I’m starting to get some pain in my right shoulder that makes me think I have a purse problem. I’ve always liked the look and feel of a smaller purse, but I can’t seem to break away from all the things I need (and want) to keep with me when I’m away from home. I refuse to carry a fanny pack (I’d rather have a bum shoulder) but I feel like something’s gotta give. Here’s what I keep in my daily handbag.
Definitely a necessity
EpiPens & children’s allergy medicine (4) – Twins with food allergies call for me to carry EpiPens (there are two in each pack so I technically carry four.) I’m sure there are some people out there who are thinking I could get away with just one set of two, but I’m a worst case scenario type of woman who imagines a giant peanut butter monster sliding into our restaurant booth infecting both my PB allergic kids. Regardless, the peace of mind is worth the extra weight. The chewable allergy tablets are in case we have a reaction that only requires medication. Fortunately, that’s all we’ve ever needed.
Baby wipes – Second only to the allergy medications/EpiPens in importance as far as I’m concerned. Pre-kids, I never carried baby wipes, and I can only imagine my life must have been far more difficult and messy. I recommend them as a staple for mama and non-mama purses!
Cell Phone – A modern day need that doubles as a real time suck. It has eliminated the need to make small talk in waiting rooms, which is inevitably stunting us all socially. However, I won’t be giving mine up anytime soon.
Keys – No explanation necessary. I’ve lightened up on my key chain load of late, at the request of my father-in-law who feared I’d do damage to my ignition. Not sure if that’s a thing, but I took his advice and haven’t looked back since.
Wallets (2) – The old one and the really old one – I kind of like to hope I’m a minimalist, but I seem to need two wallets. The old one (my go-to) is like a change purse with room for cards. In that one I keep cash, frequently used credit cards, my driver’s license, and health insurance card. The really old one has a broken zipper (but the snap is still in tact!) It holds my rarely used credit cards and customer rewards cards dating back to the late 90’s. (you never know when you might need your Charlie Brown’s Handshake Club or Blockbuster Video card!)
Great for on-the-go doodling
A bag of crayons – For anywhere with the kids. These come in extremely handy since lots of restaurants don’t provide them, and my kids are still in the coloring age range. With the popularity of adult coloring books, I may be hanging on to this for a long time. However, I think I’ll probably need to upgrade to a nicer bag; something out of the “Ziploc” realm.
Hair ties – A few of these usually find their way to the bottom of the purse, but they can never seem to be found when they’re needed most.
Too many receipts – These are always hanging around inside my purse and my go-to wallet. They don’t end up in the trash right away because for some reason I feel like I should keep them for a few weeks to make sure they show up on my credit card correctly (thanks, Mom!). In addition to that I prefer recycling them to throwing them in the trash (see Landfill OCD). I could clean my purse of receipts every week and still have a huge pile when I do, but that might have something to do with my love for take-out food and coffee.
Lipsticks/lip glosses (4) – These don’t take up a lot of room so I keep 4 but they probably only get used a few times per month.
Coupons – Since I consider myself thrifty, I often take the time to save or clip coupons. Eighty percent of the time I find them after I need them or after they’ve expired. I have to work on bringing that percentage down because when I find them too late, I sometimes get in a funk that’s a little darker than it should be.
Small notebook – For jotting down blog post ideas (like this one!) or the license plates of erratic drivers in case I want to report them to the police. Most people use their phones for these kind of things but I do enjoy jotting notes down on an old-school piece of paper. I like to think it makes me look smart although it probably just makes me look odd.
Spare me the bells and whistles of a fancy first aid kit. I just need band-aids!
First aid kit – I keep a first aid kit in the zipper compartment. Of course the band-aids get used first and I’m left with alcohol wipes that when wiped on a child’s boo-boo cause screams that will wake the dead. Solution: restock the band-aids, put them in something that takes up less room, and ditch the evil alcohol wipes and first aid kit box.
Checkbook – Not sure if people still use these but I do. My purse just seems like the smartest place to keep it.
Ear buds – For the one time every 2 or 3 years that I fly on a plane and don’t want to pay for airline ear buds.
Miscellaneous – Everything else in there: mirror, foldable brush, tissues, mints, sunglasses, hand sanitizer
Goodbye old friends
After reviewing the contents of my purse, I realize that some things have to go. I’m making the conscious decision to downsize the first aid kit and get rid of my really old (larger) wallet (Blockbuster Video card be damned!) It doesn’t seem like much, but hopefully it’ll move me towards getting rid of bigger and heavier things. Can anyone relate?