It’s been several thousand years since survival required us to constantly pack up and move with our possessions, and several of our children strapped on our back. As nomadic Hunter-Gatherers, we had to be able to migrate at a moment’s notice.
Today, we’re still dragging our possessions on our backs. The difference is now we have designer totes and handbags the size of Volkswagens.
Another change is the evolution of our “necessities.” The trove of electronics, cosmetics, reading material, files, food, and other miscellaneous matter, that we just can’t leave home without, is taking up significant real estate in our handbags, straining our backs, and wasting our time.
We asked organizational guru Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers, to give us some of her best tips for taking the load off our backs.
According to Zaslow, “Your handbag is more than a fashion accessory, it’s your most frequently used organizational tool. Your purse should contain only what you use every day or several times a week. Clear the clutter and lighten your load.”
Zaslow recommends some simple tips:
- Stock the essentials: wallet, keys, note-pad, pen, tissues, gum, and cell phone.
- Get rid of: keys you never use, more than about 50 cents worth of change (it’s really heavy), old receipts, crumpled tissues, and lint-covered mints.
- Avoid Black Holes. Make sure things are easy to grab and go. Use outside pockets for things you need quickly (keys, work ID, phone etc.).
- If you’re addicted to oversized bags, consider reorganizing them for maximum efficiency.
- The Joey Junior organizer has compartments for keeping everything in its place. It comes in wild patterns and colors, and can be transferred from purse to purse.
- Bright colored accessories are easier to find in a black hole. The see-thru nylon mesh Walker Bags come in multiple sizes and great color selections. Use them to store similar items that would otherwise fall to the bottom in a tangled mess. There’s even a gum pouch!
- The Bag Mate organizer fits easily into any purse, and is designed with multiple compartments to hold the contents of your bag. It comes in two sizes (small and large), and is easily transferable to any purse.
Zaslow’s final recommendation: “Don’t waste another minute searching for your keys. Take 10-15 minutes to organize your purse by first dumping the contents onto a towel, putting back only the essential items. Then weigh what’s left to see how much lighter you’ll be.”