I know what you may be thinking...my love of organizing is taking a very personal direction. A woman's purse is sacred space, tucked full of all kinds of treasures, right? Girl, unless you are Mary Poppins herself, that bag of yours isn't full of magic...it's full of stuff.
And stuff? Well, it's heavy!
A recent study showed that the average purse weighs 6.7lbs. For reference, imagine carrying around a bag of sugar on one shoulder...so comfy! Now add in a few more pounds of "essentials," and you are hauling ten pounds of weight day in and day out. Soon enough, that heavy side haul is going to have you leaning like the infamous Tower of Pisa. Of course, you can toss out a few pounds of weight just by carrying a cork purse...I know a gal who makes them <wink, wink> if you need a hookup!
Asymmetric lines in fashion can be bold, sexy even, like my Inizio Satchel with her trendy asymmetrical front closure, but leaning to one side thanks to an overfull purse isn't what I'm talking about here girlfriend! Let's ditch the load (and the unnecessary and avoidable damage to our bodies) and find the freedom that comes from traveling light!
There are a few key reasons that cleaning out your purse is good for your health (aside from your posture!). Disarray causes stress. Clutter in a dark space that's hard to see into is a sure-fire way to feel your angst meter climb. Combing through stuff you don't use to find the few things that you do is a waste of time! How many times have you hunted for lost keys, going through your handbag, your house, the pockets of yesterday's jeans, only to finally find them at the bottom of your previously searched (messy) purse? Maybe you took a trip to Target to return that impulse purchase, only to turn back around because the receipt has gone MIA in the war zone that is the inside of your favorite bag?
Let's purge that purse, reduce some stress, and increase your available time. Plus, your neck, shoulders, and back will thank you! Are you with me?
Step 1: Dump out the entire contents of your purse onto a clutter-free counter or table-top. Your bed is also a great place to do this...you might as well get comfortable. This could take a while…
Step 2: Start with your wallet. Go through it one item at a time, asking of each, "Do I need this?" - if yes, create a KEEP pile. If no, make two piles, TOSS or PUT AWAY. Don't fill up that wallet just yet, though!
Step 3: If you have makeup pouches, go through Step 1 and 2 with them as well.
Step 4: Keep it going! Now audit all the remaining items in your purse until each piece has been sorted.
Step 5: Take a look at the items you now have in your keep pile and group them by like items (i.e., lip gloss, lotion, powder, pen, pad, and memory card.) Then place those like items together in your wallet, pouch, or a purse pocket.
Step 6: Neatly arrange all the remaining items into your purse. I am a huge fan of purse organizers like those made by ZTUJO, which are thoughtful, inexpensive and fit perfectly inside my Yvonne cork tote, seen below! You can see more of how I organize my tote on my IG accounts, @paulaparisotto or @paulaparisottostyle - just take a peek at the highlights under Cork Care or Organizing for a video of my process. Don’t worry, it’s filmed on time lapse - you know how I feel about saving people some time!
Step 7: Take that TOSS pile...and well, toss it (or recycle it. I'm all about that Reduce, Reuse, Recycle lifestyle!) Then put away the items that remain WHERE THEY BELONG. Resist the urge to tuck them into a draw to deal with later, really put them away.
Some fascinating exercises to try before you start:
- Weigh your purse before and after you purge to see how much weight you've eliminated.
- Weigh your purse empty. If it's excessively heavy, it's time to invest in a new one. (I have a few favorites to recommend. They are oh so light, wipe clean, and look super chic.)
- Re-audit your purse from time to time to make sure it stays organized and eliminate any other items you don't find yourself using!
Now that you have that weight off your back (literally), I'm sure you'll want to reduce some weight in other areas of your life. How can I help? Are there areas in your wardrobe, or elsewhere for that matter, that I can help you lighten up? Comment below.