Clear the Clutter from Your Handbag

cluttered purse

That’s a lot of receipts.

I think it’s time to clean out the clutter from my handbag. (It’s been a while.)

I also found a LEGO in there and the letter “Y” key that’s been missing from the keyboard.

clean purse

(Two minutes later = much better.)

purse and keys on tray

Bonus assignment: Use a tray for the things you need to stay organized as you walk out the door, so you’ll always know where to find your keys.

Do you need to clean out your handbag too? Let us know what is the most random thing you find. (Tell us in the comments.)

clear the clutter

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. A certain little one has an obsession with unpacking and repacking my purse, so I frequently find unpredictable items under my wallet. She has a tendency to put the cat toys in there, but I’ve also found a plastic tiara, bath ducks and coasters.

  2. Cathie Australia says:

    I bought a new handbag recently. It’s so small I had to buy a smaller wallet to fit in it. However not much chance of holding clutter in bag or wallet. I empty receipts daily, I have to or I can’t close the wallet. Great for the back though, you only carry what you really need :)

  3. Two things that help keep my handbag organized is a wallet w/a separate pocket for receipts and a mesh zipper bag for all the little stuff like Chapstick, lotion, etc.

    We also have a little woven basket bowl by the front door where we drop our keys. No more lost keys! =)
    Juliette´s last post…A Quilted Table Runner (and a book review)

  4. I have to admit I am pretty good with my handbag, and we have a hook just inside the back door for keys (it’s directly opposite where I hang my bag, so easy to remember too). My handbag is reasonably small, however it appears that it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside! Normally, I have my glasses case, sunglasses case (until the novelty wears off my new sunnies, lol), wallet, phone, keys, work id card, business card case, couple of pens, a small notebook (with a strong rubber band around it for little bits I must keep), a couple of pens, ipod… and extras right now – three boiled lollies and about $5 in coins.

    I always seem to end up with Other People’s Stuff in my bag though.

    We were out at breakfast one morning, and The Bloke handed me his phone, wallet, keys and cap (as normal), so I started putting other things in my bag as well – including the cutlery, pepper and salt shakers, a glass… I don’t know what the waitress thought!

  5. I have stopped using a handbag, so this is one problem I manage to omit from my life…LOL
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…Lazy Sunday

  6. Morning Sunshine says:

    My purse is basically a large wallet with a long strap. And I love it. There is no room in there for anything but cards, checkbook, some cash.
    There is a small pocket on the outside where I can put my phone OR my keys in a pinch, but it makes the pocket so stick-outy that I cannot keep them in there longer than absolutely necessary.
    I have had this bag for over 10 years and the zipper is starting to break and the strap is getting thin, and I am afraid it will be breaking soon. Not to fear, however, I have a spare :)

    • That is what my husband wants me to carry – a wallet on a string! What is the brand of your purse?

      • Morning Sunshine says:

        I have no idea. There is no label on it. My mom found a pile of them on the clearance rack at some *mart or another at least 14 years ago for $1 each and passed them out to her sisters and daughters. I was the only one who liked them, and I have my original black one and a spare brown one. I figure if the brown one lasts as long as this black one, I will not need to worry about buying a new purse for another 15 years or so. sorry.

      • Vera Bradley has one. The style is strap wallet. On there web page it is in the wallet section not the handbags

  7. I found a chocolate easter egg in my handbag in July…
    I just need to tell you how much I like visiting here. Recovering from an illness, I had lots of time to read your archives. Do you know what stayed with me most? Your fresh, clean and inspiring photos! If you see so many of them, you notice how appealing and encouraging they are. It makes me feel instantly better to see a pretty rose, yummy peaches, a nice cup of tea.
    And, of course, I am encouraged to simplify some stuff in our household. I started with making some vinegar cleanser in a spray bottle since the old one was gone – I love it so far!
    Thanks for all the effort you put in this site! Love, Martina

    • I agree with Martina’s opinion on the lovely and encouraging photos. What cracked me up, though, was that I first read her comment as seeing ‘a pretty nose’, and just knew that someone else sided with me in thinking that Rachel does indeed possess a lovely one! Must be tea time. :)

    • Thanks for noticing! I care about sharing pretty pictures even if the topic isn’t always pretty.

  8. I keep downsizing my purse in hopes that it won’t be crammed full of junk. I am down to a wristlet now…that is still crammed full of stuff. I just finished making my own handbag that has spots for everything that I want to keep with me, hopefully in an organized manner, but it is quite large so I am concerned that it will fill right back up.
    Heather´s last post…starting a gardening notebook/binder

  9. There’s always lots of randomness floating around in my purse – I use it as a way to keep the car clean, I throw in all the junk from there, drag it in the house and then throw it away. As long as I am consistent, it’s a good system.

    As for keys, I keep them on a ledge right by the door – losing them is not the issue, but accidentally locking them in the car is. I finally, after three times of having the locksmith come, have a spare.

  10. My handbag stays pretty organized — receipts and used tissues are the things I have to keep up with cleaning out of it. I try hard to have my bag arranged so that I can reach in and grab what I want without looking. So, I’m a one-bag woman — I use one purse until it wears out or I find one I like much better for an excellent price, and then go through the adjustment period of not being able to retrieve items automatically.

    How about the rest of you? One bag or multi-bags?
    Lori´s last post…Monday Mission: Make One Thing Better

    • I am the same way Lori! I got my last purse at Goodwill, although it was brand new. I don’t “love” the way it looks, but it is practical and has a good layout of pockets for me. I hate when I have to adjust to a new purse! I have very specific places for my keys, phone, chapstick, and receipts. So much so that I can reach into my purse in the dark next to my bed and find the chapstick immediately without looking!
      Bernice
      Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s last post…40 tips to simplify your life

    • I have several handbags that I switch whenever the mood strikes. I tend to carry a larger bag. However, I make switching easier, I have just about everything in pencil cases.

      I have them for: 1) receipts, 2) chargers (cell phone, kindle), 3) chapstick, advil, hand cream, mirror, etc (this is clear so I can pull it out when I travel. All the liquid-type stuff goes in there.) 4) pencils and pens, and 5) a larger on that contains a small notebook,a granola bar, and any other small things I may need.

      Then my planner, kindle, wallet, sunglasses, and cell phone. Sometimes, I’ll put a smaller purse inside to carry my wallet and cell phone if I’ll be going somewhere where the big bag won’t work.

  11. My purse looks messy inside but it is pretty organized. My receipts come out immediately as I track every penny spent in a separate journal. Receipts go in a box labeled for that year.

    But I did have one embarrassing moment at the cash register in a bagel shop recently. Pulling out my change purse, out came a pair of crumpled knee highs. I had stuffed them in my purse while at the the nail salon getting a pedicure. Too funny, the look on the guy’s face.

    Too bad those knee highs weren’t currency. Could have saved $8. :D

    • How do you keep from getting a backlog of receipts to record, Donna? At what point in the day/week do you dedicate time to log them?
      thanks!

      • Hi Nee.

        I log them every day, sometimes within minutes of making a purchase. Such as, on-line shopping.

        When I first started keeping a journal six years ago, I was just curious on where my money was going. I was about to retire within a year and would be living on a fixed income.

        I keep track of EVERYTHING. 75 cents at the outside news stand. Dollar to kids selling candy or cookies at the grocery store. Pocket change given to the less fortunate.

        My journal has 24 lines per page and I never have more than 48 entries per month. It is my gauge for slowing down my spending for the month. I watch it like a hawk. Writing down everything (not bills), but everything else that nickels and dimes the budget.

        Thanks for asking..
        Donna´s last post…How Would You Quilt This?

        • Thank you for taking the time to lay things out so cleary, Donna! I am encouraged. Our budget is categorized and in the past, I have been able to keep up with the expense logging, so as to stay within our bounds. Lately though, it has gotten away from me. Your method is solid! Thanks again…

        • Denise C. says:

          Thanks Donna! You’ve inspired me to start tracking my spending! :)

  12. Most random thing in my bag: toddler socks (5 of them. One pair, the rest mismatched). Why? I have no idea.
    Katherine´s last post…Baby Gear: What to Get When You Are Afraid of Overrunning Your Home With Baby Stuff You Don’t Need

  13. Mine desperately needs cleaning out! I know this because Saturday I examined every nook and cranny of my bag looking for a ponytail holder–which I didn’t find. But I had legos, silly bands, an empty (!) Altoids tin, matchbox cars, and crumpled expired coupons.

    Thanks for the reminder to clean it out! (Because all that stuff is still in there–yikes!)
    Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy´s last post…The 6 Smartest Things I Did in 2011

  14. I keep wondering why I need a folk lift for my purse. I better investigate.

  15. Most random? A cowboy rubber ducky and one lone baby sock. Definitely time to clean out my purse!

  16. Once my youngest became Kindergarten age, I thought I should downsize my purse. So I bought a smaller one and struggled with it for months; finally I realized that a larger purse allowed me to see everything at a glance and reach in to get anything without moving another thing.

    Thanks for the reminder…I think I have some loose coupons in there.

  17. While I love the look of some of the beautiful big tote bag purses, I find that those just turn into a black hole for me! I need several pockets for separating frequently used items. At any given time, I should be able to locate my wallet, my meds, my chapstick/lipstick, my lotion, my keys, my phone, my glasses. They all have specific pockets. I can even find these things in the dark or while driving without looking. Every week or 2 I have to go through and pull out receipts otherwise they get in the way!
    Cleaning your purse on a regular basis will make it easier to keep up with!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…9 posts for the overwhelmed and overworked

  18. Seems like I’m always organizing my purse! The receipts are killer : )

  19. I don’t usually have extra/random stuff in my purse, but when I went through it last week, I found a packet of the saline solution for my Netipot that I’d tossed in for a recent trip.
    carrie´s last post…Homemade gifts

  20. I have a purse with lots of pockets and compartments that help keep things organized. (I can reach in and find anything without even looking!) I keep a small Zippered bag for chapstick, bandaids, medication… It helps keep the small stuff from getting lost.

    Of course it helps not having small children or a hubby!!!!

  21. Sidewalk chalk, a mouse finger puppet, & the missing garage door opener! :)

    Thanks for the impetus–I’ve been meaning to get around to this.

  22. I empty and refill my bag daily to ensure I have what I need for that day – everyday is different. I can’t remember finding anything terribly random but my Mum remembers going to pay the electric and pulling out a wind-up duck.

  23. This is my second year in MOPS and we’ve had the same speaker two years in a row–she’s an interior designer/home organizer independent business owner and one of the first things she asked us to do both times was to check out our purses/diaper bags (in my case, backpack) for rare and unusual finds. Out of the entire room of 100 women, I won the prize both years in a row (she said she wasn’t sure that was something to be proud of or not). :) The first year I found my husband’s British driver’s license and the second year a ziploc bag with four Easter egg candies (and this was in January). I guess the candy was probably still in date with all those nasty chemicals.

    • I would start planning now for a three-peat. Maybe next year some soy sauce and a can of beans could just happen to be in your bag, just for laughs.

  24. I cleaned my purse out this weekend and I had a seashell from our beach trip in July!

  25. Okay – admittedly this is off topic – but where do most of you store your handbag at home? I can never find a happy spot for it that doesn’t seem cluttered.

    • vermontmommy says:

      I added a hook to the side of my desk. I hang my bag there. That way it does not take up my desk top space. :) Plus, it is right my my desk when I need to write checks (yes, I still write checks but they are mostly school related).

    • Floor of coat closet :)

      • I either throw mine on top of the washing machine as soon as I walk in the door, or hang it on the back of the kitchen chair by the door.

    • In the closet, so I can coordinate it with my outfit that day. This way, I keep the children from going into it for crayons or toy cars as well :)

  26. Several random items found…hot wheels (2), wii remote, toy screw driver, Curious George book, pair of underwear (4 year old sons) and head of a action figure…pretty sure none of these items where packed by me! And yes my purse is big enough to double as a small country! lol

  27. I used to struggle with this…and like others, I would be unhappy with my big beautiful bags due to lack of interior pockets. Enter the purse organizer thing I found in a store one day – Brilliant!
    It has multiple pockets to organize everything just like I like it. It keeps everything perfectly where you put it. And when you want to switch purses you just pull it out and drop it in the new bag.

    I have a medium sized one that I would not do without now!
    Crafty people could make one of their own I suppose, but this one is made from vinyl purse-like material so that it stands up well on its own and has a drawstring around the top of it so that you can sinch it in if you need to.

    I am telling you this thing has been the best purchase I have found ever! Just love it! I got one for all of my female family members for Christmas.

    I used to get mad because I would find an awesome purse at a great deal but wouldn’t like it because of not having interior pockets. Now it doesn’t matter. And I always have everything right in the same place so it is easy to find things.

  28. I’ve got a new wallet and bag From Christmas sitting empty, tonight seems like a good time to do something about it. I’ve been rotating between cluttered black and small so limited clutter brown bags, but a blue one arrived at Christmas and a beautiful patterned one is waiting in the closet for my birthday next week. We’re moving from baby to toddler phase, and I refuse to carry a diaper bag so everything has to be in one bag.

    Regarding keys, it’s advisable not to have keys in full view of the door, that way doorstep callers don’t know where you keep your car keys so you are less of a target for theft. There have been a lot of cases in the uk of people having cars stolen from their property after thieves have taken keys through in-door letter slots or by breaking a window near the door, or even just opening doors while owners have been in the house and just taking spare keys off hooks.

    • Karen (scotland) says:

      I was going to add this about the keys. A basket near the door is handy for the family but, sadly, also handy for the nasty burglars with the fishing rod contraptions!
      We keep ours on a hook up high (to prevent escapee pre-schoolers…), near enough to the door in case of fire escape but not visible through the doorway or letterbox.
      Karen (Scotland)

    • Good tip!

  29. My purse stays clean and organized almost all of the time. I have a slim wallet, a travel pack of tissues, one pen, one lip balm, a few bobby pins, a combination lock, keys, and phone (when I’m out, otherwise it’s on my desk).

  30. My purse doesn’t get too cluttered because I dump it out and repack it almost every day. I developed this habit because I frequently switch bags depending on where I’m going and what my mood is. I have a little zipper bag for chapstick, lotion, and other small must-haves. And I have a zipper pouch for my wallet and pens. My zipper pouch sometimes gets cluttered with receipts and random papers. I will clean that out today.

  31. I started carrying a very small purse after getting a pinched nerve in my shoulder from using a shoulder bag, and then bursitis in one hip from carrying a tote-bag (always carried it with that side hand). I always thought I needed so many things! The only way I KEEP my stuff pared down, though, is to keep using a smaller purse; when I’ve bought a larger one, it has filled right up again.

  32. Haha! The Y key from your keyboard? How on earth did that get there? I find my husband’s things in my bag, usually when his pockets are too full to carry anything else. I also find lots of dog treats and receipts.
    Sage´s last post…Frogger Knows Best: How to Make a Hand Frog

    • The best is that it’s been in there for six months. I should figure out how to put it back on.

  33. I carry a pair of scissors in my bag; it is a bag because my husband must have a place for his things (IPad). I carry my coupons, paper or pad (usually a spiral notebook)if I remember my phone and those scissors for cutting out articles or coupons. I did find that long lost hair brush in there and my bigger wallet; I carry a zip up one for the 2 cards, cash and coins I will use while out that goes in the pocket of my pants. Those scissors were a find though, thought I had lost them to the ghost of lost items in a purse.

  34. After years of watching my mother haul a 15-lb. handbag everywhere with her, only to be virtually unable to find anything in its cavernous, over-stuffed depths, I vowed never to follow in her footsteps. I carry a clutch. If I really need something extra, I toss my clutch into a tote for the day (and I’m always sure to empty the tote completely each night). But 95% of the time, my tiny purse is enough–it holds my wallet, my housekeys, a phone if I’m carrying one, a pen, a tube of lipstick and a nail file–anything else is superfluous.

  35. I’m so messy, that a male friend actually went through my bag and organized it, after finding my bag really heavy.
    He went on to unearth old crayons, exposed mint candies and AA batteries rolling around the bottom of my bag.
    anj´s last post…JapanBump Finds: “Carnivore girls”; schoolgirl dates for hire and virtual travel

  36. Oh my goodness!

    Thank you so much for swinging by my blog! It meant so much to me that you took out some extra time to comment on my post. I was thrilled!!! :)

    Becky
    Becky´s last post…. Sunday Funday .

  37. Nothing very interesting inside. I swtch bags often and find it helps to have the essntials in a larger wallet/wristlet. I’ve been keeping my purse either on a hook by our coats or on the floor next to my nursing chair where I spend most of my baby-holding-time.

  38. No Ordinary Mess says:

    My purse drives my husband insane! I typically have the odd toy car or two in there for my son. Plus, I currently have a tennis ball floating around in there. Do I play tennis? Nope – just have one in my purse. Off to de-clutter it now!

  39. I just changed bags so that’s sorted. I did find last Feb. 2011 rent check in my winter boot a couple of weeks ago, that was quite the find.

  40. My best friend complained about a super heavy bag in high school. Turned out, she was carrying an iron in her bag for the last week that needed repairing. This was so incredibly odd, that it stuck with me throughout these years.

  41. Random things:
    a crochet hook (which I do keep in there just-in-case)
    a tiny jingle bell
    a quippy pin

    I think I have the winner, though:

    a tooth! — my daughter had a tooth come out while eating caramel at the bowling alley and I forgot it was in there

  42. Got a jumpstart: my toddler took almost everything out of mine as I was reading this! Nothing strange, but a couple of toys that didn’t belong. Now I’m down to my wallet, cell phone, two pens, and a spare diaper–that screams that we don’t go too far…or for very long, I suppose!
    MK Jorgenson´s last post…Political Evangelism

  43. This makes me giggle. My handbag goes into repulsive zone fairly regularly. once I was a party telling a story about the kind butcher at the grocer store who gave my daughter a piece of luncheon (is that baloney, in America?) – and she wouldn’t eat it, of course, so I put it in a snaplock bag in my handbag. I realised as I was telling the story, 3 weeks later, that there was a high likelihood it could still be there. Sure enough, it was. Growing things, naturally. So funny :) I definitely need to clean my bag out more!!!

    • That reminds me of the time I was at Starbucks and as I was paying for my drink I found frozen fish sticks in my bag!

  44. Great job! We have a place in our mudd room where we drop everything and it really helps with not losing keys, and wallets. I’ll write back when I clean out my purse!
    Jen @ a place 2 call home´s last post…Word of the Year-Balance

  45. Denise C. says:

    My purse is pretty organized. I carry my wallet (I clean it out ever few days), my cell phone and my keys. Nice and simple. The only odd thing I found in my bag awhile back was a safety pin from one of my running bibs.

  46. I love the tray organizing part! It’s a great idea!
    My handbag has lots of follow-up to-do mail letters that I transfer from one bag to another whenever I change bags. And lots of loose tissue creating a mess inside them. Of course, there are many times my handbag has my kids’ art work, my girl’s hairbands, my son’s dinosaur in it.

    What I did was, I organize the letters, receipts and small stuff in a small B5 size folder where I keep inside my bag. So they will not be loosely thrown about in the bag and easy to transfer when I change bags.
    Simplemum´s last post…Learning through Play – the fun and simple way

  47. Back in college I carried a small flowered make up bag as my purse. It was large enough to my DL, school ID, lipgloss, and the $5 I had to my name.

    Some days I wish I kept things that simple now.
    ~
    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D´s last post…Friday FREE-FOR ALL! (Linky Party #7)

  48. Karla Neese says:

    I clean mine out regularly. What I’m most curious about the handbag you have in your photo? I love it!!

  49. I’m doing a major clean out on this one. I decided to weigh my handbag before I dumped it – 6.5 lbs. So ridiculous.

    Strange things I found:
    - a rock
    - a car key from a car I sold over 2 years ago
    - 2 pairs of sissors

  50. My bag is usually tidy, but I often pull out random toys. I keep most things contained in smaller cosmetic bags so that I can pull out a smaller bag and find what I need rather than having everything rolling around loosely. I also try to put things in the same place each time so I can find them quickly (doesn’t always work as I’m often digging in my bag for something!)
    Kim @ Extra Organized´s last post…Slow reading

  51. I just dumped mine out – ugh! Have the various wallet, crayons, receipts (which are like bunnies), and all the other fun stuff I usually have in it. I had to find one that was big enough to stick a notebook and my calendar in (and the occasional diaper) but not so big I’d lose stuff. I’ve resorted to sandwich bags for some of the small stuff and items I always have to carry with me, like an extra inhaler and Epipen for my son.

    On a high note, I found a gift certificate for a massage – I had pulled it out to call and make the appointment! Yeah me!

    Now a question for all of you, particularly if you have younger kids – how long are the straps on your purse? I always have trouble finding one with straps long enough to go over my shoulder while not ending up in my armpit.

  52. this is a great one. i purposefully carry a smaller purse, even having little kids, because i don’t want so much stuff in it! i clean out the receipts from my wallet every week. but… there is still some random stuff in there i need to remove. great challenge!
    Charis´s last post…some of the random thoughts in my head

  53. I cleaned out my purse last week after my son pulled out a packet of laundry soap (costco sample) during church and loudly asked why I was carrying it around. I found a disposable camera that had been in there for who knows how long. When I got it developed, it was the first pictures of my little guy at the hospital after he was born. He is now five. Yikes!

  54. Karla Neese says:

    Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I thought might be a Coach based on strips & hardware. It’s darling. :)

  55. I decided long ago that I would combine my purse and diaper bag. This means I keep two diapers and a slim wipes case in my medium sized purse. Life has been much easier this way. No enormous boofy diaper bag to lug around. I do keep a changing pad and a few extra supplies tucked into a pouch in our van, however. Nothing too strange in my purse right now. I have a hutch in the house right next to our garage door entry. So I put one of those small bamboo trays into the drawer nearest the door for our keys. This works great without having to have them dangling out in the open. This tray also has my sunglasses at the ready. Great topic!

  56. True story…a couple of weeks ago you had a post about your bookshelf. I spotted the adorable little Coach bag on your shelf (would love to know the style #!) At the time, I was carrying a BIG Coach bag. It is gorgeous bag but packed full & so heavy. I’d been complaining all thru December as I lugged it around Christmas shopping. I’ve always loved the look of cute, small bags but could never survive without all my stuff. Practicality & comfort has become more important as I get older though. Seeing your little handbag was the push I needed & I set out to find my own little bag. Bought this one: http://www.brighton.com/product/organizers/36956-15709/birmingham-maritza-organizer-handbag.html
    I do have a tote bag that I will throw extras if I need them for a long day away from the house but it stays In the car. I LOVE carrying my cute little bag & so does my shoulder! No more carrying around tons of things that I MIGHT need & normally never did! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  57. I loathe purses. Carry a knapsac. Is that weird?

  58. This has been on my list of things to do! I’m travelling this weekend and will be eliminating many of the unnecessary things from my purse and maybe throwing in a few new things. I currently have 2 cameras, a paperback and my Kobo, a set of paper dolls (to keep my 3.5yo busy at restaurants), a diaper and wipes (for the 7mth old), a coin purse, winter hat, gloves, folding reusable bag, wallet, receipts, cheque book, passport, coupons, etc… I think I’ll clear out most of it, and throw in a new package of facial tissues and call it a day.

  59. I do this every Monday because the weekends get crazy and random things get tossed in my bag. Just this morning I found one of my son’s toothbrushes and a straw that belongs to a sports water bottle. Strange.

    Emptying out my bag and starting fresh each week makes me feel a little bit more organized and put-together even when my counter tops are crying for help.
    Mel@MySunshine´s last post…Sunday Scoop

  60. I just did this with my diaper bag (which is my purse) and found some lip gloss I’d been missing since Christmas and had gone out and bought some more. At least I know I’ll use it!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…Not a Neutral Gal

  61. I call it “big purse theory.”
    You get a bigger purse – one where there’s NO WAY your could every fill it. And, you do.

    Every once in a while i just pump my purse out onto my bed. Why my bed? Because it means I’ll finish removing the contents before I sleep – can’t put it off.

    I did a series of 31 Minute tasks like this. It was fun seeing how many things I could think of that wold only take about 31 Mins and added to a more organized life.
    ~
    Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D´s last post…Our Kitchen Redesign – A Jimmy John’s Kitchen! (Part 1)

  62. Bonus–I found the guitar strings I bought my son for Christmas and forgot to give to him!

  63. I’m in and out of my purse, and car, all day. Car keys, glasses, sun-glasses, phone, lip-stuff, hand-lotion, plastic cards, green-stuff money, pens, pencils and receipts need to be easily accessable. I’ve tried ALL sizes, and any number of inserts. I decided I would let go of name-brand, go strictly for what was needed. Have found a purse I love at a *mart store for $12.00 Not too big or too high or too deep to become those black holes, not too small or things will be falling out at the register. I’ve determined the weight of the bag itself was as important as the stuff inside. And still small enough to fit in a larger tote bag if/when I take my laptop with me. I clear it out about every other day, to stay sane. So no surprise items. My husband still kids me about all “my” stuff, but then will ask me to hold his glasses or phone or camera, they’re too heavy for his pockets! LOL.

  64. Every time I read articles about “purse overload” I am reminded of this scene from the movie Band of Brothers because I wonder if many woman carry more stuff than the paratroopers who jumped into Normandy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSfi8Yd960

  65. 1. What a beautiful lining in your purse. It must be so fun to open it, especially now that it’s clutter-free.

    2. I love how easy it is to read your blog and apply the content immediately to my life. It usually takes so much time to read other bloggers’ posts that I don’t have the time left to enact the recommended changes.
    amandaginn´s last post…in which i admit my shortcomings

  66. Just went to change purses to a new one that I recently purchased and found a rubber thumb (for flipping papers) and a staple puller. I also found a old breath mint and a small can of air freshner (for those times you go into a public restroom and the smell is not all rosey)
    Stephanie´s last post…Is That You?

  67. Flylady has a “Launch Pad” where you keep the things you’ll need for when you head out the door. You also set up anything you’ll need the next day just before you go to bed that way you can just walk out the door.

  68. Most random thing: 3 rifle shells emptied out of my clip during hunting season. And a flicker feather. Fortunately I found the shells at home before getting on the plane this week!
    Karen´s last post…Movie Review: The King’s Speech

  69. Do I ever????? Random things in my bag include: airborne, a sock (yes just one!), static guard, cereal bar, book, umbrella, empty boby pin holder, envelope (goes to some bill!), tea bag, book, two bracelets. Shall I go on? My bag is big and super crazy!
    Paige´s last post…Midweek Confessions

  70. Funny question! My purse is usually a wasteland of many different things. Having just cleaned it out, there’s nothing random in there. However one could usually find receipts, old lists, kleenex. It’s a scary process to clean out my purse. The worst thing I’ve found is gum in the wrapper that got moist and made everything sticky. Love your blog, a great inspiration to SIMPLIFY.

  71. Wow Rachel,

    Your small purse can carry plenty stuff. I have little bigger purse and it also holds my son few toys, lolipops for emergency, my glasses and other stuff. My mom purse is like a big beach bag, she carries mini house with her, only good thing is I was able to get headache medicine once from her purse when we in natitional park.

    Time to clean up my purse too.

    Preeti
    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last post…How To Be Happy Right Now

  72. Oops, I meant “national park” above.

  73. Kaycee Fisher says:

    I clean mine out fairly frequently. Between being bored at work (shhhhh….don’t tell my boss) and/or the fact that I have more than 1 or 2 (or 12) handbags, which I switch out monthly, my purse is fairly cleaned and organized.

  74. One time I was at a wedding shower where there was a game about pulling things out of your purse that began with a certain letter. When the person called out “S,” I said “SOCK!” I was so quick and proud, but then embarrassed. Why would I have a sock in there? Thanks for the clutter tips!

  75. When I can’t stand the number of receipts or tissues cluttering my purse — that’s when I get in there and unload some of the stuff. Also, if it starts to get too heavy and weigh me down — that’s my signal to lighten up :)

  76. I’m moving slower today than usual and I decided to be gentle with myself and allow myself some extra time to read a couple of your posts and ended on this one … as someone who is usually pretty good at decluttering I thought I’d follow your advice and declutter my handbag – I found my passport, a voice recorder, a hand written note saying “I remember to forgive people for not being the person I wanted them to be” and not one or two small notebooks but six! Six! I can’t help but think maybe I have a soft spot for small notebooks! :) Fiona,x

  77. Bronwyn Daniels says:

    I have several handbags, which I alternate depending on what I’m wearing.
    So that I don’t end up going out of the house without something essential, I keep a list on a tough piece of card of what needs to be switched to the bag I’m taking that day