Assignment: purse de-clutter, or do this now, you’ll be glad you did later

January 13, 2010

This a re-post from an item originally published in January. Several people (like, a lot of people) emailed me at the time asking that I post this assignment a couple times a year as they found it useful. So, here goes…

Today’s assignment is super quick but makes a huge difference as you go through your week.

Take just 5 minutes right now and go through your purse or bag.

  1. throw away trash and old receipts, etc. that have accumulated
  2. make a pile of things that need to go elsewhere and put them in their places
  3. make sure that every single item you carry around with you is something you really need. Ask yourself, have I needed this in the last year? If not, put it elsewhere.

See? Don’t you feel better? Lighter, more organized? Yes, you do.

Penelope Tip: get a brightly colored wallet. I know we’ve heard this before, but it really does help. Mine’s red and I can always find it in the dark center pocket of my purse.

I think the secret to this is really keeping your purse filled with just what you need, which really isn’t a lot. But, if you find you just can’t be minimal, consider using a Purseket, which can keep your purse’s contents more organized.

Purseket Tool for Organizing your Purse

Purseket Tool for Organizing your Purse

Now, for some fun. If you love purses and bags, and need some help keeping the ones you’re not using in check, Jeri over at Jeri’s Organizing & De-cluttering News has written a great post. She includes several products that will help keep your bags organized in your home.

Closet Rod Hanging Handbag Organizer

Closet Rod Hanging Handbag Organizer



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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica at Lavender and Lilies January 13, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I totally need to do that. I tend to accumulate receipts and old grocery lists. I just recently switched to a really small wallet. I don’t carry cash at all or a checkbook so all I really need is my ID, debit card, credit card and that’s about it. It fits in a side pocket of my purse and I love it.

wendy January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I just found your site tonight! I can’t wait to share with my friends! I just tonight cleaned my purse out while at my youngest daughters ballet class. When I was finished…I sat there with a big smile :) I love that little holder for inside a purse! What a cute Valentine gift idea!

Jesse January 13, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I have to have a place for everything in my purse, if not it drives me crazy. I can’t stand digging for keys or other items! Great stuff!

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog January 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I sooo needed this post today. My purse is a mess! It always feels so much better when I cleanse it :) .

Gretchen January 14, 2010 at 4:33 am

I actually just did that yesterday morning, unfortunately brought on by my frantic search for something. You reminded me that I need to look into better purse storage solutions. I like that hanging caddy but some of my purses are hobo size and not small enough Currently they are just piled in a canvas bin or hanging on a rack..

Thanks for the organization reminder! I like being assigned tasks like this :)

Kristi @ Life at the Chateau Whitman January 14, 2010 at 6:45 am

I love this post! It always feels good to clean out my purse, but I get frustrated that it doesn’t stay clean for long. I am glad you posted the link to the Purseket. That sounds like something I need! :)

Kimberly January 14, 2010 at 6:46 am

I am a crazy gal. Each morning when I get to the office, I empty the contents of my purse and briefcase. If nothing else, my purse is organized. I got into this habit when I was following FlyLady. She recommended once a week, but for some reason I got stuck on every day. Great post as it’s a good reminder to not let the little things get out of control.

Marcia Francois, Organising Queen January 14, 2010 at 9:10 am

LOL this is soooo me. If you put handbag (which is what we call them in South Africa) in the search button on my blog, you will FALL off your chair :)

BTW< the one you have in this post is my favourite one!

Meredith January 14, 2010 at 9:56 am

I tend to de-clutter my purse 3 times a week, always at my office when I first come in. Takes 30 seconds and really keeps things in check.

I heard, though, that they’re working on an Iphone app that would allow you to pay for things using a debit account you access through your iphone. I love this idea! If it comes to fruition, I may barely carry a purse at all.

Well, but then, where would I keep my lip gloss, to which I’m terribly addicted. Hmmm. Is there an app for that?

Glad you guys like these “assignments”. I get a kick out of being “told” what to do now and then, and sounds like you guys might, too!

Meredith January 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

You read my mind!!! I totally need to do this!!!! Thanks for the tips!!!!

Amanda @ Serenity Now January 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

I’m scared to go in there…there could be something hiding inside. It’s been awhile since I took inventory. ;)

Susan January 15, 2010 at 4:29 am

because you are so like me in your organizational obsessiveness (please take that as a compliment), i am sure that you won’t be offended when i tell you that i can’t do this assignment. but, only because i do it all of the time anyway on a regular basis. you know? just because i like to.

p.s. i have a red wallet, too :) ha ha ha.

wishful nals January 15, 2010 at 12:47 pm

thanks for the reminder! i’m definitely in need of de-cluttering.

Elie's Papel January 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm

my handbag is constantly full of receipts and they seem to replicate like gremlins inside… :)

Sandy January 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

this is totally a great idea! i’m going to do this RIGHT NOW. my purses are always full of receipts, candy wrappers, etc. and it sucks when i actually need to find the thing i’m looking for and i have to dig through all that junk!!!!!

when i was in high school, i bought these metal racks and used those as a purse organizer but that’s at my parent’s house now. i don’t really have an organizer for my purses now but i surely need one. thanks for the inspiration!!

allison January 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Oh, Meredith; I absolutely adore this site. I am such a Penelope because order makes me feel calm, I guess. But what do I do if I live with an anti-Penelope who feels more secure when his stuff is all piled up around him (and spills into the rest of the house)? Look forward to reading your words of wisdom here. Glad you enjoyed those org. lists I sent you. May they further penelopize you at work! Ali

Jeri Dansky January 16, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Thanks for the kind words about my post, Meredith.

Regarding brightly-colored wallets: I have a black wallet that works well for me, and is in fine condition, so I’m not about to replace it. But my next one will be orange or green!

Kristi January 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

I just found your site through the blogroll on Blogging Your Way…and I love it! This is a fabulous post and even though I am currently a carrier of a diaper bag instead of a purse it still applies. I need to pass this on to my mom…she is constantly trying to organize her purse.

Kristin January 18, 2010 at 10:05 am

Where has that handbag organizer been all my life??

carlee January 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I 100% agree with you on this post! I have a bright green wallet and can always find it in a hurry…love it. I dump out my purse and organize a lot…makes life so much easier!

Anton January 1, 2012 at 6:26 am

Thanks for sharing. I came here from google search.

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