Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flying Frantic - The Purse

As I fly frantically through another busy day, I'm blogging on my third area of organization to help the flight be on time with a lot less turbulence.  Day one I talked about the Purse Project.  Yesterday, I explained why my husband calls me The Bag Lady.

A mom's purse is a wonderful, horrible experience in hoarding, trauma preparation and "I told you someone would need it sometime".

My family loves to tease me about my "luggage" because my purses get bigger and heavier each year. But, they always know who to turn to when they need a chapstick, a fingernail clipper, a piece of floss, a nail file, a piece of paper, a pen, or money. I am even usually good for safety pins, a mini sewing kit, water and a healthy snack.

I won a prize at a baby shower for having the heaviest purse.

But, the scariest part of having a purse like mine, is actually having to stick your hand into it to find something.

I have always said, "The scariest place on earth is the bottom of a woman's purse." Part of it is true, part of it is scare tactics to keep my kids out of my purse.

This past year, to lessen the danger and fear in sticking my hand all the way to the bottom of my purse, while groping for that elusive nail file, I purchased clear zipper pouches. I can now find items instantly.  They also work great for going through airport security.

I use one for personal items,

and one for medicine type things.

The upside is, my purse is a mini-medicine cabinet. I am ready for anything.

The downside is the kids learn to rely on the purse for ALL their needs.

Because they know I have a small medicine cabinet, of course they will use the lone two bandages in my case instead of taking one from the box of 100 in their medicine cabinet. They will take the last two ibuprofen because it is closer to walk to the front hall closet for my purse than down the hallway to the medicine cabinet with the bottle of 500 ibuprofen.

Not only do they go into my clear case for my chapstick, they might leave it unzipped, along with the purse zipper, so that next time I heave my luggage onto my shoulder and run out the door, I WILL spill everything. Then, they will think I am such a NAG because they left two zippers open. Sheesh lousise.

Another obstacles in organization was eliminated when I bought a wallet with a lot of compartments. I have a place for coupons,  punch cards and receipts. 

I bought a separate organizer for business cards, a small hard snap case that keeps them crisp and unwrinkled.

All food items, gum, mints and snacks, are kept in the outside zippered pocket for easy access. 

The two end pockets are also used for things that need immediate access, one for my water bottle, one for my cell phone.

A few years ago, I started carrying a journal.  I love to write, and was done being frustrated by not having anything to write on.

The uncleanliness of public places led me to start carrying individually wrapped antibiotic wipes and a small sanitizer in my purse.

Once you figure out what your problems points in your purse are, find a solution that works for you. Some women, like me, want to be prepared for anything.  Some women find it less stressful to NOT have anything in their purse.

A purse shouldn't cause stress, it should relieve stress.

With a purse big enough to have spare room, I can throw in a book, a PURSE PROJECT, my mini computer and my camera.

Of course, the only stress my purse causes is from the weight. When I need to lighten the load, I can easily remove objects because they are in organized containers and I know exactly what I am leaving behind.

When I carried a diaper bag, it was stocked in clear pouches, as well, but my purse was teeny tiny and I just tucked it in the diaper bag. You want to be well prepared, but not overstocked.

When I was single and a new believer, I was thrilled to find Proverbs 31. A whole chapter dedicated to women!  One verse confused me.

Verse 17, "She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."

I understood about diligence, perseverence, looking out for her family, but I just couldn't understand the strong arms.

Until I got married.  And had a family.  And had to start carrying everything... my purse.


  1. Hi Mindy :-}
    Thanks for stopping by our blog AND for leaving us comments on the post about 'good ole vinegar to the rescue'. We like commentors!

    I read through your posts about organizing a purse and tote bags. I too am big on organizing and lists and the like!! Now true, my home doesn't always show that, but that is due to living with a husband and sons whom are not. But me being so, has helped all of us survive them not being that way! o;-p

    I have never cared for large sized purses. HOWEVER, I have no problems carrying a seperate tote bag or even basket with me.

    After our house fire (7 years ago now) I was able to salvage my recipe box out of the kitchen, but was it ever a mess!!! I put it in a plastic bag, and then along with a couple of pens, a lap pad, and new blank recipe cards, put all of it in a tote bag in my van. Then when I was waiting for sons to actually get out of socceer practice, or for a game to start, or in a waiting room at a doctors office, or for another son to get done working in the school auditorium, etc. I'd open up the tote bag and work away. Tackling such a large project via that methodology, got the project done in a totally unoverwhelming way!! :->

  2. I have always organized my purse like you :) That is until Brookelyn learned to unzip zippers. I never had gum or chapstick until I found this little mini purse that has an old fashion clasp. Fooled her! now I can carry chapstick and gum. In fact, I might go buy myself a lip gloss! I was laughing the other day, when I was single I would simultaneously have five lip glosses in my purse. Then Brooke came along and ate them all and now I have dry chapped lips. But that clasped bag is my life saver! And I can switch it between my purse and big diaper bag

  3. My mother used to carry the biggest purse also, but it had anything you needed! As I "mature", I find I need a larger purse, but need to reorganize a bit. The compartments and pockets are a must, but I lump the chap stick, breath mints, nail file all together and still end up digging to get what I need. Your ideas are great! I have used my "church bag" a lot this week with different meetings and church activities and it worked out great! I have been so blessed by your organizing ideas this week! Sending you calm blessings this week as you endure the stresses of life going on! Thank you for your kind comments on my blog, you are such a blessing!

  4. I like the movie "One Fine Day." I don't know if you've seen it, but the leading actress in it carries a purse that has everything she needs throughout the movie. She makes costumes for her child and George Clooney's child at the spur of the moment from things she finds in her bag. Clooney watches in amazement and asks,"What else do you have in that purse?"

    Anyway, I am not normally a purse girl, but I do carry my diaper bag everywhere. My youngest is almost 3. Even when he's out of diapers, I'll probably still carry it around with all the stuff.

    Thanks for the organization tips!


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