I used to be that person who carried everything in my large, overstuffed bag. It looked like I was going on a weekend trip…every day of the week. Band-Aids, lotion, Tylenol, granola bars, stamps, phone chargers, water bottles, cough drops, etc.- I was prepared in case all the Walgreens, Targets, Walmarts, and grocery stores within a 10 mile radius decided to spontaneously close all at the same time. People at work poked fun at me for the amount of stuff I lugged around each day (although guess who they came to when they needed something? Mmmhmm…). But it was (literally) a pain to lug all that stuff around “just in case.”
Have you ever found youself digging through your bag and wondering, no wonder my back hurts- how did this get in here and why have I been carrying it around for so long?!? I’ve read that the average purse, when full, weighs about 6 pounds. Add in a diaper bag, a baby, and a carseat, and that’s alot of weight to carry around.
So what do you do? Here’s 4 tips for becoming more minimalist and organized in the stuff you carry with you each day:
- First, keep a bag of “back-up” items in the trunk of your car or your desk drawer at work.
- If the thought of leaving home without Band-Aids, cough drops, 10 extra outfits for the baby, etc. terrifies you, then pack these items in a separate small bag and leave it in your trunk or desk drawer, out of sight. The items are still there if you need them, but you don’t have to lug them with you all the time. If leaving the bag in your car, rotate items by season: when it’s hot, skip the chocolate granola bars. When it’s cold, pass on the water bottles and other things that freeze.
- Keep small, easily lost items in a zippered case that you can transfer from bag to bag. If you have an old make-up bag lying around, this is a great way to repurpose it.
- Carry smaller versions of items, if possible. Think trial size lotions, and mini lipsticks/nail files. Anyone out there besides me still old-school about carrying a paper planner? When you need a new planner or wallet, look for slimmer versions of these that take up less space- a thick leather/padded cloth planner may be beautiful, but the cheap spiral ones with plastic covers take up much less space:
- Go through your purse or bag. Write a reminder to yourself to do this at least once a week because clutter loves to come creeping back. Toss out the trash and receipts, and return things to their home. Start with an empty bag. Then ask youself: what do I really need to take with me? For me, that looks like this:
- But if I’m taking diaper bag items, then I’d add these:
There’s no “perfect” number of items, so keep adding and deleting items until you find the right number that works for you!
Planner images from Amazon.com
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