Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days: Purses and Wallets

Welcome to the first of 31 Days of Organizing and Decluttering!

I find that starting on small projects helps with my motivation, especially when I'm lacking any at all. I'd much rather do a mini declutter than dive into a whole room. The completion of something small gives me satisfaction and confidence to do more.

Today, I would encourage you to start with your purse and/or wallet. I was able to go through my purse and wallet in about ten minutes (maybe less) recently when I bought a new purse to move into. This is a task easily done while watching television or waiting in the car. You could do it while waiting for an appointment, but there are a few drawbacks to that which I'll explain.

I would suggest pulling EVERYTHING out of your purse first. Sift through the items looking for obvious trash, for me it was gum wrappers, grocery lists expired coupons and some feminine items (the drawback I was referring to) that had seen better days and shouldn't be used!

As women, we tend to carry things we think we will need in our purses but rarely do. I would encourage you to see if any of the items in your purse are items better left at home. I've been carrying a small measuring tape in my purse because we went shopping for furniture and wanted to measure. I sure don't need this every day. I can add it in when we go again.

Moms of young children probably have a few items for their kids stashed in the purse. Do those items need to be thinned out or moved to a bag specifically for your child? I remember we had the smallest of backpacks for our daughter in those toddler years that held the snack, wipes, a couple diapers and a plastic bag for those quick outings. I understand it can be easier to carry one bag, and that is perfectly fine. Just be on the look out for child items that don't belong in your purse!

As you put things back in your purse consider each item. Don't put things back in just because you have always carried it around in your purse. If you use the item frequently put it back in, but if it is rare, consider leaving it at home. Yes, you may later discover that you did like having the item in your purse, but why not try to travel with less?

Don't forget to look at your wallet closely before returning it your purse or pocket. Wallets can be the keepers of receipts of months past if we don't take time to pull them out. I found I was carrying too many rewards cards (most stores can look up your rewards account with a phone number) and a library card for an old town! I also thinned the credit cards in my wallet. I had more than I was using on a regular basis. I also tossed several business cards that were in there and no longer relevant. If the phone number is needed consider adding it to your phone, or like the company's Facebook page. If you find you have too many coins in your wallet make a plan to use them to buy stamps or a bottle of water. Or store them in your home and cash them in once a month at your bank.

I'll share what I carry in my purse on a regular basis:

  • Wallet (containing regularly used debit and credit cards, identification cards, insurance cards, cash, and coins)
  • Sunglasses
  • Keys
  • Phone
  • One reusable bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Ibuprofen
  • Eye drops
  • Feminine protection
  • Pen
  • Gum
  • Tissues
Do you carry more or less than I do? I tend to think I'm simplified, but I'm sure I could do without the eye drops and lip balm most days. 

Again, you can probably do this purse and wallet purge in about ten minutes. It's a simple first day task. And one that you might consider doing on a regular basis. Maybe once or twice month at first. Let me know how long it took you. And feel free to share anything you were surprised to find in there, too. 


  1. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but over the past year or so I've went from always having a messy purse to having a cleaned out purse 90% of the time - I think it has something to do with having a planner to take in and out of the thing when I'm coming and going! Receipts come out as soon as I'm home, gum wrappers don't ever become a problem, neither does loose change. I'm quite proud, really, that I've managed to keep it organized for so long! My wallet, on the other hand, is holding all my coupons and vouchers and things, but it has enough compartments that this is easily organized - one pocket for all the coupons, one pocket for the ones that I will be using on my current/next trip out (which is the same pocket as my payment methods). It is a bit messy looking, but it works (and can't be avoided, as coupons apparently cannot come in a standard size!).

    1. Yes, why can't coupons come in a standard size!! That would make so many couponers happy!!