Organizing your Purse + Round-Up

Updated to add:  The winner is Autumn of Practical Bliss!!

Follow along with me today and then feel free to show us your own organized purse for a chance to win two great storage magazines.  Details at the end of this post.

When I put out the call for volunteers to show me their purse and let me help get it organized, Cathy, one of my readers and author of the blogs Strawberries are Gluten Free and Desperately Seeking WordPress, kindly offered to let us take a peek inside her purse.  I loved the comment she left me.

Help!!! Pick me! Pick me! You can take a picture of anything you want! lol (or I can). Whatever!

If you pick me or not, I’ll TRY, but I’ll probably do a better job AFTER I get to see the inspiration at the end of this month. For about 2 months I’ve been thinking of purchasing another bag. But I’m totally stuck!!

I want mature – but I want fun. I want leather, but I want color. Orange leather with buckles? ROTF

Other than the bag, i also need to be able to FIND stuff! I carry only a few touch-up things, chapsticks, but then I keep coupons, (coupon organizer too), as well as receipts, to-do lists, and phone numbers jotted down on scraps or the back of business cards. Plus I’d like to find my business cards to give away without digging through the ’emergency pad’ in the view of everyone.

Do I sound desperate? 🙂 I think I have a home for most everything in my junk drawer, and in our office- 2 places are still crazy – the van, and my handbag!! Ugggg. I have 3 different wallets – none of which fit all those cards, temporary discount cards – that change every season(!) – cash, change, and the essential cards – drivers license, debit, etc.

Oh dear, poor Cathy!  She does sound a little frustrated.  How many of you can relate?  I sent her some recommendations based on the information and pictures she sent me and she took it away and came up with a pretty amazing solution.  Let’s walk through what she did.  Here is her purse “before”:


and the inside:



I didn’t mind the purse actually, it had a lot of pockets and plenty of potential so I didn’t recommend a new one, sorry Cathy! 🙂

Right away I could see that all that was lacking in Cathy’s purse was some boundaries.  Everything was sort of muddled together.  It’s no wonder she was having trouble finding what she needed.  Containerizing your purse is similar to how we do it anywhere in our homes.  It’s important to provide a separate container for the various collection of items you have in order to keep “like with like”.

Take a trip to the dollar store and you will find all sorts of things that can be used for purse dividers.  Pencil cases, makeup pouches, even ziploc bags.  Any of these will do the job.  Cathy took a trip to her dollar store and was able to find herself some great zippered pouches.


here it is all containerized and ready to go back in


How excited was I when Cathy told me she even had a color coded system:

– black – my sophistimacated makeup, compact, girls hair ties
– red – STOP (as in inedible): meds, hand sanitizer
– green – GO eat: snacks, breath mints

She could also use one for coupons, loyalty and business cards.  However I think Cathy decided to go with a black card organizer though for those and now has them all in one location.  Yay!!

Cathy also found at the Dollar Store an eye glass case to stop her glasses from getting all banged up in her purse.

To take care of never losing her keys again, I highly recommended to Cathy the carabiner method. She was able to pick up one of those at the Dollar Store too and it works like a charm!

Also on Cathy’s to do list:

– purge expired coupons – check

– get rid of old receipts – check

Finally after getting all that together Cathy realized that all she really needed her wallet for was bills, credit cards, license and various bits of important paper.

Let’s check out the after pictures.  Oh and guess what, she couldn’t resist and bought herself a fabulous new purse!


and the newly organized inside:

inside after1

Beautiful and aside from the cost of her new purse she only spent $8.00 for supplies at the Dollar Store.  Not bad at all I must say for less stress and chaos!

So remember, sort like with like, purge excess, and then containerize to set some boundaries.

Well done Cathy, that was fun!


Now it’s YOUR turn.  Show us your newly organized purse by adding your link to the Mr. Linky list below and I’ll chose one lucky participant to win both of these storage magazines….Better Homes and Gardens Summer 2009 issue and Storage 2009 issue.


Please remember to show us your before and after pictures and as well link directly to your purse post and not to your home page to make it easier for us to find the link in the future.  And remember you need to link up prior to Oct 3rd at 6:00 pm PST to be eligible for the giveaway.

More details about past round-ups can be found here.

Have fun!


Filed under: Containerizing, Monthly Round-up, Organizing Solutions


38 Responses to Organizing your Purse + Round-Up

  1. 1
    Michelle says

    Hey, Laura!

    Tell me about the 2009 Storage Magazine…I thought they discontinued Storage!?! Or is this a subscription mag I don’t know about? Please share!

  2. 2
    Sarai G says

    We did a similar post about a month ago on our site. This solution really does make a world of difference!

  3. 3
    Tanna says

    I added my bag. Still using the thing even if it is shiny. Looking to downsize though because I don’t have to carry diapers anymore. I luv me some butler bag.

  4. 4
    Organising Queen says

    Well done, Cathy, I’m amazed at how small your purse (bag) is 🙂

  5. 5
    Laura says

    Michelle, New Ideas for Storage is not the same magazine as Organize. It’s another one that comes out very sporadically. I found it at Walmart I believe. I can’t find any info online about it or even a website. Here is a phone number to call though that I found in the magazine 212-807-7100 in NY.
    Hope that helps!

  6. 6
    Laura says

    Hi Tanna, yes the Butler bag is definitely nice but WAY out of my price range I’m afraid.

  7. 7
    Kasey at TLB says

    I just love that black, red, and green system!

  8. 8
    Ann-Marie says

    I’d love to link on this as I think you all have some great solutions… but I don’t own any bags! I just carry my purse (I think you’d call it a coin purse!) with my cards and cash in! It fits in my jacket pocket.
    If i’m out of the house for longer than a few hours I have the baby bag with nappies, a change for the baby, juice for her and my 5yr old and my purse in my pocket!

  9. 9
    Lucy says

    I gave up on my purse (I simply kept leaving it everywhere and after backtracking across Nebraska to retrieve it something drastic had to happen, hopefully not divorce) and reduced everything down to a wallet, yep, a boy’s bifold wallet I keep in a pocket. Cell in another pocket, keys on a clip. Purse now resides under the driver’s seat and holds – um – feminine products. Hasn’t been stolen yet, LOL.

  10. 10
    Tammy says

    I’m so glad I found this post. I have picked up several of those carabiner clips at walgreens on clearance as fillers for only $.17 each. I didn’t know how I would use them but knew someone would have a suggestion. Thanks so much. I’m off to organize my purse.

  11. 11
    CheapNLazy says

    I use a MOBO verticle smart cell wallet that holds phone and 4 cards. Keys, lip gloss and handkerchief are in pockets. Basic toiletries boxes (flat wet wipes dispenser w/o wipes) in car glove box & work desk drawer.

    But let me get this straight – as an incentive for organizing your purse and posting it, you can win more stuff (that you can easily borrow from a library).
    No thanks!

  12. 12
    SarahShaw says

    I love the color coding idea for inside the purse! That is very clever!

  13. 13
    Cinella says

    Ah wow… I have been needing to organize my purse for ages, probably since my dd was born, she’s now 6 months. I actually have some things I also bought from the dollar store to help me organize. But, mine also includes a diaper bag, that’s where i carry my coupons! I will get right to it.

  14. 14
    Cinella says

    Done… Wow, it took me almost 4 hours!! Time went by fast!

  15. 16
    Megan says

    I bought the Butler Bag by Jen Groover and LOVE it! I actually bought it from QVC! It’s so big I use it as my diaper bag! I know some of her bags can be pricey so you have to search! She just sent out an email last month with her new bags that she sells at Kmart! So cute so organized, and such a good price! One was $17! Did I mention I LOVE her bags! She also sells sample bags at a discount too! Good luck! I cam send pics if you’d like to see how her bags work!

  16. 17
    Jennifer B says

    Saw mr. linky when I visited the site earlier today, but now, when I have my post to add, it’s not here?!?

    Anyway, here’s my purse organization and whenever mr. Linky’s back for me, I will add it there!

    Thanks so much for doing this, by the way!

  17. 19
    Theresa Finnigin says

    I just had a friend ask me for help with her purse. I explained to her the solution you described above (the $store route) but having the images are priceless. Great article. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 20
    Laura says

    Not sure where Mr. Linky went. Hopefully it will be back up soon.

  19. 21
    Donna S says

    I couldn’t find Mr. Linky either, but I’m joining in. I found a bag similar to the Butler bag and reorganized my bag last week. I couldn’t be happier (well… maybe if it were a real Butler Bag…)

  20. 22
    Jillian Mitchell says

    I so love all these purse ideas! I found these a couple of years ago and if you like organizing these are totally for you. They are a little on the pricey side as far as I am concerned for purses, but I still have mine and switch to it often. I don’t know about the other styles, but check them out and see if they are just as good. Lots of pockets and compartments with, get this id tags. For example the cell phone pocket has a little tag inside with a picture of a cell phone. How do I send you pictures so you can see the inside?

  21. 24
    Christa says

    I don’t have before images, but that’s okay – I don’t need to win anything. I’m pretty happy about it though!

  22. 25
    Christa says

    Also, guys, if you put it under your ‘website’ section in the boxes above where you type your comments, you don’t need to put it in your comments. xD

  23. 27
    April Driggers says

    I switched over to a purse system called the Butler Bag. It has an organizational compartment BUILT RIGHT IN! 🙂 I’m not a sales agent or anything — just someone that LOVES HER BUTLER BAG! They’re durable, handy, always organized and just fantastic! I’ve turned over all my friends too! ha ha!

  24. 28
    Marie says

    Now that Mr Linky is back up, do I need to re-link?

  25. 29
    Shalyse says

    I also carry a book or two of stamps in my wallet so that I always have one when I need one, and if I have to go to the post office, I know just how many I have and if I need more. It has been such a great habit for me. Great post!

  26. 30
    Charlotte says

    I have missed the challenge but am so going to do this – since my little one arrived my already ridiculously crammed bag now also holds nappies, wipes, creams, tissues, burp cloths etc etc

    Hmm I need to blog this *runs to find camera and handbag*

  27. 31
    Ally0005 says

    I want to tell you how much your blog has helped me. I am a organize person but your blog has given me so many great ideas I have not thought about. This last one with the purse, wonderful!!!
    I know have a pouch for all my little items that I had a hard time finding.
    Thanks for a great blog, You ROCK!

  28. 32
    Lowbudget says

    I went to get the Butler Bag Essential from Kmart. Very inexpensive and well worth it for me. I am organized. I am so happy that someone in the comments mentioned this bag. As a matter of fact, my mom spotted the bags this week at Kmart for 40% off (week of 10/4/09). She purchased several for gifts and one for herself. I plan to get the larger bag and use for work soon. Thanks for the organizing tips for the purse. They have really helped me.

  29. 33
    Wendy Greene says

    You know all those grocery and discount cards that you get.
    Mine used to float around my purse and mess up my keychain. I have a gorgeous pink TagWrap ( that my husband got for me. It holds 13 cards (I know, that’s a lot). I get compliments on it everywhere I go. It keeps my keychain and my purse much neater.


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