Tuesday, January 24, 2017

5-Minute Project: Empty Your Bag

Before having a child, my purse was lightweight; I carried only the essentials. After Pip was born, I traded in the handbag for a diaper bag. Everywhere I went, I carried with me everything I could possibly imagine that I could need, and, often, in duplicate.

When she graduated from diapers and I retired the bulky bag, my shoulder bag felt so light again. I loved it. I'm not someone who changes handbags frequently--typically once per season, if that--but I kept a regular routine of rummaging through it once every week to make sure that I was keeping things streamlined. I never had trouble finding what I needed because there was nothing in the way.

I don't know when I stopped doing that. But I can tell you when I realized it: this weekend.

I had used a little bit of birthday money from my dad to order myself a new handbag. Well, new to me. It was my first purchase from Poshmark, and I was psyched to start carrying it. I had a few minutes before heading out the door, so I figured it was a perfect time to move things from the purse I was retiring to the new arrival. I figured dumping everything out on the table was the easiest way to determine how to place items in the new bag.

To my horror, this is what came out of the old purse; this is what I was carrying everywhere I went.

Besides my wallet, keys, and coupon file, the contents included 4 pairs of glasses, a set of Pip's mittens (even though it's been 60 degrees outside), receipts, pens and markers, multiple hair clips, an EpiPen, and a LOT of candy including an open, partially melted candy cane. Yikes.

After sorting through that mess, tossing what needed to be tossed, washing what needed to be washed, and putting away the things that didn't need to go everywhere with me all the time, I put the necessary items into my new bag. I don't know whether it's the bag or how little it weighs, compared to the old one and all its wonders, but I have a new pep in my step.

Today, I encourage you to lighten your load. This is not a metaphor. I am talking about the physical bag that you carry around: your purse, your backpack, your messenger bag, your gym bag, your Thirty One utility tote, whatever. Empty it out, and replace only the items you need to have in there. 

It's a relatively quick thing that can change how you feel walking out the door. At least I know it did for me!


  1. I just did something similar. I tried carrying a diaper bag only (no purse) but I like to have my kindle and my journal with me, plus wallet, etc, and it didn't fit nicely. I just got a small purse to carry with a diaper bag and it's nice to have only what I want to have in it!

    1. No matter how you choose to carry those items, it's wonderful to be able to find what you need!