Friday, June 17, 2011

What’s In Your Purse?

By Heather Webber / Heather Blake

I’ve been trying to simplify my life lately, which isn’t going so well. I realized it’s really hard to simplify when I have so much going on, so many things to do, busy, busy, busy (aren't we all?).

And the biggest representation of all that busy-ness is my purse. Yep, my oversized, has-so-many-compartments-it-could-be-a-suitcase purse. All it takes is one peek inside for a glimpse of my crazy life (and disorganized mind?).

Wallet, phone, a dozen random receipts. (Not so bad so far, right?) Two planners (I use an academic planner and this time of year they overlap), multiple pens, all kinds of medication, and two types of lotion (you can never have too much). (Still not so bad.) Then comes the freebie allergy med from the doc’s office (for son #2), small mirror (not like Mary Poppins'), an extra set of keys, my Kindle, two notebooks (one little, one big), stickers from son #2’s college orientation, a brochure for house numbers, a granola bar, two Blistexes, last week’s grocery list, a bank envelope with money in it (woo-hoo!), Altoids, a mini Snickers, a coupon for the local Hallmark store, and...not one but two trumpet mouth pieces (all that brass is heavy). Whew!

So, on the top of my to-do list (I hate that thing), is to clean out my purse. And in hopes of a simpler life, I think I might need to downsize purses. Maybe. I’m going to have to sleep on that one. For a few weeks. Or months. It’s a big change. Who knew simple could be so hard?

What’s in your purse?

21 comments:

Aimee said...

Oh, I had to do this years ago when the chiropractor gave me a look so severe I thought it capable of rupturing internal organs - both mine and hers.

I have only my laptop bag now that I carry back and forth to work with a large clutch style wallet I can pull out for when I need to be on the go. I also have a makeup bag full of sundries (lip balm, tissues, eye drops, wet wipes, stain remover wipes, Tums, tiny Altoids), my planner, my notebooks (also large and small), a few pens, my digital recorder, and my cell phone.

The bag (which I rarely use for an actual laptop) has so many compartments it makes it easy to pull things out and put them back only when I need them.

Everything else has its own bag - my yoga stuff , karate gear for the Doll, my writing kit (I'll spread that out and take pics for you one day), summer day out bag (sunscreen, wet wipes, wet hand towels in baggies, bug spray, first aid kit), floral arranging tools.

I just grab whichever bag I need add my wallet, keys and phone and go on my merry way with no organ rupturing glares from any medical professional.

Sue said...

I've got just about all that minus the stuff for #2 son PLUS 2 glasses cases, one for my regular glasses/sunglasses and one for a cheap pair of plain sunglasses for reading my kindle in the sun a power cord for my kindle and a car plug so I can charge it in the car just incase it runs down AND a wall plug in case I'm at Starbucks and it runs down. They both work on my cell phone as well. ( I just love the fact that everything portable almost can be charged off the same cord and plug these days.) I even have a small umbrella way, and I do mean WAY down at the bottom if it should rain.

Aurian said...

Heather, never downsize your purse! Clean stuff out of it, ok, that needs to be done regularly. For things you just pick up and put in there to keep for someone else. But I am surprised there is no book in your purse ...
When I buy a new purse it has to have two requirements: big enough to fit a book (or two) and enough compartments for all those different things I have to be able to find immediately.

Booklady said...

I tried downsizing my purse once, I just ended up carrying an extra bag (or two) my requirement for a purse is that it will hold my iPad, a book (yes I know I can read on my iPad, but I like to have extra just in case) and my camera. I carry a Nikon D7000 so it needs lots of room. Sometimes, I just use my camera backpack. It will hold two cameras, an extra lens, flash, my ipad, sunscreen, wallet, a book and tons of extra misc stuff. And if I actually wear it on my back it does make me stand up straighter.

Breaunna said...

I love the randomness of your purse! It reminds me a bit of the Tweleve Days of Christmas. I cleaned out my purse last night and love how clean and organized it is. I used to carry a huge purse, but I downsized to one with more compartments and organization and I love it.

Sheila Connolly said...

Most of the above (no Kindle yet, alas), plus: spare batteries for camera, small flashlight, reminder cards for appointments that happened six months ago, an ancient Chanel lipstick I keep forgetting I have, occasionally a measuring tape, and the random pair of latex gloves in case I stumble on a crime scene.

NoraA said...

What's in my wallet? Well we can start with my checkbook from Capital 1 bank. Yeap I bank there. Key ring with 20 asst keys, large wallet, small ID case w/mini cop shield (son in law is a cop), makeup kit, tissues, brush, pen, phone, psnl calling cards, blackberry earpiece, extra set of car key to my car and my partner's car, 2 spare batteries for my cell phone.

My purse is 9" across w/ 2 end pockets, 10" high, and 4" wide. I just changed over to it from a larger bag.

Danielle said...

I have all the scraps of paper in my purse that you have. I have been trying to simplify my life as well. I have learned that its a slow process. Its even harder when you have a pack rat husband. Every time I have a box to take to Goodwill he would say "Why are you giving away my good stuff?". His "good stuff" being t-shirts he wore in junior high school.

Dru said...

Inside my bag now is my wallet, 2 packs of tissues, a band-aid, my metrocard, keys, Chap Stick, Blackberry, roll of Breath Savers, a pen, and my computer glasses which should be on my eyes now.

kissablesweet1 said...

I use to say, "never downsize your purse"...then I looked at what I carried in my over sized purse and actually weighed it. It was as much as a toddler. I said no more. I carry purses of medium size (yeah even with agoraphobia I still have a purse..lol) I put my wallet, chap stick, my Kindle, a medium size note pad, pens, extra set of keys, Tylenol, baby aspirin, a scrunchie and one planner (different colors of ink for each child) and tissues. I make sure to take receipts out when I get home and I am careful only to carry what I really need. It's tough but my back just couldn't take it any more.
When the kids were little, I carried more "Mom supplies".

Linda McDonald said...

My wallet, my phone, sometimes my camera, pens, notebook, assorted receipts, keys, and sunglasses. That's about it. I don't have a large purse. I know if I get a large purse I will just add more things to it, so I stay clear of the big ones.

Katreader said...

They call me the bag lady. While I have my purse, I also always bring along another bag...or two...sometimes three. This can cause problems...like 2 months ago when I got on the thruway and reached to put my ticket under my purse only to discover I had 2 bags...but no purse...and consequently, no money for the toll! At any rate, inside my purse I have my tracfone (no smart one for me) wallet (big enough to knock someone out), checkbook, hand sanitizer, prescription sunglasses (from about 5 prescriptions ago), mini farkel game, multiple coupons and receipts, pens, pads and more...and I just cleaned it out as I changed to a more summery purse. What's in my bags? You probably don't even want to know-but you'll always find a book, datebook, and lotion, you may find another bag with my iPad, perhaps my bag with my traveling rat, Amelia, and Lord knows what else!

signlady217 said...

The larger purse is just because it looks nicer for church. Inside it is the fanny pack that I pull out when I go shopping; so much easier on the shoulders and leaves the hands free for looking at stuff! The fanny pack has a small bottle of aspirin, nail clippers, pen, kleenex, numerous book lists, scraps of paper w/various notes, change purse with library, Hancock's and Kroger cards, larger change purse with driver's license, insurance and medical cards, voter i.d. cards, Sam's card, etc., 2 chapsticks, and business cards for hubby and myself. The big purse also has an eyeglass case, notepad, pencil, 120-in tape measure, extra business cards, and is big enough to also hold the Kindle, a crossstitch project, a bottled water and a bag of trail mix when I travel (that's when it really gets heavy!) Glad I don't have to carry "Mom" supplies, too! :)

And oh, yeah, keys go in the zipper pocket of the big purse at home and then in my pocket when I'm out and about.

Barbara said...

I hate carrying a purse but there are things I must have with me. My rescue inhaler, for instance, along with tissues, keys, checkbook, wallet, pen, sunglasses, handicapped parking tag since I never know if we'll be in my car or his truck, datebook, and small hairbrush. In winter I carry an Indian leather purse, in summer normally a tote bag. In either case I have a book with me.

Shel said...

I'm the opposite. If I didn't occasionally carry my Sony Reader with me, all I'd ever need would be a wallet/organizer thing. I wish I had more stuff to carry so my poor denim bag doesn't look so limp and forlorn. The most full that bag has ever been, Heather, is when I saw you in Naperville and I'd stuffed all the crochet thread and hooks into it! But I don't usually carry that stuff around, so....
Normally all I carry is driver's license, credit card, keys, and my phone. Maybe a checkbook and pen if I'm going somewhere that doesn't take cards.

Peacecat said...

I'm a big bag girl too. Tried several times to downsize, but it just never works for me. The contents varies somewhat from day to day but the real estate has to be there to accommodate whatever I want to take along.

I'm a fanatic about keeping it organized. After many attempts to find the perfect bag I finally sewed my own out of some awesome faux leather I found at the fabric store. It's got a dozen pockets of varying sizes inside to hold all my necessities in neat order...calendar, checkbook, hand sanitizer, sunglasses, hand lotion, lip balm, cell phone, tissues, fingerless mitts (I admit, those should probably come out this time of year, but they fit so why change?) I keep my wallet and a small knitting project (in it's own little bag) in the big compartment at all times. My Kindle, iPod, book, magazine, water bottle, etc go in and out depending on where I'll be that day. Long live the big purse!

Melissa said...

Total bag lady here too. I carry *everything* I might possibly need.

Funny story...a couple weeks ago I went to the bank with my father. He didn't want to leave his envelope of money in the glove compartment so he gave it to me to put in my purse. 10 days later I was switching purses, found his envelope with about $300 dollars in it. I had his money on me all that time and never realized it. He's thankful I'm honest LOL.

Vicki said...

Wallet, allergy meds, migraine meds as well as tylenol and advil just in case. Chapstick, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, various coupons and gift cards, cell phone, keys, nail kit, band aids, and at the moment fabric samples for quilt project. Keep saying I'm going to downsize but everytime I do I need something that doesn't fit in smaller bag!

Sarita said...

My purse is pretty well controlled. I can't stand searching for something when I need it so I keep the "needs" down to a minimum.

Griperang/Angela said...

I try not to have a lot in my purse but as I get older it seems I keep adding. I have a wallet, card holder, picture holder, coupon holder, two body sprays, comb, brush, two ponytail holders, bandaids, migraine pills, aspirin, eyeglass cleaner and cloth, eyedrops, chapstick, baby lotion, three little notepads, address book, three pens, penlight flash light, cozy mystery book list, scrapbooking folder list, q - tips, feminine products, kleenex, clippers - I think that may be it, I would have to go thru to purse to see though, lol

Anonymous said...

I had a large purse but I took a good look at what I actually use daily and realized I can use a wristlet, I found a cute one at TJMaxx and wanted it so bad, I told myself to make it work, so I did! I only carry my cc cards, ID, medical cards, money, dramamine, chapstick, listerine breath strips (which are uber small and compact), and my medication. The rest of my things are in a pouch in my car, for "just in case moments" when I'm away from home. That is where my "I can live without on a daily basis items"...if you take your car with you each day, your things are still right there with you, it's not really like you're leaving them behind, you're just not lugging it all on your shoulder. =) works for me! And remember, pockets are useful if needed as a last resort.