Simple Living Tip No. 1: Empty Your Purse

I love blogs with simple, beautiful living tips. So I thought that I would occasionally share some of my favorites. IMG_8660

Tip Number One: Empty Your Purse 

I stole this tip from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up  (which I wrote about here), and I will be honest: it sounded pointless at first. After all, I use the same purse most of the time, and it seemed easier to leave it hanging in the kitchen with all my stuff. But I kept not having what I needed--I would switch bags last minute or forget that Liam didn't have a change of pants. Or I would realize too late that I left my library card out on the counter after online renewal. So I gave this tip a try, and it reduced my time getting ready for an outing significantly.

I'm already pretty minimal about what I need for an outing. I take the following: my key pouch with my cards and cash, my phone, a set of car/house keys, an extra pair of pants for Liam, and chapstick/lip gloss. Sometimes I'll also grab sunglasses or a pen. I store all of these in a little bowl in my sock drawer with my key pouch beside it, just as Kondo recommends.

The benefit of having all these in a drawer is knowing where everything is and what is in my purse. I agree with Kondo that part of the benefit of tidying is knowing that you don't have something so you don't have to search for it. I find this to be true. Because I re-stock for each outing, I know what is in my purse and what isn't. When I'm out, I don't have to dig or wonder.

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When we go out, I almost always take my little leather purse and fill it with anything we need. It is hands free and sticks right to me, so I can use it with the Ergo. I can even fit an extra pair of pants for Liam in there

For longer outings, I use the leather purse in conjunction with my red Moop bag. I used this big bag as a diaper bag because I needed lots of space for cloth diapers. It is awesome because it holds everything. I often take it in the car with me to carry anything extra we might need (water bottles, snacks, books for Liam, etc).

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When I get home, I empty the purses (it only takes a minute!). All the small items go in the bowl in my sock drawer, and I stick the purses themselves in a drawer with plenty of room to help maintain their shape. I put back any books, snacks, or clothes we took. Coins go in a drawer (and are frequently taken to the bank), and receipts are either thrown away or stored right beside the bowl in my sock drawer.

Whatever you carry, I highly recommend that you empty it when you get home. I don't feel nearly as scattered when we run errands because I know what I have. My purse never gets too heavy (a first!), and it stays clean. I empty my jacket pockets now, too, and I try to empty the car, as well. Those extra few minutes keep everything much lighter, cleaner, and simpler.