Opposite approach to purse clutter problem

likesivyJuly 19, 2008

I know most of you subscribe to the one- or two-purse theory to keep clutter in control. And so did I. But for the past year I have been working in a setting where I need to look a little (okay, alot) more stylish. So, I've added a few purses to my wardrobe and have been alternating them based on what I wear, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.

Previously, I carried the tried-and-true, multi-pocketed, bag that coordinated with pretty much everything I wore, year round. One year it would be red, the next year, teal, then brown. It was never total chaos inside, but no matter how much I tried to reduce it to essentials, it seemed to resist surrendering things like the instructions for my camera, extra napkins, duplicate lipsticks or hand lotion, spare sunglasses, and something to read just-in-case.

Now that I am transferring all the contents from one purse to another almost daily (don't laugh, stay with me here), the nonessentials stand out as the useless baggage they really are. It's more apprarant that I am never going to do anything complicated with my camera, and that one lipstick, one tissue, one lotion is sufficient. Receipts, lists, gum wrappers all get dealt with regularly.

We're all different. This system works for me, so maybe it will work for some others.

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I knew a gal, some years ago who used to transfer purses often. Inside her handbag she had a small bag with her essentials. Each time she changed purses...she would transfer the small bag and have everything that she really needed.
Recently a friend gave me a small purse...I tried putting in my essentials and was able to use it with so much less weight to carry around. It is about 5X8 in size and fits my CC's and money, cell phone, paper and pen, lipstick and small brush and of course a few tissues. When I think about it, it is really all I need.
I have been keeping my larger purse in the trunk of my car, just incase I need the reading, etc.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 1:57PM
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I've used one purse for almost a year. I know bnecause I bought it in August 2007. It's a small Coach bag, only big enough for my essentials. Money, credit cards, keys, checkbook,a pen. I clean it out about once a week. I hang onto so many receipts. But once a week they get chucked out.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 2:23PM
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I usually carry a backpack (yeah, I know, I'm a little old for that), but when I don't need the backpack I carry a small shoulder bag (black, nylon), which I've had for about 10 years. I have a small cosmetic bag that contains toothpaste, a small hairbrush, makeup, and other items along those lines that I transfer between the two. The only other things I transfer are my wallet, cell phone, prescription sunglasses, and keys. If I need more stuff than that (e.g., book, sweater, writing materials), I take the backpack. I hate having a bunch of separate bags.

For a while, I would put the purse INTO the backpack, but that was too cumbersome.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 9:36AM
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I find that carrying a wristlet solved my purse issues. It will hold money, a few cards, a lip gloss. Everything can stay in the car.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:13AM
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I just plain like handbags. :-) That's my excuse, and my downfall (though I only buy cheap purses, because I switch them so frequently). I have an organizer that hangs in the coat closet - it has 8 compartments for handbags, and I allow myself to keep only that many (okay, I have two clutches for evenings "sharing" one compartment as well). I switch purses about every 3 months or so (or if whatever I'm carrying just doesn't match what I'm wearing), and carry the same one most of the time, unless we're going out somewhere nicer, and then I switch to a clutch. I use a purseket (just a fabric organizer of pockets that folds and sits in my purse - I'm sure one could make one, if they were handy sewing) to contain all the essentials, and I move that and my wallet to the "new purse" when I switch. Anything not in the organizer gets cleaned out. When I use a clutch, I just take my wallet, my PDA, a lipstick and my keys.

I agree, it is easier to keep them cleaned out if you're switching often...the longer I use a purse, the more "abused" it gets with carrying extraneous "stuff"!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 12:33PM
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I'm a one purse kinda gal. I have one of those back-saving ones. Um ... I think it's called a "Healthy Back" bag.

Why I like it: I don't have to scrunch my shoulder constantly to keep it from sliding off. There are many pockets. Nearly everything is inside a pocket. I can locate the important stuff in seconds. There are two spring clips for keys and similar, key chain-like items. I keep a digicam and a PDA in there, so it is bulkier than the purses of some other ladies, but I no longer feel like I need to leave my purse in the car because it will only make my shoulders sore, and then carry only a credit card into the store. So then, I have my calculator, measuring tape, and measurements I took of stuff at home -- already with me when I need them. If I decide to snap a quick photo, I have the camera with me already.

Also in my purse is a small zipper pouch that I call my "survival pack." It holds a tiny tube of ibuprofen, bandages & a tiny tube of antibiotic ointment, tiny nail file, single use eye drops, a few cough drops, etc. -- all the things that make me more comfortable when I'm not going to be back home for hours.

I edit my purse every so often. My purse is not stuffed full. There is room to add a small book and a bottle of water as I dash out the door.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 4:12PM
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