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Decluttering Your Purse

My bag is big. And I love it. I have a never-researched theory that a woman's purse habits tend to mimic those of her mother, but that's just based on my own experience. Any backers? My everyday purse doubles as a gym bag so that I don't have to carry around multiple bags, but it's a dangerous thing to have by my side because it lends itself to accumulating random junk.

The Unclutterer posted suggestions on what items should fill different types of purses: minimalist purse, small purse or clutch, daily purse, and corporate work purse (which is really a list of items for a carry-on bag for a business trip). She says that each purse should contain nothing more than the listed items to stay organized and agrees with our sentiments that receipts can be the biggest culprit for clutter. My everyday bag falls somewhere between the contents listed for the small purse and the daily purse; what about yours? Are you meticulous about what you carry around (like counting out four quarters) or do you have a modified clutter situation?

  • Minimalist purse: Money clip with cash, subway/metro card, one credit card, and your driver’s license; house key and car key
  • Small purse or clutch: Money clip with cash, subway/metro card, one credit card, and your driver’s license; tube of lipstick; powder compact; cell phone; collapsible brush or hair pick; pack of Listerine breath strips; four quarters (no other change); safety pin; band-aid; house key and car key
  • Daily purse: Pen; small notepad; powder compact; collapsible brush or hair pick; tube of lipstick, lipgloss, or chapstick; pack of Listerine breath strips; hand sanitizer; tube of lotion; tube of sunscreen; sunglasses; small paperback book; house key and car key; wallet with cash, checks, subway/metro card, credit cards, and driver’s license; cell phone; four quarters (no other change); two tampons; pill holder with a few pills each for headaches, cramps, heartburn, diarrhea, and allergies; pocket pack of Kleenex or two McDonald’s napkins; ponytail holder; safety pin; fingernail file; two band-aids
Join The Conversation
verily verily 9 years
Absolute minimalist. I very rarely carry a purse. Most of the time, I just carry a combo wallet/cell phone holder. When I need the purse, it has my larger wallet and my checkbook along with the combo wallet. Maybe sunglasses and some kleenex.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i make sure i have kleenex and bandaids (for when your shoes cut you) and most mornings i throw in my makeup bag too (which is fairly small) - i keep a comb tucket in my wallet so i always have that, and instead of keeping tons of pills, i take one sleeve of my allergy meds and tuck them in a pocket with my bus pass and work security pass
gigill gigill 9 years
Oh yeah, currently my purse has: a pocket pack of kleenex, one pad, wallet with house keys, credit card, debit card, no cash, one tube of lip gloss, a powder compact, a small mirror, some hair elastics, cell phone, sunglasses, work keys, ipod + headphones, small umbrella (I live in London!) and orgainzer. I'll leave the umbrella or sunglasses at home if the weather is really obviously beautiful or shit though. Most days it can be both so I have to be prepared!
gigill gigill 9 years
I've got a purse that's in between a small and daily one. When I sleep over at my boyfriend's place I carry a one-shoulder strap bag or backpack. When I go clubbing I bring a minimalist purse. I'm too scared of losing everything if I get crazy drunk!
azucar_ame azucar_ame 9 years
GREAT POST! I'm a Big Bag Gal and I have it full of who knows what...LOL
graylen graylen 9 years
The purseket is pretty cool, SweetnLow! That could be pretty useful, except that I have several things that lay horizontal in my purse. I used to be a big purse addict. Then, I read a Real Simple article that outlined exactly how bad a heavy purse is for your back- short and long-term. It was an eye-opener. I now carry a small purse and the contents are just modified... i.e. one tampon, one bandaid, one hair clip, 4-5 torn out checks, only recent receipts, one of each type of lip product (1 gloss, 1 chapstick, 1 lipstick), etc I also clean out my change frequently- it's crazy how heavy change can be! Since I reduced my purse, I've had a lot less shoulder pain. Amazing what happens when you listen to your body ; )
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Haha, wow, these lists are comprehensive! On weekdays, I usually bring my big Kate Space bag with everything in it. Other than that, I switch around from purse to purse a lot, I LOVE purses.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I am a hoarder - I feel like I need to carry it all with me!
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
I just bought a new bag which is giant and has a million pockets and carries EVERYTHING. I love it!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
my mom has one of those HUGE purses - like a messenger bag type thing and i'll never understand why. i used to only carry small purses, but with the styles lately, i have a mid-large size one, but i've managed to keep it pretty empty. i have a seperate bag that i take to the gym though...since i usually leave my bag at the gym during lunch to motivate me to go afterwards.
pinkhearted pinkhearted 9 years
I definitely carry a daily purse--and I know my mom does too! Right now, I've gotten a new purse so it's not too crazy yet... give it a few more days =)
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
My mom's bag feels like a huge brick. My bag feels like I'm carrying around a bowling ball. I guess moms really can influence how their daughters use their bags.
cancankant cancankant 9 years
I vowed years ago to never become my mother when it comes to purse habits. She had everything but the kitchen sink in there! I am more of a minimalist. Just the essentials, for the most part.
dcfashionista dcfashionista 9 years
I have a daily purse.
angel0950 angel0950 9 years
i'm definitely a modified clutter situation. everything's tucked away in a tiny baggie or compartment within the purse. daily purse plus/minus a few things such as a tide pen, rolaids, etc. love it!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I am definitely the owner of the Daily Purse. I've also got a book in there for bus/tube rides and a small map of London. But I definitely carry around a medicine cabinet with me!
uaintkidin uaintkidin 9 years
I have a huge purse as well! I keep everything in there. I try to downsize if I go out on the weekends, but sometimes that does not happen either. I love that purse in the picture above! Love the red.
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