Keeping your bag decluttered doesn’t have to be a major time commitment. When your purse, pack, or briefcase is your lifeline, you certainly want to be able to find what you need when you need it. So, take the following steps to organize your bag and keep it that way!
by Katie Faulkner
Dump It Out
The first step is easy – and a little fun. Go ahead and dump all the contents of your bag onto a clean surface. Shake out crumbs, clutter, and dust. Spread items out and begin grouping them into piles of like items.
Clean It Up
There will never be a better opportunity to clean your bag up than when it is already empty. If it is fabric that is safe to wash, toss it in the washing machine or hand wash if it is delicate. For leather bags, use a leather cleaner and conditioner. Plastic can be wiped down and sanitized. If there are broken threads, buttons, or a busted zipper, this
is a great time to tackle these minor repairs.
Trash Unwanted Items
From the piles of contents that were emptied from your bag, it’s time to sort through and dispose of trash. Old receipts, expired coupons, loose pills or candies, and any other obvious trash can be tossed first. Next, sort through your remaining items and decide if they should be thrown away, stored somewhere besides your bag, or held and returned to the bag later.
Use Organizational Tools
For the smaller items in your bag, organizational tools can be especially helpful. There are bag inserts which provide extra pockets that can be useful in keeping small items out of the main pocket of the bag. If you save receipts, carry coupons, or always need to have forms on hand, there are various sizes of accordion-style file folders available. If you already keep an organized wallet but need to keep up with business cards, gift cards, membership cards, or anything else that you’d rather keep out of your wallet, pick up a card organizer. These handy little items are full of card slots, so you can file important cards easily. Pill dividers are great for vitamins or Tylenol, not to mention the tiny items you need on hand, like bobby pins or safety pins.
Now that you’ve sorted the contents, you can begin putting items back into your bag. Be mindful of how often you use certain items and assign them a place that is easily accessible. These essential items are usually best stored in a side pocket so that they don’t fall into the void of your bag’s main compartment. Not only does this keep them more easily accessible, it also makes it easier to put them away. Assign every item in your bag a designated spot and return it to that spot each time you use it.
Set a Reminder
To keep your bag in dazzling organized order, take five minutes every week to do a quick check for trash, items that should be stored elsewhere, and anything that needs to be restocked. Also return any items that may have strayed from their proper spot. If you set a reminder on your phone, it can help you establish this healthy habit. Maybe do this the same time you clean your desk off on Fridays, or every Sunday night as you make your grocery list – whatever works for you!
Make your life a bit less stressful and keep all of your essentials easily on hand by maintaining an organized bag. Apply these same principles to any kind of bag – a gym bag, diaper bag, or even a weekend travel bag, and you’re sure to save time and energy! HS