Have you ever been standing in the parking lot at Target, digging furiously in your large purse for the keys while the kids get more and more impatient? Yeah, we’ve been there. We love our big Wayfarer Carpet bags & totes. But truth be told, they CAN turn into a black hole once purse usage is in full swing. So if you’re concerned about being able to find your stuff, here’s some tips on large purse organization, plus some recommendations of fair trade bag accessories:
Small bags are your friend.
The big purse holds it all. But the small bags are how you find it all. We’re a fan of using a set of small, medium and large (ish) zipper bags inside the totes. That way they’re each a different size so you can tell just by feel which one is which. The challenge is to remember what you put in each bag! But maybe that’s just an over-40 problem…
Carry that emergency kit.
It never fails that 10 minutes after you’ve arrived at the playground or started a bike ride on the greenway, somebody is going to scrape a knee, pinch a finger or run into a tree. That’s why every big purse or tote needs an emergency kit! Use one of those small zipper bags to hold at least the basics of band-aids, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen (appropriate for the age range of those in your custody), tweezers and nail clippers.
Have a clip JUST for keys.
So keys. Having a clip to attach them to is vital if you want to find your keys in a large tote purse within a reasonable amount of time. We’ve made most of our larger carpet bags with key clips because, well, it’s just really important! But some of our bags don’t have this feature. Plus, some of us have more than one set of keys to juggle. We love the key fobs made by our friends at Peace of Threads. Stock is constantly changing, so keep checking in for new styles! They run about $18 and are made by refugee women in Clarkston, Georgia. Another option is the gorgeous leather & embroidery key fobs made by Palestinian refugee women who work with Darzah.
Put non-essential cards in a mint-tin.
This is a brilliant idea that was passed on to us. You know all those shopping cards and library cards and reward cards that you only need every once in a while? Use an upcycled Altoids tin to store them! Easy to find in a large purse or tote, and it’s a great way to reuse. Plus, there are some really cute ideas for turning those tins into upcycled goodness. Lego boxes, preschool games, even survival boxes? One Crazy House has some amazing ideas for repurposing Altoid Tins.
Put coins in a separate coin purse.
Because parking meters. 19 cents due with that coffee purchase after the gift card was used. Tips at restaurants. Aldi’s shopping carts. Whatever the case, there’s always loose pennies, dimes, and nickels rolling around big purses. So organize them using a separate coin purse! We include coin purses standard with all of our Wayfarer & Journey Carpet Bags, as we KNOW that this is an issue. If you’ve already got a large purse you’re trying to organize, you can’t go wrong getting a Half-Moon Clutch from We Made This in Denver. They’re such cute little bags, also sewn by refugees!
Clean it out.
Just like under your bed or in your closet, stuff piles up. No matter how organized you want to be, all large purses and totes require regular clean-out. Random receipts squished on the bottom. Crumbs from a mostly eaten cracker bag. That business card you just tossed in the purse and have been looking for since. Sometimes even a dollar bill or two! Big purse clean-out is something you have to do regularly. And like all cleaning project, the longer you wait, the worse it gets. Eeks!
And that’s our round-up of tips! Any you’d add or blog posts you’ve loved on how to keep organized? Share your thoughts in the comments section.