I never used to carry a purse.
When I was young and single and way too cool and before cell phones were even a thing, I’d carry my money, ID, keys, and some lipstick in my pocket.
Purses were for older women.
You know… Moms.
Then I had kids and I still didn’t carry a purse because I carried a diaper bag filled with every item you might ever think you could possibly need to survive being stranded on a deserted island with an infant for like three months.
At some point I broke down and started carrying a purse.
And then my purse morphed into the diaper bag and they were one in the same.
The first time I realized I had a problem was when I was searching through my purse to find my license or something and my hand felt something really soft and smushy, and I pulled a fucking stick of butter out of it.
What the hell?
So I declared I was going to keep my purse neat.
That lasted for like twenty-seven hours.
Then, a couple months ago, after getting seriously pissed off after I had to search through my purse for my license for the eleventy skillionth time, I vowed to keep my purse neat. I even wrote a post about it called Operation Keep My Fucking Purse Clean.
I’d say I’ve been partially successful. I never used to take the time to put my Costco card or my license (or any other cards) away in my wallet. And I would always be at the bank or in the Costco parking lot frantically searching for them and getting stressed out and also getting beyond pissed for wasting so much time. Again.
I never wanted to take the five seconds to return the cards to their designated spot in my wallet when I left the store. It didn’t occur to me that I had to spend two, or five, or ten times that much time searching for them the next time I needed them.
So anyway, I am now realizing even more what Marie Kondo is talking about in my new favorite book (affiliate), the life changing magic of tidying up.
She says everything needs to have a designated place and when it does, you can keep your things neat and orderly.
Since April, I have returned all the items in my wallet to their exact, designated spot. Every time I want my Costco card, I know exactly where it is. I haven’t wasted any time searching for that card or my license or an insurance card in six months.
And it feels good.
And so now, I’m going to try the next suggestion in her book because even though I’ve gotten a handle on my wallet, my purse is still getting full of crap without my even realizing it.
I emptied it out again today. Here’s what I found:
This was after I had taken out the things I actually use every day — my phone, my wallet, my sunglasses, and my keys.
When I sorted everything, here is what I found:
- $5.96 in change
- 14 pens! No wonder I can never find any fucking pens! They are all in my purse!
- 2 rubber ducks
- a birthday shot glass — cause you should always have a shot glass in your purse
- Number 7’s sunglasses — we’ve been looking for those for a while now.
- mascara — it’s not even good — it’s all dried up
- perfume — not sure why it’s in my purse
- lip moisturizer — I’ve been looking for that for about a month
- essential oil for the cough I haven’t been able to get rid of, probably because I haven’t been able to find the essential oil buried in the bottom of my purse
- allergy medicine — I have no idea why I’m carrying that everywhere with me when I can only take it once a day
- sunscreen — because I really need a lot of that in the middle of October
- hair conditioner — because I often condition my hair while I’m on the go (no I don’t)
- lotion from the hospital — I don’t think I’ve ever used it
- body glide (so I don’t get chafing marks during marathons/triathlons) — I haven’t done a triathlon in two years and the last marathon I ran was in April
- a cookie my husband got in a get well basket — no idea how that even got in there
- a big ass pair of scissors — cause you’re always going to need to cut through a whole ream of paper while you are out and about (I’ve also been looking for those for a couple months)
- a bunch of garbage
I think these things end up in my purse and then I leave them in there thinking I might need them sometime so I should keep them in there just in case.
I’m not sure when or why I might need a rubber ducky. Or two.
I have been carrying all this crap around but I have not used it once.
And it’s stopping me from easily locating things in my purse. It’s wasting my time, and I don’t have any time to waste.
So I’m going to take the next step in purse organization.
Or at least I’m going to try. I’m going to do what Marie Kondo suggests, and I’m going to empty out my purse every day.
Here’s what she said in that section of the life changing magic:
If you do not make a habit of unpacking your bag, you are also quite likely to leave something inside when you decide to use another bag, and before you know it, you will have forgotten what you have in each one. Unable to find a pen or lip balm, you will wind up buying a new one.
Ha! She didn’t even have to look in my purse to know exactly the crap I had in there!
I don’t switch purses very often (I only have two), but I was forgetting what I had in just the one I used every day because it was getting mixed up and covered up by all the stuff I was keeping in there but never using.
So from now on, the purse is carrying only the essentials. And if any extras get added in there, they’ll get emptied out every night.
I’m done with the messy purse.
And this time, I really fucking mean it.
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