“The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” ~ Proverbs 13:19
I have always loved purses for one simple reason—they look good whether you are a two or a twenty-two. It doesn’t matter your size, race, or class, a nice purse can make you feel like a diva walking the runway. Especially if it matches your outfit or adds a pop of complimenting color to your ensemble.
The problem for me though was that my purse never matched my outfit. I probably owned a purse that did match but my current purse was always such a mess that I didn’t want to switch it. A second problem was that I always felt as if I was digging in a big, black hole, searching for something I could not find. Most times I would give up before I even found the item.
Then I changed the way I looked at my purse. Instead of being all about the fashion statement, I began to think of my purse as a life line away from home. It needed to house everything I was going to need while I was out in a way that helped me find things. I evaluated my needs, planned solutions to meet those needs, and then implemented the changes I had planned.
Surprisingly, the more organized my purse became, the smaller the purse I could get away with carrying. Right now, my purse is cute and fashionable. In fact, my twenty-year-old niece jealously eyes it every time we are together. But more importantly, I have everything I could possibly need and can find it as soon as I need it.
What is my secret? Baggies and pockets! When I choose a purse, I look for one with a variety of interior and exterior pockets. I use make up bags to compartmentalize like items together. Then I use the pockets of my purse to organize miscellaneous leftover items.
Do you know those women who carry 40 pound purses yet can’t find what they need? What about the ladies with the 5 pound purses who have everything? It just doesn’t seem fair! Now think for a moment, which are you? Do you have a tidy purse containing everything you need? Or are you always digging through the “big, black hole” and never locating what you searched for? Today, I want to encourage you to stop with the hole and reach for organization.
To accomplish organization, I usually one of two processes. The first is geared towards cleaning an area out so I call it the Cleaning Strategy and the second is geared towards setting up storage so I call it the Organization Strategy. Today is the rare occasion that you will use both strategies. First, we will clean out your current purse and then we will set up a new system of purse storage (putting everything back in a way to optimize daily use).
For the cleaning strategy, you will need a small trash bag and 2 boxes/bins/or baskets. The bins are 1) for donations and 2) for items that don’t belong in your purse.
Step One: Collect & Sort
Start by dumping out your purse. Then sort everything into piles of like items. For me, that means a pile involving money (checkbook, change purse, wallet), primping (makeup, hair products, nail products, etc.), lip care (lipstick and Chap Stick), everything oral (dental floss, mints, Tylenol, etc.), special needs (deodorant, eye glass wipes and cleaner), and finally everything else.
Step Two: Trash
Go through and toss out anything that is no longer usable—old lipsticks, stained receipts, candy wrappers, etc.
Step Three: Give Away
Next think about what you don’t use anymore. Maybe you have two pairs of tweezers or three nail files. Quickly move anything you don’t use, love or need into the giveaway box.
Step Four: Put Away Somewhere Else
Take the 2nd box filled with the items that didn’t belong in your purse and return them to their proper homes throughout the rest of the house.
Step Five: Put Back
Now all that should be left in your space are the items you want to keep in your purse. Before we put them back, we will use the second strategy, the organization strategy.
Step One: Evaluate needs
Look through your items and make sure you have everything you need. Have you always wanted to carry Tylenol, a measuring tape, some other item in your purse? If so, retrieve those items now. For me, I retrieved hand sanitizer and lotion.
Step Two: Plan solutions
Decide how many make up bags and pockets you will need to store your items. This should be fairly easy since you sorted everything into piles of like items in Step 1 of the Cleaning Strategy.
Step Three: Implement change
Grab baggies from your stash of purses. If you don’t have any extra makeup bags, think creatively (one of my bags is a travel jewelry bag that came with a necklace my husband bought me). Once you have your baggies, fill them.
After you fill your make up bags, place your extra items in your purse’s pockets.
Once the pockets are packed, it is easier to load whatever else you have in the main body of the purse. I place my wallet in last so that it is the easiest item to retrieve from my purse.
Voila. You should have a perfectly packed purse full of the items you need when you are away from home. I hope this little challenge has taught you the value of Proverbs 13:9 which states, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” I know I always feel so much better knowing my purse is organized and that I’ll have everything I need at my fingertips!
What tricks do you have for purse organization? What are your must have items that get packed in your purse?
main body: book, primping, oral, change purse