Today’s challenge and the final challenge in this month-long March Micro-Minimizing event, is a double assessment.

  1. How many purses and carry bags do you need?
  2. What do you carry in your purse?

(If you prefer video, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Starting with project one:

Have your keep and donation areas ready.

Do you have a collection of purses/wallets/backpacks/tote bags, etc.? When was the last time you assessed how many carry bags you have? Pull them all out and place them on the bed or table. Rather than looking at them as a collection – one thing – consider each purse and bag individually. If you are so inspired, you could extend today’s challenge to include backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, tote bags, etc..

Pick up each purse (or bag) one at a time and ask our first two questions:

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Does it serve a purpose?

If you don’t love it and it serves no purpose, add it to the donate box. For those headed towards your keep pile ask these additional questions for consideration:

  • When was the last time you used this bag?
  • Do the pockets of this one work for you? (I’m very particular about the pockets and their placement.)
  • If you didn’t have this purse, what would you use instead?
  • If this one matches a set of shoes, do you wear the shoes? When was the last time you wore those shoes and used this purse? Perhaps they can be donated together. However, do not get distracted by your shoe collection right now. Only the shoes that go with that purse.

Important note: Check inside every pocket of every bag you are parting ways with. People often find forgotten money or a long lost item!

Just a word on maintenance and moving forward when the desire hits to purchase new purses and bags. How do we keep our bags reduced now that we’ve put this beautiful work into lightening our load? That’s where some commitments to yourself come in. You decide how many is a reasonable number of purses and bags for you. If you come across a new purse that you just-have-to-have, know that means parting ways with another one you have at home. Give your impulse some time before you buy. At least 48 hours of think time. Between having to part with one at home and some think time about a new one, those will set in a reality check. How much do you love the new one? What purpose does it serve? Does it out rank one you already own? Keeping a one-in-one-out guideline will help to keep from accumulating more after you’ve worked so hard to reduce your collection.

Moving on to the second part of our challenge today, we are looking at the contents of our purse. I don’t know about you, but my purse used to get very heavy. Additionally, I have an issue with my shoulder, so slinging a heavy purse over it causes discomfort for me after some time. It’s worth it for me to go through my purse regularly and decide what is necessary to carry. Until recently, I had a problem assessing the homes for many “just in case” items, they generally stayed in my purse. I did find a solution recently, and I’ll share it with you in a moment.

It’s time to dump the contents your purse and wallet out on the table and assess what you really need to be carrying around with you. And remember, chances are very high that you don’t need those just-in-case items.

Discard all the garbage first.

Then take each item one-by-one and ask yourself if you love it? Or does it serve a purpose?

Each of those items in your keep pile has a weight to it. I kept getting caught up in that “it’s just a little weight and won’t make much difference” but all those little weights add up.

I tried an idea and it seems to be working now that I’ve created some new habits. I created a “purse box.” I took the contents of my purse and put it in a container. I placed all of my just-in-case items into the purse box – my metal straw, a few store loyalty cards, deck of cards, and several other items. In my purse I keep my wallet with debit/credit card, ID, health card; my prescription sunglasses; keys, lip balm; hand sanitizer and that’s about it. Before I leave the house, I do a quick assessment through my purse box to see if there’s anything in there that I need for my errands that day. And when I return home, I place items back in my purse box. I’m learning two things:

  1. I can find things much faster when I carry so much less!
  2. That most of my just-in-case items are frivolous.

In a few months, I’ll go through that box and remove anything that’s not been touched. My purse is so much lighter, my shoulder thanks me. It takes the first few times leaving the house and realizing something was left in the box at home, to help set the habit of checking. It happens, you’ll adapt. 😊 But now that the habit is formed, this is working quite well for me, so thought I’d pass the idea along.

I welcome your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comments below.

Remember you can share your journey with me and others by using hashtag #MarchMicroMinimizing, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram using handle @suzannegouldenILC.

Here’s me talking about lightening up our purses!

Thank you for following along on my March Micro-Minimizing Challenge! I hope you’ve lightened your load and felt some stress fall away over the last month!

Remember to subscribe below so you never miss a post! My next theme is self-care through intentional living.

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