One of the things that always seems to escape regular cleaning is my bag or purse. But having a messy, disorganized bag is one of the most annoying things in the world. And it’s worse if it’s actually dirty. Like there was this one time we were going to the beach, and I accidentally dumped an entire box of Cheez-Its straight into my bag. Yeah. That was just a bad day. It took a long time to get all those crumbs out of there. Ugh!
So today we’re going to do spring cleaning on our bags/purses. Having a clean and organized bag may be a small thing, but it makes a big difference.
My two biggest tips to avoid messy-bag-related insanity are as follows:
1. Keep everything inside your bag organized into smaller pouches/cases.
Yes, this will necessitate buying a bunch of small pouches or cases to hold your stuff, but it will make a huge difference. One, you won’t have to dig into the bottom of your purse to find pens all the time. And two, every time you need to switch bags it will be much easier because you just throw the pouches from one bag to another.
May I suggest that you buy pouches in bright colors so they will be easy to spot in your bag? If possible, buy them in different shapes, sizes or even textures, so you can tell which is which when you reach into your bag.
In my bag I usually have the following small items:
– Small cosmetic pouch for lipgloss (I’m a lipgloss fiend)
– Larger pouch for essentials like tissues, ibuprofen (never leave home without it), mints and so on. Depending on your preferred level of “emergency preparedness” you may need more than one pouch for this stuff — tide pen, lotion, band-aids … and so on.
– Note case that holds a pencil or pen as well (whoever invented this was a GENIUS)
– Cellphone and keys (Not kept in a pouch, but I always put them in the same pocket of the bag so I remember where they are. Because I hate freaking out that I lost my keys.)
– Small tape measure (I never know when I’m going to have to measure something. I guess I take after my dad in this. I used to have a cute tiny little tape measure I got from my grandma, but tragically I lost it at IKEA. Now I’m in the market for a new one.)
2. Once a week (or so), clean out your bag.
Regular maintenance is the key to keeping things chaos-free. Stuff builds up, and you just have to keep up with it. So once a week or so I try to remember to dump everything out of my bag. Then it just takes me a few seconds or minutes to throw away nasty wadded-up tissues, wrappers or any other garbage … file receipts I need to keep … and put everything back into the bag. Everything important is still safely contained in your cute lil’ pouches, remember? So it’s easy.
Once in a while the cleaning will need to be a little more thorough. When the bag is beginning to feel a bit crumb-y in the bottom, take everything out, then pull the lining out of the bag, take it outside and shake the dickens (and the crumbs) out of it. If it’s leather or vinyl, wipe the outside with a soft cloth; if it’s cloth like many summer bags are, you can hand-wash it.
Let’s finish up with some inspiration: Cute things to tidy up that bag.
I love this preppy wallet from ALDO:
These cosmetics pouches from JCPenney would be quite easy to spot in the dark recesses of an oversized bag.
Amazon has lots more cosmetics cases in all kinds of designs, like Hello Kitty (but this one’s $18, sheesh!) You can find inexpensive pouches in all kinds of places — Target, Walmart, etc.
Isn’t this note-taking case the bomb? Has a pen and everything. It’s called “Wellspring Flip Note” and Amazon has them in more colors and designs than you would believe. I’ve also seen them in gift shops.
All righty folks, happy purse spring cleaning!! Go do it today and forever stop cursing your purse. But first leave me a comment and tell me what the grossest thing you ever found in your bag was. I’ll start things off. I was flying once and bought a bottle of Snapple Mango Madness juice. I didn’t put the lid on right, I guess, because I was crammed into the window seat on the airplane when I found that that the Mango had wreaked some serious Madness all over the bottom of my bag. It was so sticky and awful. I had my Bible in there and it smelled fruity for months. So sad. But I did learn not to put bottles of juice in my bag. :)