Declutter Your Handbag: Pro Tips

Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and the air no longer hurts your face.  These are surefire signs that Spring is coming!  The emergence of Spring means higher energy levels coupled with a sudden and intense desire to rid your home of all dirt and dust accumulated during the winter. OK, we admit this might not be true for everyone.   Even so, clutter can have a significantly negative impact on your well-being. Neuroscientists at Princeton University recently found that “physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”

Inspired by the best-selling book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, we’d like to offer some tips on ways to declutter your life this Spring.  Kondo recommends tidying “one category at a time”, so we will delve into the organization of every woman’s quintessential accessory: the handbag.

I volunteered to reveal the contents of my purse for the purpose of this post.  Please, do not shame me.

Contents of Brittany’s Purse

- wallet (w/ a million loyalty cards and business cards)
- keys
- Native Deodorant
- a tangled set of headphones
- hand sanitizer
- Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Sunscreen
- 1 cough drop
- 4 lipsticks
- 1 concealer
- Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm
- crumpled up receipt
- $6 cash
- chocolate
- sunglasses
- cell phone

Pro Tips

Be a Bag Lady

If you’re like me, then you have several small items that have all pooled to the bottom of your bag.  I’ll refer to this pool from now on as the “black void”. How many times have you been late to work because you were searching for your keys in the jumbled chaos of your black void?  What about when someone insanely attractive asks you to borrow a pen, and you can’t manage to fish it out from the black void?  These are both truly awful scenarios that can be easily avoided-- by being a bag lady. All of your small items can fit in a small zipped bag.  You can easily find one that matches your purse (or your personality).


Get an Ipsy subscription.  Ipsy is a beauty sample subscription service that mails you samples in a different “Glam Bag” every month.  These are great for small items like lipsticks (you can tell from the photo I’m a lipstick junkie), bobby pins, spare change, etc).  Or, get a clear bag so you know what you have at a glance.  

Get Untangled

This is 2018.  We may not have flying cars yet, but tangled wires like phone chargers or headphones are yesterday’s struggle. I exchanged my mess of wires for a Helix Cuff, which significantly reduced the mess in my bag.  I stored my phone charger in the brown zipped bag, as well.  

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There’s no good reason to carry around heaps of cards in your bag.  Mine was overloaded with loyalty cards, gift cards, and business cards.  Start by ditching the loyalty cards.  Most loyalty programs can be accessed in-store with a phone number.  Second,  add gift cards to applicable apps.  For example, if you have several Starbucks gift cards, these can be added to the Starbucks app for quick access.  Third, digitize all of your business cards.


Evernote or CamCard


Refuse Receipts

Take advantage of e-receipts, and refuse receipts for items that you have no intention of returning.  This has two benefits; It saves the Earth, and it saves your purse.  Also, thermal paper receipts are known to be full of the controversial Bisphenol A (BPA), which can lead to hormonal and neurological disruptions.  

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Why Clutter Happens

Do you have someone in your life that is prepared for every possible scenario? They’re the person that carries an umbrella and a sewing kit in their purse.  What about the relative who has a pile of magazines that date back to 1979?  Material possessions are often closely interlaced with feelings of security, status, comfort, and nostalgia. Additionally,  getting rid of things can feel like an admission of failure.  For example, my hatred for my newly purchased rose colored duvet cover doesn’t outweigh the guilt I feel when I think about returning it.  What I do know, is that after this exercise of bag decluttering, my stress level has gone down and my productivity has increased. It’s all about starting small, following through, and maintaining your new found system.  Did you declutter your purse?  We want to see!  Share your organized bag contents on Instagram and use the hashtag #WhatsInMyBagAC!