I have to be honest here, I haven’t routinely carried a purse for over 10 years. When I do carry one, I carry a medium sized bag with very few things in it and I usually only carry it on girls’ night or date night. If you are trying to find out how to downsize your purse, then you’ve come to the right place friend.
I have 9 tips to help you downsize the contents of the purse and perhaps even inspire you to ditch it completely! All of these tips will help you eliminate items from your purse so that it is easier to keep organized and could even allow you to buy a smaller purse!
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1. Store your “gift cards” in your phone.
How many gift cards are you currently carrying around in your purse? If your purse was lost or stolen, the value of those gift cards is almost always lost.
The app that I use to do this is called Card Smash. It is a free app (but it does have ads). You can store lots of different kinds of cards; including gift cards, loyalty cards, and membership cards.
2. Don’t let a receipt enter your purse.
This may sound like a difficult one, but I’m going to give you two options for receipts and neither of them involves stuffing them into the bottom of your purse to find in a few months. Besides both of these options will make it so you don’t have to worry about “finding a receipt” when you need to return something.
Choice 1: Have the receipt emailed to you. Many retailers will ask if you’d like your receipt emailed to you or printed. Always opt to have it emailed. (You’re also saving the environment by saving some paper from entering the trash/recycling bin).
Choice 2: Use an app on your phone to take a picture of the receipt. There are LOTS of options for this.
If you have an iPhone, I would recommend using the Notes app (that should already be on your phone). Add a new note by clicking on the square with the pen in the bottom right hand corner. Click on the camera icon in the menu above the keyboard. Click on Scan Documents. Lay out the receipt and snap a picture.
For Android users, I would suggest using the ScannerApp, which has a free option. It will allow you to create folders and organize your receipts on your phone.
Like I said, there are lots of options for apps. Spend a few minutes finding one that works and then make sure you play around with it enough that it’s easy for your to use. Then don’t let a receipt enter your purse. Don’t do it.
3. Become a minimalist (in regards to your purse).
Evaluate the contents of your purse currently. Really think about what you need. A lot of times you can keep a stash of most supplies you need in your car or in your desk at work. (I’m hoping to write a post about how to organize and keep your car clean soon!)
Everyone has different priorities and needs, so I don’t want to tell you what you should or shouldn’t put into your purse.
For example, out of habit, it’s easy to throw a checkbook into your purse. But depending on your needs, you may never write checks (except like once a year). If that’s the case, you probably don’t need to carry your checkbook around 365 days a year.
I don’t get many headaches, so for me carrying around a bottle of aspirin isn’t really necessary. But for some, especially those with migraines, carrying around medicine is vital. So sift through the contents of your purse an make a decision based on your needs.
After your done whittling down the items in your pure, try to limit yourself to one of each kind of item. For example, if you have 5 pens in your purse, pick one. Pick one chapstick. One hand sanitizer.
4. Buy the travel sized bottle for supplies in your purse.
If you have larger than travel sized versions of items in your purse, it’s time to downsize. Buy a travel sized bottle of hand sanitizer and refill it from the larger bottle in your house. Same goes with lotion if you feel the need to carry it. We will discuss carrying medicine in the next section, but no more carrying around the entire bottle of aspirin.
5. If it’s in your purse, it must be stored in a pouch or compartment.
The best way to keep your purse clean (especially if its expensive) is to keep everything in a compartment. I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I would store gum in my purse, inevitably the package would open and the gum would make it’s way to the bottom of my purse, where the wrapper would eventually come off and I’d find it weeks later (yuck!)
So divide up the items you deem neccessary to carry according to their use. I would suggest a bag for cosmetics (lotion, chapstick,and makeup), first aid (bandaids, medicine, tampons/pads), and financial things (money, credit cards, checkbook, etc). Then store them in each in a bag. You could use ziplocks or cute purse bags (I like these ones!) I would like to stress that I would strongly recommend water proof storage bags for this, because if something leaks (like your lotion) then at least it won’t get on everything.
I would suggest storing your pills in a box like this, and then printing off a key so you know which pills are which and taping it inside the lid.
If you are carrying diapers in your purse, I’d suggest putting 1-2 in a resealable bag and squeezing the air out. Since it’s essentially vaccuum sealed, it will take up a lot less space and you won’t have it unfolding and collecting debris in your purse.
If you are a frequent chapstick and hand sanitizer user, then I would suggest getting a case (like this for hand sanitizer or this for chapstick) to store it in that clips on your purse strap, so its easier to access.
This method of storying everything in a compartment should make it easier to keep your purse organized and should keep it cleaner in general. If something leaks, it should only effect that comparment instead of your entire purse.
6. Carry an empty quart sized resealable bag (or 2) in case of an emergency.
Just in case you have to put something in your purse (because – kids.) Like a dirty tissue, wet wipes, tissue with chewed gum, etc, keep an empty quart sized ziplock for those emergency situations.
7. Don’t succumb to the pressure to put things into your purse.
Now that your purse is clean and organized, keep it that way.
Do not stuff business cards into your purse (take a picture of the card and then recycle it). Do not take the extra ketchup packets home to stash in your drawer (you will never use them anyway). If a child hands you a half eaten snack, put it in the resealable bag (mentioned in number 6).
8. Tidy up your purse on a regular basis.
Just like keeping your house clean, you must also consistently make an effort to keep your purse clean and organized. When you go to the check out, spend the 10 extra seconds to put an object back into its compartment and zip the pouch shut. Stay diligent about not accepting receipts, storing gift cards in your purse, or keeping items that aren’t necessary in it.
9. If you decide to ditch the purse all together, here’s what I do.
In 2011, my boyfriend Micah (who is now my husband) got me a wallet like this, that attaches to my keychain. This helped me keep better track of my keys and my important cards (credit card and driver’s license).
Before getting this keychain wallet, my purse was always in disarray. I wasted so much time trying to find my driver’s license and credit card in the disaster that was my purse. Additionally, because I had so much extra stuff in my purse, I would sometimes just carry my license and credit card to get coffee and then would place them in my coat pocket. Keeping track of those two cards was terrible.
Now that my keys and wallet are attached, it is signicantly easier to stay organized. (I do have to replace my wallet every 12-18 months, simply because it gets worn out, but I can usually find them on sale!)
And if you struggle with keeping track of your keys and phone, then I have something for you!!! My husband bought me this for Christmas, and I attached it to my keychain (with my keys and wallet). If I lose my keys/wallet, I can push a button in an app on my phone to make my keys beep AND if I lose my phone, I can push the button on my keys/wallet to make my phone beep (even it it’s on silent).
I lose my phone all. The. Time. Almost everydady.
Last week, I literally made my phone into my bed and without this device, I don’t know when I would’ve found it…. Thank goodness for this device.
Conclusions – How to Downsize Your Purse:
Downsizing the contents of your purse will help you be more organized and efficient. It will make it easier to find things in your purse and to keep it from getting as dirty inside. On your journey to creating your best life, getting your purse organized is another piece of the puzzle.
If you decide to switch to a keychain wallet, I want to reiterate how simple it can make things. On my way out the door, all I need to find is my keys and my phone. If I am going out for date night, I throw my keys/phone into my purse and some lipstick. It really helps calm some of the chaos in my life and makes it so I can get out the door much more quickly.
What tips do you have to help keep your purse clean?