While I went over a list of things yesterday on what I carry in my purse, it became obvious to me that I needed to mention what I was omitting. Some of the below are for safety and your protection. Others on the list are for simplicity and organization. Do what works for you, but chances are by eliminating some (or better yet, MOST) of the clutter you are carrying around with you, your purse will be more comfortable to carry and it will be easier for you to find what you need,when you need it.
1. Social security card. Everyone used to carry their card with them. However, if your purse is stolen, this is an extremely valuable piece of information and its too precious to allow a thief to get their hands on. Birth certificates should also be left at home in a safe location.
2. Checks. These too are too valuable and carry too much information for a thief to get ahold of. If you MUST have a check with you, tuck one into a small, hidden compartment in your wallet. Also, consider NOT carrying all of your credit cards at one time.
3. A million pens and pencils. I know I’m exaggerating at the amount, but I’ve worked with a lot of people who have a LOT of writing implements in their purse and they are simply unnecessary.
4. Expired coupons. Its okay to carry coupons, but you need to clean them out from time to time. I suggest having one envelope for receipts and as you slip things in every week, take a look for expired coupons.
5. Frequent buyer or customer loyalty cards. It seems as though every store has them now. While its okay to use them, don’t clog up your wallet with them. Get the key chain version and slip them all on one keychain. Then carry that in your glove box or in your purse.
6. Tons of receipts. Again, people always think that keeping receipts in their purse is the safest place. I fact, receipts get ripped, crinkled and forgotten about in purses. Again, give yourself and envelope for receipts and clean it out once a week. Don’t keep a receipt in that envelope for more than a month or past the item’s return date.
7. LOTS of makeup. Makeup is sensitive to heat and cold and taking it out in your purse is most likely exposing it to these elements. Moving it around every day is probably also going to get it broken, dirty or worn out much quicker than leaving it at home. If you need makeup with you for the day, consider buying a small all in one pallet.
9. Sippy cups, baby snacks, etc. While you may need to carry these with you, keep them in a separate bag. They can leak and destroy the interior of your bag. Plus, when you go out without your child, you are still stuck carrying them around.
10. Anything that is not replaceable or precious. If your purse is stolen, you can replace it. However, if your only picture of your grandmother was in there, you will be devastated.