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Declutter Your Purse {15 Minute Mission}

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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.

How to #declutter your purse, make it a habit, and a checklist of purse essentials you should keep in your handbag {one of the #Declutter365 Missions on Home Storage Solutions 101} #ClutterControluse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
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!

How to declutter your purse and then get in the habit of keeping it uncluttered from now on {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Zemlinki!

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What Are The Essential Contents Of Your Purse?

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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!

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

If you're looking for another similar mission, once you get this one accomplished, make sure to also clear the clutter from other bags you've got, such as work bags, gym bags and diaper bags.

How to keep your bag clutter free and organized

How to #declutter your purse and then get in the habit of keeping it uncluttered from now on {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Decluttering #ClutterControluse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Andreanna Moya Photography

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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.

De-clutter purse/tote/wallet
by: Anonymous

The only area of my life that I've managed to keep organized weekly. Now it has been extra easy since purchasing a small wallet/purse (from Charm14) with touch screen vinyl window with long cross body strap. I keep only essential id, medical/emergency cards, cell phone, blue-tooth, small composition book/calendar/pen, lip gloss, pouch for cc/id/bankcard & separate pouch for bills and coins. This is my quick-grab item and it is great for wearing as a lanyard for air travel and the many trade shows I've attended. I generally pack a daily tote with lunch and any other essentials needed for the day, which often stays in the car or at my desk, so when I run into the store I just grab the wallet/purse and go. So much lighter and easier to carry and retrieve what I need when I need it.

Keep a pouch for receipts and less used cards, etc.
by: Emm's Mommy

I keep my sunglasses and extra eyeglasses in the console of my car since that is where I would use them most often. I also keep a charging cable for my phone and iPad there as well.

I keep a medium sized zippered pouch in my purse to hold business receipts and to keep the business credit card separate from my other cards. I also keep our insurance cards and loyalty cards for places that I don't visit often but do use when I'm in the area in the pouch as well. An extra pen and a small appointment book fits as well. About once a month I go through the pouch and make sure all of the receipts have been filed away. I also keep an extra deposit slip or two as well as any coupons I may need for upcoming trips.

In addition to the zippered pouch, my purse contains my checkbook, a pen, keys, phone and a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a tube of lip balm. I also like to start out with about $2 in change though this does multiply throughout the month. :)

In the diaper bag I keep at least two changes of clothes and store them in a gallon storage bag to keep them neat, clean and folded.

by: Anonymous

Must have something to read! Would go crazy if I had to wait or got stock and had nothing to read. The Kindle is a godsend!

A work in progress
by: Anonymous

I have downsized a lot but admittedly still carry too much in my purse. However, it is much better now because I now have small pouches for each general type of things: personal care, electronics, etc. Rather than digging through the whole mess, I can pull out the right pouch and quickly find what I need. Now that I am retired, I should be able to purge a bit more, so a work in progress.

One Pocket
by: Anonymous

I like to use one pocket for stray things while I am out such as receipts, change, a coupon etc. Then when I get home I only have one pocket to deal with.

Key Ring
by: Grandmajoyce

I have found the the easiest way to manage all those cards is to use the keytag versions and keep them all on a ring. Takes much less space and you can quickly flip through the ring to find the one you need.

Purse solutions
by: Beth

I have a purse insert. I keep all items in it that never leave my purse. When I change my purse that simply comes out and into the next one. I have a makeup bag I clean out weekly of various lipsticks I never took out. I have tiny items of things always used. They are sample sized. I got them from my beauty box membership. Perfect use for tiny sized products. I also have a small bag of items as a handicapped person I always need. I also keep my key ring on a lanyard so not only can I see it inside my purse but it's easily matter which purse I select I am always ready to change without issues and rapidly and easily accomplished.

Most essential is cell phone & charger
by: Anonymous

Aside from my wallet with all of the suggested items in it my cell phone with the charger is my most essential purse item. I use the apps like the grocery and to do lists that save a lot of room in my purse. Love your list.

Store loyalty key tabs
by: Jill

Loose the plastic tabs entirely! Got a smart phone? Let it do the work for you! There’s an app for that! It’s called ‘KeyRing’ and it is free! You can scan each of the tabs into the app and when you need it, pull it up, let the checker scan the barcode and you are done! If you are at the self checkout,you can key in the phone number that is attached to the card.

For medications
by: Anonymous

For those on medications, just saw a suggestion on TV that you take a photo with your phone of all medications, with labels visible. No list needed. I also carry very small folding scissors, they come in handy for opening packages, use them every time I go to bingo, somebody (elderly) is always trying to open a bag of chips!

by: Anonymous

I like to keep a granola bar or two in my purse, or some other quick snack.

my extra items
by: Cathy

2 pens, not 1. I've had pens quit working on me so good to have a spare. Be sure to throw the non-working one away immediately. Also small tape measure, a couple safety pins, and small sewing kit. And purse size hand sanitizer

Essential for me
by: Anonymous

I also carry a small pouch with my pocket Ganesh, a mala, and one or two small crystals. Calm at all times.

Small pocket knife
by: Anonymous

The one thing I couldn't live without that I didn't see mentioned is a small pocketknife. Mine is maybe 2" long. It has a tiny knife, a teeny pair of scissors, and a nail file, as well as tweezers and a toothpick. Just remember to take it out of your purse if you're traveling, have jury duty, or doing anything else where the pocketknife could be confiscated.

Keys and Meds
by: Anonymous

I keep an extra door key to my vehicle in a pocket in my purse. I don't leave my purse in my vehicle, but have been known to leave the main set in various places or dropped. Also, on my medication list, I write it and the prescribing doctor in the back of my calendar.

Keep up with the trash!
by: Lisa C

I like to keep a ziploc bag (snack size) in my purse, so that I can put trash and especially if its something wet, it can go in there and not wet everything else in my purse. I empty that every night or nights that I go out of the house.

Purse and other bag
by: Amy

When I worked, I had a small purse, and all others things were in my "work" bag-a book, meds, spare underwear, etc. Like items were kept organized in ziplock bags. I now use it as a "travel" bag if I'm going out of town. My purse has a wallet, with my bank card, Driver license, a few reward cards, and one store credit card. I have a small photo book where mostly I have pictures of my parents, but also I have the list of meds printed up for me by my Dr at each visit-and a handwritten note for any changes meantime, and the medical history I filled out at the first Dr visit-now I just present these papers to the receptionist at any new I have teeny bandage scissors, a stylet for my phone, a couple of pens. My $ bills go in an empty check book, my change in a pocket. I do have a problem keeping receipts purged out. A small notebook for shopping lists. Am going to have my daughter help me with some apps--coupons, etc, and all phone # are in my phone. I do best with a written list that I can cross off each item so I don't get home not having gotten something. Most stuff I have found are not all that necessary for me at all. Oh, except the reading glasses!!

Add’l handbag items - in a small pouch.
by: Mariam Durrani

Small nail file, comb, 2 cough drops, 2 sugar pills for low sugar, EPI pen, 2 safety pins, 2 needles threaded, one white, one black threads, 3 paper clips, and 3 dental floss sticks.

by: Sherry

If ever you are in a car accident or other, people are not going to be able to access your phone. So I have the File of Life. It lists my emergency contacts, medication and dosage etc., preferred hospital, medical conditions, allergies, and about my medical insurance with policy # etc. I got it free from somewhere. But I looked on line and there is a free printable available.

Extra things I carry
by: Anonymous

I'm 73 so I HAVE to carry
Hearing aid batteries
Incontinence pads
steel straws
foldable grocery bag
Old cellphone for emergency calls in case your cellphone quits working-always kept charged
small baggy of assorted bandaids

This works!
by: Janie

I read this challenge last year and implemented the weekly clean; it’s on my calendar on same day I do bills! It works well unless I somehow manage to miss or skip it. Thank you for the ideas! I also now have a dedicated space for mail coming into the house, a bill filing system, a place to put weekly receipts and a loose change spot! Now...the rest of my house! Thank you! I learn so much from you and others.

Recommended Purse Addition - tape measure
by: Amelia

I have carried a small metal tape measure for more than 20 years. It comes in very handy when trying to buy "whatever" to fit into "whichever" space. I've used it for a couch, chairs, storage racks, desks, file cabinets, and much more.

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