Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/Bag

Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/BagWelcome to Mission #2 of our 52 Organizing Missions.

If you completed last week’s Get Organized Mission Fill a-Hu-u-uge-Trash-Bag you’re probably feeling pretty fabulous right now.

If not – what are you waiting for!

This week we’re getting organized on a smaller scale.

We’re about to streamline the receptacle you take with you into the world each day – purse, tote, handbag, wallet, briefcase, capacious carpetbag, whatever.

Remember – you only have to spend 30 minutes to complete the basic mission. If you want to go further check out the Extended Organizing Mission Options below.


Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/Bag

Step 1: Empty

Empty everything out of your bag (I’ll use this generic term for simplicity). Dust out any lingering detritus over a sink so your bag is lovely and clean.

Step 2: Wallet

If you have a separate pocketbook/wallet, start there.

  • Remove old business cards, receipts, paper scraps, tissues, post-its, random hairclips, etc.
  • Remove other items that don’t deserve the real estate – eg loyalty cards for stores you rarely visit, coffee cards you never remember to use, etc.
  • Place the regularly used credit cards, store cards and ID in convenient locations in your wallet.
  • Check any photos of loved ones are current and in good condition.

Step 3: Keys

Next, streamline your keys.

  • Use a neat, functional keyring or case.
  • Remove any keys you don’t need. If you don’t remember what they’re for, put them on a separate ‘Mystery’ keyring for later investigation.
  • If you’re always fumbling with keys, consider putting them on the ring in the order you use them – eg, car, garage, mailbox, top lock, bottom lock.

Step 4: Make-Up Purse

Next, let’s tackle your make-up purse, make-up compartment in your bag, or for guys, any toiletries you carry with you.

  • Remove items you don’t use regularly enough to justify their real estate.
  • Discard anything old, in poor condition or funky smelling.
  • Consider streamlining your daily essentials. Could you limit yourself to, say, a neutral lipstick or lipgloss, small tube of SPF hand cream, small blush with built-in mirror and brush, small mascara and small fragrance bottle?
  • If you streamline the contents, consider downsizing your make-up purse too.

Step 5: Organize

Finally, return the streamlined items to your bag. Make use of compartments to help keep the contents organized.

Dos & Don’ts

  • Don’t keep floating tissues, unneeded receipts, ancient mints and gum, loose coins, random pens, paper scraps, indecipherable notes.
  • Do keep your streamlined wallet, keys and make-up purse, cell phone, iPod, attractive notebook, nice-to-use pen, small tissue pack or handkerchief, and diary/PDA (the target of a future organizing mission).

Extended Organizing Mission Options

Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?

  • If your bag or briefcase lacks compartments, is in poor condition or out-of-touch with your current likes and lifestyle, take yourself shopping and invest in a better performer.
  • If other household members want to participate let them get their backpack/briefcase/tote and join you.
  • If you have other bags and briefcases you don’t love, take this opportunity to discard them. If they’re lovely, donate; if not, ditch.

Ready, Set, Go!

Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.

Before You Go – Please Check In

You’re now accountable to your organizing mission-mates! Once you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission please add a comment to let us know you’ve done your assignment and you’re keeping your commitment.
(Click ‘Comment’ at the very top of this post or scroll down to the bottom. Depending on how you’re viewing this post, one of those options will be available for you.)

And see you back here next week!


You can get your weekly organizing mission delivered to your inbox.

Click here to sign up for 52 Organizing Missions.

Image by ume-y

Did you like this post? Please social bookmark it!

236 thoughts on “Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/Bag

  1. Michelle says:

    I don’t even know why I keep a purse. Really it is just to store my cards, keys and lip gloss. I grab the handful and transfer trash and all. ha,ha. Boy I need help! I want to find a purse I LOVE.

  2. Vesna says:

    Done done done! Have two bags – one little one for me and one large one for the kids. Both a clean and organised. Bring on week 3!

  3. Kathy says:

    I finished this project – YEAH! I decided to switch to a smaller bag in the process and was rewarded even more. I found a very precious object that I had been looking for for over 6 months. I swear that I had looked in this bag at least 6 times and never found this object. Now looking with a different purpose – have normal bag things in the bag in a place that makes sense and there it was. I was really happy. Motivation to keep going – who knows what else I will find?

  4. Sylvia says:

    This was great! Not only is my purse skinnier, also weighs about 20 lbs. less. Finally got my ex’s pics out of my wallet, HOORAY!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *