Here's what happens. I take out a piece of gum from my purse, unwrap it, and throw the wrapper back in my purse. There is no trash can around, and I would rather not leave a trail of gum wrappers behind me. But after doing that ten times in one week, there are actually more wrappers than there is gum in my bag.
And then there's the lipstick -- I probably wear a different brand or shade every day. I have a bad habit of sticking the "lipstick of the day" in the zippered pocket of my purse. Two weeks pass, and I'm standing at my bathroom sink wondering where all of my lipsticks have gone. Oh -- they're all in my purses! But which one has the pink one I want to wear now?! Panic. I've been known to carry 6 to 10 lipsticks in my purse at a time.
I recently found a token in a pocket of my purse from a booth at the Tulsa State Fair.
Let's face it -- you can't keep your purse completely clean at all times, but there are times when you truly need to declutter and dispose of the unncessary "stuff."
1. Start with your wallet.
You use it every day, so make sure it's organized. I try to take out my coins every few weeks so my purse isn't terribly heavy. Dispose of that ticket stub you've been holding on to for months and the receipt for those shoes you never returned.
2. One is enough.
Whether you're a gum aficionado or a lipstick queen, you'll know that things tend to pile up in your purse. Take the time to scope out your collection and make sure you have only one of everything in your purse. Your arm will thank you for lightening the load.
3. Use cosmetic bags.
If you never leave the house without powder, mirror, or a brush, it's time to invest in a cosmetic bag. Buy a small one with an inner lining that can be easily cleaned. It will also help you identify items in your purse when you're blindly digging.
4. Utilize the zippers and pouches.
This may seem like an obvious means to an end, but I catch myself throwing items into my purse "for later." And when "later" rolls around, my purse turns into a Mary Poppins bag of mystery. My headphones get wrapped around my keys, which are stuck in the zipper of my wallet and everything goes flying. Combining like items and actually placing them in pockets and pouches helps prevent my purse from becoming a melting pot of femininity.
5. Be flexible.
I have about four different purses and bags that I rotate among, depending on my day. I have a bag that fits my laptop and a cross-body purse for the essentials. I try to make it easy on myself when switching among each bag by having a core set of items that I know I need every single day.