Declutter Your Purse {15 Minute Mission}

Today's mission is to declutter your purse, the one you carry regularly. This task should be relatively quick, but your back will definitely thank you once it's done!

Organizing Purses & Wallets Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while doing the Organizing Purses & Wallets Challenge, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge here on the site.

Please note that tomorrow's declutter mission is to declutter your wallet, so focus only on your actual purse today, and then tomorrow we'll get to the wallet. Later this week we'll also declutter your key ring or excess keys.

In addition, a later mission this week will be to declutter your actual handbag collection, so again, that's not the mission for today.

How To Declutter Your Purse Or Handbag

Basically, the mission for today is quite simple. Take the handbag or purse you carry regularly and get rid of all the trash and clutter that has accumulated in it over time.

Your goal at the end of this decluttering session is to have a purse which has more room and weighs less. When you meet these two goals you'll have a purse that, even without additional organization, is much more functional.

Because your purse is such a small container (overall, at least compared to a whole room or something!) the easiest way to clean it out is to just completely empty all the contents from it.

Don't forget to empty all the compartments, pouches and pockets in both the interior and exterior of your purse, including ones you don't normally open and use very often. I'm often surprised how I've stashed something in one of these places in a rushed moment and then completely forgotten I'd put it there.

Once you see everything laid out in front of you the next step is to remove the obvious trash and clutter. This can include old receipts, grocery lists and other paper, as well as wrappers, stuff your kids hand you to carry, etc.

Once the obvious trash and clutter are gone begin to look at what might be less obvious clutter. If you've got multiples of several things, like you've somehow accumulated too many pens, for example, cut it back to just one of the items instead of multiples.

Similarly, do you have excess loose change? It is important to have a bit of change in your purse, but if you've over accumulated take out some of it. You don't need that much, and it definitely is adding unneeded weight.

Then, slowly add things back into your purse, But before you add items back think about each one, and consider it. Does it deserve a spot in your purse? As yourself whether it is worth it for that item to take up space and add weight to your handbag. If the answer is no, don't put it back in there!

Although we'll declutter our wallets tomorrow, as mentioned above, make sure that you do declutter any other containers you've got in your purse today as part of this mission. That could include small makeup bags, or purse inserts, or whatever else you've got in there. Just like with your purse, take out all the contents and remove trash, clutter, and then only add things back into these smaller containers if they deserve a place in there.

Develop A Habit Of Clearing Purse Clutter At Least Weekly

While I've styled this mission as a Declutter 365 mission, and have it scheduled on the Declutter Calendar just once this year, it really isn't the kind of task you can do just yearly.

Can you imagine how heavy and crammed your purse would become if you didn't clear it out regularly?

Instead, this is the type of mission that needs to become a habit for you to do.

Some people clear out their purse daily, usually in the evening. When you do it this often we're talking 30 seconds or less, as you just glance in it and throw out that old grocery list once you've done your grocery shopping, or whatever.

But at a minimum I've found it is important to clear out your purse weekly. Personally, I tend to do this purse clean out on the day I pay my bills and do other paperwork because I've got to get into my purse anyway to get out receipts, etc. and so I find it a convenient time to do this additional task as well.

It takes a bit longer than 30 seconds when done weekly, not daily, but not by much. If you do this regularly it won't take much time at all, but you'll have your purse more functional and convenient for you, to do the job it's supposed to do for you, basically all the time.

Below I'll discuss briefly what I think are good things to carry around in your purse, since this can help you not go overboard with the decluttering process and eliminate things from your purse that you'll actually wish you had in there!

Photo courtesy of Zemlinki!

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What Are The Essential Contents Of Your Purse?

When you're making your decisions about what items deserve to be placed back into your purse after you do this decluttering mission, you might have questions about some of them. Should it be in there or not?

What you carry around in your purse is ultimately very personal, so what is mentioned below is merely ideas and guidelines for you to consider, and you need to make the decision for yourself as the final call of what you'll choose to carry around versus what you'll leave at home.

In addition, there are also tradeoffs that have to occur when making these decisions. The size of your bag, how much items weigh, how inconvenient to actually dire it would be to be without it, and on and on.

So with all those preliminary cautions here's my list of essential purse contents (some of which are actually carried around in your wallet, which is held in your purse).

  • Keys

  • Money (cash and/or credit/debit cards)

  • Identification/Driver's License

  • Phone

  • Makeup and personal care items

  • Medications and/or first aid supplies

  • Pen and small notebook or other paper for quick notes

  • Sunglasses

  • Calendar/Contact Information (if not electronic, and part of your smart phone)
What would you add to this list, or take away from it? Tell me in the comments below!

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365
I hope this has inspired you to declutter your purse or handbag.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

Photo courtesy of Andreanna Moya Photography

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Free Printable July Declutter Calendar With Daily 15 Minute Missions

Go From Declutter Purse Mission To Home Page

Comments for What Are The Essential Contents Of Your Purse?

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Essential Contents of Your Purse
by: Anonymous

I would add a current list of meds that I take and if possible, a short summary of medical heath status that your family doctor can provide. If not enough room, they can be placed in the pocket of your car.

More items
by: Anonymous

* Charger for phone - I went to the emergency room and ended up being admitted - my phone was low - and that was where all my contacts #s were. Asked about a charger and could not get one. Since then I have found a very small charger/cord that fits easily in my purse.
*small flashlight - could be an app on your smart phone
*Kleenex - probably included in personal care - but I think deserves its own category - hate to be without them!

utilize your phone
by: Anonymous

Most phones will let you keep things like your shopping list, med list and other important info. I try snapping a picture of my hand written list each day and then delete the photo each night. Same could happen with med list, etc.

The better to see you my dear
by: Diana

Reading glasses :-)

Eye glasses cleaner
by: Anonymous

I carry a rag and a small bottle of cleaner for my glasses.

by: susie

I keep a small paper based diary in my handbag. I write appointments straight into it - there is also room for notes and other things I might want to keep a note of. Some people use their phones for this but I prefer a written diary.

Medical Identification
by: Anonymous

No phone, as my errands are short. Do not want the distraction of it while I am out.

I wear a medical ID bracelet. It is easy to get separated from your purse in an emergency, and the ID bracelet is right there on my wrist. I have my primary care doctor's phone number engraved where it can be seen by emergency personnel.

A few additional items
by: Anonymous

* Kleenex
* Business cards for networking
* Travel toothbrush and floss
* Bug repellant wipes (handy for outside seating at a restaurant or a quick playground expedition)

add a pouch
by: Anonymous

I find a pouch for all those little cosmetic and first aid items to be essential. Then you don't have to sift through all of those little items to find your wallet or keys. Also, you can pull just the pouch out when you need your lipstick or an aspirin so you aren't searching in the dark, depths of your purse. And it helps greatly when you change purses. The pouch can be as simple as a plastic zip bag.

Essential contents of your purse.
by: Susan Harvey

Always carry a small tape measure for shopping needs.

purse essentials
by: Anonymous

your business cards

Medications list
by: Claire Smith

A good way to make a list of your medications is to remove the relevant part of prescription labels from an old bottle (sometimes the bottle will come with a paper with extra labels you can use). Attach a label from each medication type to a piece of paper. It is handy when you are seeing a doctor to keep from getting conflicting prescriptions and could be vital should you be a victim in an accident and need treatment.

Carezone app
by: Angie

Download the Carezone app. You list all your meds, appointments, procedures, etc. You can show it or print what you need.

by: Anonymous

Always carry a pack of gum or mints!

Additions to my purse
by: Teena

I like to keep a nail file in my purse. My other MUST HAVE is my small bag of essential oils. It has oils for headaches, upset tummies and oils to keep me alert while driving long distances.

Store loyalty cards
by: Anni

My biggest problem in my purse is all the store loyalty cards, and I have 7 coffee loyalty cards. I can't leave them at home as I never know when I'm going to need them, my purse which has compartments for change and cards is bulging and is avert heavy on my bag, any ideas please?

response to Anni re store loyalty cards question
by: Taylor

Hi Anni, thanks for your question. I've got an article about organizing gift cards and store loyalty cards here which hopefully can give you some ideas to lighten your purse load!

I clear out my purse every day
by: Anonymous

I dump my purse out every time I come in from the outside world. I returned wallet, glasses, lipstick, pen and that's all. It's an every day thing for me. Yes, every day.

Medications app
by: Anonymous

There is an excellent app for iPhone and maybe others titled MEDICATIONS. It lists everything you take, emergency contacts, physicians, allergies, pharmacy, and page for notes, which I find helpful to list questions for physician or their recommendations. It is on the fist page of my phone, no password and available if I cannot answer.

by: Anonymous

Phone cable and wall charger, car charger.
Toothbrush or picks. Mints.
Goody powder. Fits in wallet.

My long list of personal care items!
by: Anonymous

It's the personal care items that cause me the most clutter, tissue pack, hand gel, body spray, deodorant, hand cream, lip gloss, lip liner, mascara, foundation, mini hairbrush. The only thing I would ditch is the hairbrush!

Great ideas
by: Margaret Mary Myers

Lots of good ideas here, in the article and in the comments. I did put my store loyalty cards on a book ring a while back, like in the article someone linked to. It's so handy to find and use them. Also, I've recently come into the smart phone age and have most everything in there in the way of info and lists; but for a trip, I like to also bring a printed itinerary, and phone numbers for where I'm going, just in case.

re: meds lists
by: sparky

You have to be conscious to open your phone! Much better idea to have medication list in wallet on paper for emergencies.
All the bases are covered in other comments, except for one. There is an app for loyalty cards called Key Ring. You can easily download it into your phone and keep store lists, photos of your rooms, room measurements, etc. Easy to delete completed items too. It lets you choose which store circulars you want to come into the app. I LOVE this app. Even your library card can be put into this. Now I only have keys on my key ring, and less paper in my purse. Very easy to use.

wipes for cleaning tables for picnics
by: Rebecca

I like to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer or (preferably) a few wet-wipes for cleaning picnic tables or other horizontal surfaces when traveling. I also keep disinfectant wipes and a vinyl tablecloth in the car for this purpose, as my family tends to have a lot of picnics.

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