Tuesday, May 15, 2012

National Clean Out Your Purse Day!

If you told me that there was a government conspiracy to make the month of April, like, *disappear*, I would totally believe you. If you said there was an ongoing plot to do the same thing to May, I would nod my head emphatically.

What is going on??

We *have* been traveling a bit. In the last month, we were in Eugene (briefly), Bellevue (briefer), Kelso (briefest), and Portland (least brief). Oh, and the weekend before we went to Eugene, I went to Weston, OR with our church's high school girls.

Because of this, my purse has a serious case of Travel Bag.

A lesser person would be too proud to share with you the contents of this bag. It's a lot. Maybe it doesn't look like it. Maybe this looks like a nice, slender purse to you.

But let me tell you, when I dumped this puppy out, I decided I needed to put on an episode of Arrested Development, because I was going to be here for a bit.

(Not because the cleaning would take that long. No, it's the documenting that which was in my purse. Because it needs to be shared.)

Are you ready?

Sunglasses (x2)
Makeup bag
Gum (x2)
Napkins (x3)
Ear Buds (x2)
Benefit High Beam illuminator
Loose change
Pet formula Rescue Remedy
Thumb Drive
Strand of Freshwater Pearls (which I bought at a craft store, lost in the car, and found a month or two later)
Beaded necklace
Simply Sara postcards (2)
Plain Jayne postcard (gently wrinkled)
Hair Salon Reminder Card (from December)
Doctor's Office Guidelines form, folded
1 oz bag of Annato Seed (purchased at The Spice and Tea Exchange)
Business card from The Spice and Tea Exchange
Seed packets (3)
Writing Implements (4)
Cap to Church Folding Chair
Mini Tube of Fekkai Glossing Cream (found on clearance!)
Expired Best Buy coupon
Baggy with six tylenol capsules
Baggy with smushed chocolate-covered cranberries
Rittersport chocolate in wrapper, opened and nearly empty.
Jo-Ann Fabrics mailing list form
Checkbook with very old address
Blotting papers, unused in case
Blotting papers, used and crumpled (2)
Gum wrappers (3)
Kiehls lotion sample (from the Kiehls store at The Grove)
Stale Trader Joe's fruit snack (with lint)
Hairpins (8)
Free iTunes song card from Starbucks
Empty Advil packets
Old Grocery Lists (2)
Receipts (24)

There it is.  Where to go from here?  Here are Kathi Lipp's instructions:

How to Clean Your Purse Instructions:

Here’s my super-speedy way of cleaning out my bag. I simply take my purse and dump it out into a plastic grocery bag. I sort the dump into Put Away, Put Back, and (in this case) Throw Away.

Put Away
Anything I want to keep that doesn’t belong in my purse gets put away. This is also when I go through receipts I’ve carefully placed in my wallet (or, more likely, the ones I’ve quickly thrown into my purse…) and random notes or other pieces of paper. If you’re away from home while you’re sorting, just put these items into another bag to put away when you get home. And when you get home, put them away in the right spot.

Put Back
If it belongs in your purse, go ahead and put it back into your purse.

Throw Away
Anything that’s left over in your plastic grocery bag (food wrappers, cash receipts you don’t care about, and so on,) is now garbage that gets recycled or thrown away.
The beauty of the grocery-bag organizing system is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. Just grab a grocery bag and start sorting while you’re waiting for your kids to get out of band practice or while you’re on the phone with your mom.

Clean it Up
Give your purse a good shake and get out any stray bits, crumbs etc. I’ve even used a hand held vacuum to really get the bag clean.

Label It and Put It Away
Assign a spot for everything that belongs in your purse, bag, or backpack. I use three zippered pouches. Everything goes into one of those three pouches or into your wallet (or in rare cases, onto your key chain). The fewer items you place in your purse, the easier it is to know what’s in there.

Wallet. I recommend you keep in your wallet only cash, receipts, checkbook, and credit, debit, and gift cards.

Pouch 1: Makeup bag
  • Lipstick and gloss
  • Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Sunscreen stick
  • Blush and brush
  • Eyeglass cleaner wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
Pouch 2: Emergency kit
  • Fashion tape
  • $20
  • Needle and thread
  • Nail glue
  • Advil
  • Couple of adhesive bandages
Pouch 3: Change
Other Things to Keep in Your Bag
  • Sunglasses case
  • Cell phone
  • Keys
Keep It Up
If I sort through the items in my purse once a week, it really is easy to stay on top of it. It takes only a couple of minutes to keep it up.

How great is that? For more excellent tips for getting organized, check out Kathi's latest book, The Get Organized Project: 21 Steps to Less Mess and Stress, from Harvest House Publishers.

Dive in to your own purse! Kathi has a contest on her blog with prizes - pop over here to take a look!

1 comment:

  1. fruit snacks and pearls! Any purse with that combo is alright by me! Cute bag, by the way :) I've got a sack and it always has a diaper and toys...a miracle if I can find my wallet ;)


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