Prompt Card from Declutter Deck™: Purse or Wallet Clean-Out
Set your timer for 60 minutes and take a before photo.
Step 1: Take Everything Out and Make the Pile
Purses come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and configurations. I’ve tried small ones and large ones. I tend to purchase one purse, keep it for a long time, and wear it with everything. I know, many people have multiple bags and slight variations on a theme, but as you can tell from reading my prior blogs, I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to what I wear. Purses are no exception. I’ve been using the purse I have now for almost fourteen years. It’s in perfect shape, goes with everything, and is still in style. I get complements on it all the time. It’s a crossbody bucket bag from Eileen Fisher and sells for $268.00.
I love this bag because of a few of its features. The first is that it has two pockets on the outside. I put my phone in one and always have the other available. I consistently know where my phone is and it’s well protected. The inside of my bag has several pockets. In one I put spare keys and keys to miscellaneous locks. In another I put my pens. In a third I put my checkbook (who uses a checkbook anymore?) for times when I need it.
Purses and Bacteria – Make Sure to Keep Your Purse Clean
First step, take everything out. That means everything. Again, put a clean towel on the counter and start pulling things out. Receipts, lipsticks, pens, keys, band-aids, wallet, anything that is in there. Put everything on the towel and wipe your purse down well. You remember the bottom of the purse germ study, right? Well, another study in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health found that purses (and some wallets) contain bacteria on their surfaces, both inside and outside. The study found that of the 138 purses and wallets swabbed, 95% had bacterial contamination, with the highest concentration on the strap or handle of the purses. Ok. Enough said.
Step 2: Group Contents of Your Purse or Wallet
Once you’ve wiped down your purse or bag, and everything is out, start to group things together. Put things into piles so that you can not only see what you have but can also wipe things off one at a time and return them to the pile or discard them. This is the time to see what you keep in there.
Step 3: Edit
A purse is not meant to hold everything that you will ever need throughout the day. It’s meant to hold certain items, and the fewer the better. One reason to keep it light is that all that extra weight puts pressure on your shoulder. Put a few things that you need inside your purse and leave the rest at home. It’s not like you’re going on a safari and unable to get back home in an hour or so. Keep the essentials. Put like items together and see if you’re carrying around multiples. Decide, for instance, if some can be returned to overstock, your medicine cabinet, or make-up drawer. Edit and edit until you’ve really reduced. With Declutter Deck™, we encourage you to reduce by about twenty percent, but aiming for a higher amount just gives you that much less that you need to declutter.
Step 4: Return Everything to its Place
What really helps me with my purse containment are small, brightly colored change bags I purchased on Amazon several years ago.
These change bags are made of a durable polyester material. They come in a pack of ten change purses and provide long-term use. Each has a metal zipper closure and are available in a variety of sizes. Just stick one (or several) in your purse to keep things clean and separated.
For example, in one of the pouches I put my insurance cards. Then, I don't have to go digging when I get to a doctor's appointment. I have everything together, which also includes my FSA or HSA cards. In another I put change so that I can always find it. In another I store credit cards. In a fourth, I include my license and cards I use daily. By separating things out, I always know where to reach in to my purse to find just what I need. I have labeled some on the outside, and others I just know by sight because of the pattern and color. Amazon carries a lot of them, they’re inexpensive, and best of all, they can be washed if necessary. Because the germ study…you know. It's a good idea to keep things clean. You can also put make-up in the larger versions of these bags.
Aim for a purse size that can hold what you need to keep with you for the day and do your best to leave the rest of your things at home. A crossbody bag is also a good idea, as it takes the pressure off your shoulder. This, in turn, improves your posture.
Tip: It’s a good idea to make a copy of the credit cards in your wallet, your driver license, and insurance cards and store them in a safe place at home. That way, if you ever lose your wallet or purse, you will be able to easily cancel or request replacements of each. By the way, all of this is also true for men's wallets.
Take an after photo. Then, you’re finished for the day.
(Instructions provided by professional organizers at The Uncluttered Life, Inc.)
About Life Hack Decks™
Declutter Decks™ are part of the life Hack Decks™ collection. Life Hack Decks™ are powerful micro-prompt motivational cards to make your life easier while reducing stress in your day. These instructional decks simplify ineffective routines and help you go from stuck and overwhelmed to inspired and empowered. As we say, Delegate to the Deck™.
Life Hack Decks™ take the stress out of decision-making and motivate you to tackle things you’ve been putting off for years. Life Hack Decks™ (52 cards per deck) allow you to focus on the things that bring you joy, happiness, and connection with others rather than lingering in the mundane, anxiety-producing ruts in which we often find ourselves. The Life Hack Decks™ collection currently includes Date Deck™, Declutter Deck™, Dorm Deck, New Mama Deck and Random Acts of Kindness Deck.
Order your Declutter Deck™ to get your purse and wallet in order. $19.95 plus shipping. And don’t forget to tag us and a friend at @lifehackdecks to show us your before-and-after photos.