Thursday, March 7, 2013

Clutter: My (old) Purse

This is a blog post I did on another blog years ago. Last weekend I was talking about my old purse with a friend and told her I would send her the post b/c it is pretty funny (now that I can look back and laugh about it!) so I thought I would just post it here instead. Maybe you will get a kick out of it too. And if you know anyone who writes women's fiction, pass it on. Maybe they can snag a tidbit or two about a real-world mom with an extremely cluttered purse. LOL!

An if anyone is wondering after reading the article, I ended up hosting a Miche Bag party and switched to their classic size purse, and bought a smaller wallet!


From April 2010...

My purse.  What an amazing and horrible mess!  It is hard to tell from this picture how much stuff is in there, but just read on...

I went to a baby shower last year and they had a game where the lady with the heaviest purse wins a prize. I knew right away I would win, and not only because I had a full bottled water in there!  Other ladies had bigger, bulkier bags but mine tipped the scale and won!  So apparently I have known about my little purse problem for a while but have chosen to let it get worse and worse. There have been times where it has taken me a good minute to find my keys in this veritable black hole.  Several times I have actually given up, looked elsewhere for them, only to find they were in my purse the entire time... dropped into the wrong pocket or just hiding in a deep corner.  Uuugggh!  How frustrating.  Not to mention the red marks the straps often leave on my shoulder after a long shopping trip.  Children's backpack studies have shown the direct relationship of heavy backpacks to shoulder and back pain.  While not as heavy, I'm sure my purse is no different.  And since I already have hereditary back issues, I am definitely not doing myself any favors here.   

So, I decided to sit down last night and clean the darn thing out.  I made a list as I went, and while some of these items are a little embarrassing, I am posting it here for "the blogging world" to see.  Maybe if I record it, and come up with a few "rules of the purse" to make sure this won't happen again, I will have some motivation to hold myself accountable.  We will see.
The List: (cringing a bit here)
  1. Comb - most likely from the kids' school pictures last fall.  It was dirty so I threw it out.
  2. Small pencil from putt-putt last summer.
  3. Dairy Queen kids meal bag, coupon already torn off.
  4. 2 round pins from a visit to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in August 2009.
  5. Alex's achievement ribbons from her last TOPS gymnastics meet earlier this month.
  6. 2 leather coasters and 1 leather key chain from a hands-on demonstration at the county fair in August 2009.
  7. Thank you note for a girl who attended Alex's birthday party in February, on the off-chance we see her at gymnastics.
  8. Fred Meyer rewards coupons - expire 4-24 which I would still like to use.
  9. Very old (and crumbling) check holder with two empty books of checks, old receipts and a check register I haven't used in eight years!
  10. Wrapped fortune cookie and wrapped chocolate chunk cookie from Panda Express three weeks ago.
  11. Lollipop, band aid.
  12. Point and shoot camera in a case and the battery charger.
  13. Kids' shot records.
  14. Blank deposit slips from two different banks.
  15. Business cards for my photography business I closed over a year ago.
  16. Business cards for MOMS club - they are dirty and I would never hand them out in this condition.
  17. Metal business card holder - empty.
  18. 3 free ice cream cone coupons for McDonalds.
  19. Key chain w/eyeglass screwdriver.
  20. REI report to members which had the dividend and 20% off coupons I used a week ago.
  21. 2 empty (cardboard) gift card holders.
  22. List of locations for lunch after bowling league (through 12-29-2009)
  23. Receipt for the headboard in Brandon's room from one year ago.
  24. Printout of vision benefits from 7-09
  25. Free pass & schedule for the Gravity classes at the fitness center.
  26. Oil change papers from 5-22-09.
  27. Oil change papers from 8-21-09.
  28. Receipt from tennis shoes ordered last week.
  29. Written list of things to do in Washington D.C. for a trip last June.  I forgot to bring the list.
  30. Spoon used for a yogurt snack... I know, gross.
  31. Old grocery store shopping list.
  32. Small journal to record quotes from the kids.  Pen.
  33. MOMS club name tag and lanyard.
  34. 9 small bow hair clips, which were taken out of Alex's hair at gymnastics several months ago.
  35. 2 bobby pins, 2 AAA batteries, 1 screw, 1 rock, 1 nerf bullet, and 2 hair bands.
  36. Feminine hygiene items, more band aids, and very old hand cream.
  37. Cell phone.
  38. Tickets to a Jon Schmidt piano concert from 1-7-2010.
  39. Small pouch with a pearl from San Francisco, who knows how many Januarys ago!
  40. My Wallet.  It deserved a picture.  See below.  It is ridiculous.

So now that my purse and wallet are cleaned out, what should I do?  I like my purse, but maybe I need something smaller.  I also like my wallet, but maybe I need a separate holder just for "the cards" and then one for my cash.  I will have to take a look somewhere this weekend and see what is out there.  As far as rules.... I think the first thing is to obviously keep less receipts.  At least some of the gas stations now give you the option for no receipt, which I gladly take!  I know I hold onto some receipts because I am afraid I will need to return something but there are several stores that have such a good return policy you really don't need to have the paper receipt.  Target and Costco for example... they take back anything it seems!  Another rule - if the kids give me something to hold onto while we are out, give it back to them once we are home.  And it would not be a bad idea to sit down once-a-week and clean out what is not needed.  I will be back with an update... for now, a few things I found searching the internet.
The first two above are purse inserts.  This allows you to take the insert out and change purses easily.  The Butler Bag is the purse and insert together, and a little more pricey.  I see there are a lot of other inserts out there, just search "neat purse" or "purse organizer" and a bunch of options come up! 


  1. Wow! That's a lot of stuff. Glad you got organized. I started carrying a big purse on my trip to China, but I don't put much in it except I like to carry a book around a lot.

  2. This is funny, Julie. I think most women, especially moms, are pack rats when it comes to their purses. And yes, I always carry a water bottle in my purse! But I ended up with back and neck pain from a too-heavy bag and had to switch to a backpack-style one. I've heard Miche bags are the best, though.

  3. I am so impressed you could fit so much stuff in your purse! But I had to laugh because this sounds so similar to my purse situation. UGH! The constant struggle against clutter! :D

  4. Hysterical! No wonder we get bad shoulders from carrying bags that chockers. I'm the same. And even if I had a smaller bag I'd still try and cram the same amount in it.

  5. This was so funny! I'm a bag fanatic, so mine are ridiculously light and neat (children are grown up, too!)! I loved your list!!