purse. To carry things? Obviously! But carry what? Everything but the kitchen sink? Only a few items? Is this your roaming desk? Or perhaps your after-school-childcare-bag in disguise? Maybe, if you are a self-employed mom then this bag has to fit both of those purposes, but maybe for you it is something different. These are the kinds of things you need to determine about your purse before we begin. What is your real purpose for this bag? In addition you also need to consider appearances. Is the purpose for a formal evening out or is the purpose for your everyday items when going to work or running the kids to school? Casual or dressy? Large or small? All of those questions determine the purpose of this space you are going to organize. They also determine the rest of the steps. Stop now and write down, either in list form, drawing a picture, or through a mind map, the purpose and look of your purse.

I – Identify your stuff

Next you will take everything out of your purse. Dump it all out on the table. What do you see? Pens, papers, receipts, lip stick, keys, wallet, mirror, toy car, package of gum, deck of playing cards, essential oils, book, hair brush, water bottle, barrette, rubber bands, check book, hair clip, day timer, coupons, grocery store ad, flash drive, necklace and earrings, Tylenol, your child’s homework from last week and your bank receipt from 10 days ago. Whatever it is, take it out. Now, you will sort like items together…hair stuff together, office supplies together, toys together, etc. Next decide what and how many of each item you really need in your purse. Do you really use all of those hair items regularly or will one suffice since you really get ready for the day in your bathroom at home? How many pens? Is the Day-Timer really last year’s unused Day-Timer that you can’t throw away because you spent too much on it?

Now that you have piles of like items, you can see exactly how much you have in a given group and decide what is not going back into your purse. Now you will identify each item and place it in one of four containers: Keep in the purse, Relocate to somewhere else in your house, Toss, and Donate. Start with your first pile and work through each item placing it in one of these four containers.

M – Move it out

Next you will take everything that doesn’t belong in the purse and get it out of your visual space. Toss the trash. Bag up the donate-able items, if any, and then take the other items that belong in a different place and put them all in a bin so you can put them away later.

P – Plan your space

What do you have left? How many items? How many pockets do you have inside and outside your purse? How many have zippers or closures of some sort? If you have many items that you still want to keep in your purse, do you need to upgrade? Or would downsizing be a better fit? Also consider what items you use all the time and what are just there in case you need them. Place the items like sunglasses and car keys within easy reach where as the highlighter you use when you are reading while waiting for kids at doctor’s appointments can go in an inside pocket that is more difficult to reach. Make sure that you continue to keep like items together. Place all of the hair care products together in one pocket and the coupons in another pocket. If you run out of pockets then you should get tiny make-up size bags or smaller bags to use to contain other things in your purse. If the purse you have doesn’t have the features that you really want then take note of what is missing and go shopping.

L – Label everything

Labeling is a little less crucial when it is not only such a small area of space but also because no one else is going to use your purse except you. You know in which pocket your put your gum and in which pocket you have your flash drive. Ideally you should be able to find everything in your purse by feel even if it were pitch black. Everything needs to have a home, pocket, or place in your purse.

Y – Your personal system

In order to not slip right back into chaos and clutter in such a tiny space, you must establish systems to help you maintain the status quo. Always put your lipstick in the outside front pocket that zips and the wallet in the main section on the left hand side. The coupons go in the center zipper section along with any important papers that get handed to me throughout the day. My essential oils are in a small zipper bag in the main section of my purse. My keys are always clipped on the left hand side ring and hang inside my purse. My phone charger is in one small pocket and my headphones and extra battery for charging in my other small pocket. It is less important where you place things in a purse since it is all pretty close at hand at all times. It is more important that the system make sense to you, so that you can maintain it long term

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