In simply astounding news, I have discovered a new scientific phenomenon. Scientists have been able to find and study black holes in outer space, but I have discovered one here on earth. It’s small, portable and highly dangerous. I’ve called it: my purse. Things find their way into it and sometimes never see the light of day again.
My black hole here on earth has been operating for several years in the same manner; I had a pretty complicated system for keeping my purse away from maximum capacity both in terms of weight and size allotments. When one purse was getting too heavy or full, I would simply pluck out my wallet, keys, lip balm and phone and move them to another. I would then begin the treacherous process of filling yet another purse and repeating the cycle over and over again.
The problem only came to light when I embraced the decision to get organized this year. After a quick mental calculation of the time I spent searching for things on an annual basis was looking to be equivalent to several days, I knew that I needed to get a better grasp on my life. And what better place to start than the part of my life that comes with me everywhere I go?
I started in perhaps an obvious place, I gathered together all of my purses and dumped the contents out into the middle of the floor. Immediately after doing this, I pulled out my wallet, keys and cell phones (I have separate phones for work and home) and placed them to the side. No matter what happened, they would be going into the next stage of organization.
I next stood back and took stock of the incredible pile of junk sitting on my floor. Amongst other things, there were receipts from the grocery store from 8 months ago, marbles that had no discernible source, a bottle of drugs from a prescription last March, two iPhone chargers, 5 varied packs of mints, coupons which had long since expired and a staggering 14 tubes of lip gloss. (I should point out that since I only use 2 kinds of lip gloss, this meant I had 7 tubes of each brand, purchased because I was pretty positive that I had used the rest of the previous tube. Mental math means I had $259 in lip gloss lying on my floor.)
Not only was the disorganization now costing me large amounts of time to find things, but $259 in lip gloss to replace lip gloss I thought I had used? I was approaching Becky Bloomwood habit territory. Think of all the things I could have bought with that money… Just off the top of my head (aka my Pinterest want list)
Sorting through the junk, I realized that much of it was duplicated. Pens, mints, lip glosses, hand creams, business cards, notebooks… I had multiples of pretty much everything that I needed on a regular basis. These were easy things to separate into a smaller pile of “necessities” I needed to continue carrying with me. I also noticed I had been carrying very large tubes of some of my favorite items that were much chunkier than need be with the surge in travel size items available.
- Lip Gloss
- Hand Cream
The problem was that the junk would remain just that –junk- floating around in the bottom of my purse abyss unless I found some better way to organize them. Enter tiny little pouches. I was lucky enough to have a few at home already that I re-purposed into small organizational tools housing my essentials. This way, I could easily find one of the larger pouches I was looking for rather than sorting through piles and piles of the smaller contents in the bottom of the bag.
And lastly, I threw out the vast majority of the pile. If I didn’t know why I had it, it got tossed. If I didn’t need it, it got tossed. If it needed to get put away somewhere else, it did. I realized with a little glee when I had finished that not only was I able to admire the slouch that some of my purses were famous for but had previously been too stuffed to see, but that I would be easily able to switch between purses to match outfits or moods when transferring organized items versus pouring in piles of junk.
All in all, I was pretty proud of myself and this first step towards organization in 2014. So proud, in fact, that I decided a new purse was something I could justify as a reward. Thanks to the people at Nordstrom Rack and my renewed adoration for all things Kate Spade, I acquired the Kate Spade Cobble Hill Kori purse as a little treat, for less than the price of the vast quantity of lip gloss found in the bottom of my old purses.
So tell us, do you have a purse organizing trick that you think we need to know about? Is this on your organization to-do list?