Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It’s all in the bag.

I love purses.  Totes and handbags are fun and I do have a collection.  I love them and I USE them.  I have room to store them.

There has been some hubbub lately in the organizing community about handbags.  One bag, the Butler Bag, in particular seems to keep cropping up on everyone’s radar.  I have to honestly tell you that I do not see the appeal.

Maybe it is because I checked out the cheaper version at my local Kmart.  Maybe it is because I have a system for keeping things in my bag tidy.  Maybe it is because this bag it ultra shiny and I’m just not a “shine” kind of girl.  I don’t know.  I do know that this bag is not for me.

To read more about the famed bag, you can head over to Aby’s blog at Simplify101 or Tanna’s blog at Complete Organizing Solutions. 

To learn some tips for purse organization, keep reading!

Don’t carry what you don’t need. If you can get away with not toting around the kitchen sink, then by all means do it!  Also be careful what personal information you carry with you.  If you do not need to carry your marriage license, birth certificates, shot records, military id cards, social security cards, and the like on a daily basis then leave them at home – neatly filed away, of course!  If you have such sensitive personal information in your purse and your purse is lost or stolen, the ramifications of identity theft can be astronomical.  Now, if you have seen the size of my usual satchel, you must be wondering about this one.  In general, I do need something large enough to house: a Capri Sun, a snack for B, a snack for me, the occasional water bottle, my wallet/keys/cell, the packet of useful loose cards/change, business cards, and the “personal stuff” packet.  If I am out alone, my choice of purse is often much much much much smaller. 

Which brings me to point #2 – packets!  I love this and I think you will too!  Dump your purse out and group like things together.  When I do presentations, we use zip top bags to group things but in real life you can use something sturdier and prettier.  I like to use make up bags or these neat little mesh bags from the office supply department.  The bonus for using the packet system is that when you change handbags, you don’t have lots of lose things to sort through, you only need to choose the necessary packets to move into that day’s bag. 

What do we do with all of those loose cards?  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  There is a savings card for the grocery store, the pharmacy, the school supply, the baby superstore, the pet store… and on it goes!  In addition we mustn't fail to mention club cards, gym membership card, library card… It is enough to drive anyone batty!  This is where I share a tip from Debbie S. of Jacksonville (and I’ll be sending her some coffee love later this week for sharing!) who suggests punching a whole in the corner of your savings card, alphabetizing the cards, and putting them through a simple binder ring.  
A few caveats: Do not this with any official card (like your driver’s license).
If you are in doubt about IF this may invalidate your card, ask the vendor.
Do make sure that when you punch the card, you are not punching through any vital information.

This is my current (unedited) purse and its contents:



So ladies, what are some of your tips and tricks for keeping it “all in the bag”?

As you read in last week’s reveal:

Home Hub Notebooks are now available (to Jacksonville/St. Johns area residents) in an array of Spring colors!  Just in time for Spring cleaning.  If you’ve been itching to organize all of your paperwork, this is for you!

I have had many requests for a visual, so here it is: 


Spring Green (aka Mint), Sky, Rose, and Coral.




snaphappee said...

What a fabulous post!! You are awesome! I was going to suggest a great method for keeping it all together in a purse...but you already did! I use "packets" too - I use the little sets of 3 makeup-type bags that I picked up at Ross or TJMaxx for next-to-nothing. I just switched from a wintery colored purse to a summery colored purse today, in fact (got the new one at a dollar sale at a thrift shop! Yay!), and it was so easy to just grab all the pouches. Purse switch done before I could say it!

Okay...I'll quit writing my thesis. Thanks for your great ideas!

Your Organizing Guru said...

You always find the greatest bargains! Have fun with your new purse on your big trip. Thanks for your purse thesis! You keep sharing your theses and I'll keep posting the great ideas. Deal?

Tanna Clark said...

Using bags works well too. But, for me sometimes the smallest step like having to take something out and unzipping it to get what I need then zipping it back up and putting it away will stop me form using it. I always the to find purse and totes that have little spaces for everything. :)

Great example of what works for some doesn't work for others.