Addressing Contents of a Purse

Woman holding a purse
Recently I was going through a lot of purses while organizing. We decided to go through all the bags and purses during this organizing project and the client and I were dumping the contents of all the purses we came across. After digging into every last pocket of an old diaper bag my hand came across something important. I pulled out a car key probably worth six hundred dollars. The client screamed and said that her husband will love me for finding this and texted him right away the good news. We had found something so expensive and something so difficult to replace. No one had gone through every last pocket of every last bag.

After I found the key I starting noticing the mound of tissue, lip gloss, lipsticks, business cards, coins pens, wrappers, gums and mints that started to form. I was reminded that this happens often and more often than not, clients get overwhelmed. They don’t clean out the purses fully before moving onto the next purse throughout the seasons. When organizing, they want to walk away when they see a zillion little items and pieces coming from the bottom of the purses.

If you’re like most American women, you love purses, have several in your front hall closet or bedroom and are in a hurry to switch to the next purse. What’s left behind is the mess I come across and love to organize. Yes, that’s right I love to organize it because it’s a version of organizing on a small scale and it’s a great example of a how to break down an organizing project.

Two questions I’m frequently asked when I’m sifting through purses.

  1. How does one prevent leaving leftovers at the bottom of a purse?

The simple answer is slow down and be thorough. Take time to switch over a purse properly and clean out the purse you are no longer using for the season. If you tend to switch your purse weekly or pretty frequently, use organizing pouches within your purse for different categories. Then all you have to do is move pouches of items from purse to purse which is way easier. Cocktail parties or special events require special fancy purses. Those parties don’t happen every night or every week so the morning or weekend after the party return the items back to your regular purse, returning the cocktail purse to its’ empty state before putting it away.

  1. How do you face and tackle all the random things when you dump a purse?

 If you have several purses that need to be cleaned out, be thorough. Check every last bag and purse, every last pouch, pocket and zippered pocket. Leave nothing unchecked and create a mound of random things. Create your pile from all the purses instead of doing one purse at a time. This approach will be easier. Once you have your mound of items start doing a quick sort. Don’t get hung up on details and every last bit you come across. Toss the majority of items. Stick to the eighty twenty rule. Toss at least eighty percent. Typically, gum, mints, and makeup are easy to discard because they’re easy to replace. Any eye or face makeup will have too much bacteria that can’t be wiped clean or wiped off. Ditch them. Gather coins into a mug from the kitchen or coin jar. Receipts, business cards and random pieces of paper are worth stressing over. If it was important, you wouldn’t have left it at the bottom of an old purse. Just take a quick glance through things and keep going. In the end, most of it should be in the garbage bag. Depending on what you’re putting away, relocate the stray remnants into your current purse, office or kitchen drawers, bedroom nightstand or linen closet.

Photo © stokkete / depositphotos

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