Hi there! I'm back and finishing my talk about Purse Perfection. In Part One, I told you how to purge your purse and introduced the idea of the One Purse Lifestyle: only having one purse that you can take with you everywhere, whether you are doing business or having fun. Today in Part Two, I’ll explain what kind of purse works best for this and how to organize the inside of your purse with pouches.
So, first things first! What's the best kind of purse for your One Purse? Well, it should be very roomy and structured enough that it stands up on its own even empty. The top should close completely, whether by a zipper, a clasp, or snap. The straps are up to you, but I like medium length straps that hang over my shoulder and tuck the purse snugly under my elbow. It’s also nice to have longer straps included. In the winter, a long strap can cross over your body and over bulky winter coats.
Don't be seduced by purses tons of interior compartments and sections. You want the inside of your purse to be one big space, with only two or three small pockets inside (if any). Less is more when it comes to purse compartments! Besides, I'm going to show you how amazing zippered pouches are for organizing--instead of a gazillion sections inside your purse. And don’t buy a small purse. This may seem counter intuitive, but a big purse is much easier to keep organized than a small purse.
When I first mentioned the One Purse Lifestyle, some of you probably wondered, “How in the world could I find a purse that actually goes with everything?” Well, if you choose a basic enough purse, it will blend in with most of your outfits. Just stay away from bright colors, large patterns, and bling. I also suggest a neutral color--and by that, I don’t mean black. Think of deep purples, medium yellows, or creamy cappuccinos. Another thing to consider is texture. My purse is twill, but if it was available in a leather look-alike, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.
Ok, so what else do you need? You need several zippered pouches, one for each of your main “purse needs”. Start with a large, a medium, and a small one. You can usually find these in the cosmetic section.
But why do I use pouches instead of an actual purse organizer or interior compartments? For several reasons:
1) For one thing, you'll never have to dig for anything--ever again. If all your hygiene stuff is collected into one pouch, you don’t have to search the bottom of your purse or unzip a gazillion pockets in a mad hunt for your lipstick. It’ll be right in your hygiene pouch, where it belongs!
2) Pouches make it easy to prepare for the day. I used to dig through my entire purse every morning, pulling out random diapers and animal crackers so I'd have room for work stuff. Now, I can just pull out the diaper pouch and replace it with my networking pouch.
3) Pouches are visually neat and pleasing. It’s not very professional for a potential client to see the jumbled interior of your purse while you grab a business card. Pouches contain everything neatly, and nothing personal is in sight. You can even get sets of pouches of different sizes that match. How cool is that?
4) Pouches are also great if you have an underlying issue you have to track all day long. For example, I get gestational diabetes when I'm pregnant. A pouch with a wrapped snack and glucose monitor takes care of the whole issue.
5) Pouches help you keep track of what you have-or don't have. When a pouch feels empty, you know to peek inside and see what ran out. Or if it feels bulky, you know you probably collected extra stuff along the way. When my hygiene pouch feels heavy, I know that I have inadvertently accumulated five chap sticks (again).
6) And last, but not least, if you absolutely can’t limit yourself to just one purse, pouches make changing purses a piece of cake.
With the rational of pouches fully explained, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of organizing! The best way for me to explain the pouch method is to show you how I do it, and you can take it from there. You might have different needs than I do, but hopefully this will give you ideas of your own and a good starting point.
So, without further ado, here’s my purse, inside and out. It's the Cindy Tote by 31Gifts.
I have four pouches (and one wallet). Here are pictures them and what I put inside each.
And, of course, my wallet:
And here are items that I reach for a dozen times a day. I keep all these things in the two outside pockets on my purse, or in an inside pouch.
And one last life-saving tip...for KEYS! No matter how organized I am, I always misplace them. But I finally solved my problem, once and for all. My keychain has a clasp at the end, and so I clip it right onto a metal loop inside my purse! How perfect is that?
And that pretty much sums up my purse organization method. It’s amazing how a tidy purse can impact your entire life...no more messes in the entryway where you dump out your purse change it out, and you never have to run around gathering things before work, the zoo, or the babysitter.
Now that my purse is streamlined, my mind is free to consider more important things, like the lovely sunrise or my delicious my hazelnut latte in the morning. Or…leaving a note for my husband when he comes home from the night shift, long after I am gone for the day.