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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Organizing my Purse

I have been on a quest lately to get everything under my direction organized and easy to use. One of the areas I had trouble with was my purse. I went back and forth between having a small purse with handles to save my back, to a large purse with a shoulder strap to make carrying more things easier. I finally came up with this plan, which allows me to keep track of everything while also not feeling like a second diaper bag.

The bag itself is a scrap booking bag with many little pockets inside and out. I found a clip art picture I liked and printed it out on T-Shirt transfer paper and ironed it on (I used the dark transfer kind to give it a background border). The bad thing about many little pockets is remembering where I put things. So I took my trusty permanent marker and wrote the contents of each pocket either on the front, if it was an inside pocket, or on the inside top flap, if it was an outside pocket.

The important stuff was kept inside, so the less important items were placed in the outside pockets. Inside, I have pockets for

1. Cosmetics- this is my chapstick, a mirror, comb, extra hair bands, and lotion.
2. Medicines- cough drops, tissues, allergy medicine, muscle rub (I'll explain that later), and mini First Aid kit.
3. Personal and Baby- feminine products, emergency granola bar, small baggie of cereal for the baby, bottled water.

This leaves the inside middle open for large and often used things, such as my wallet, checkbook, and plastic sleeve of important papers. The papers included in my little "passport" include checks for the bank, letters to be mailed, a small planner, and the Foster Parent form we are given with each placement and required to have with us at all times. I also have my kids' social security numbers [written in code ;)] and other emergency information.

On the outside, I have a pockets for mint and gum, one for hand sanitizer (be careful not to over-use it!), one for pens and a permanent marker, one for Post-it notes, and a small but deep hidden pocket near the top, which is great for the cell phone, keys, and cash that are easily accessible (for tolls, change, etc. Carry the bulk of you money in your wallet, securely inside your purse).

I do have a separate diaper bag with all the extra clothes, baby food, and accessories I feel should be ready in case of an emergency. But with this purse, I can put a small box of wipes and a diaper in the baby pocket and go into a restaurant or store without having to take the diaper bag along, too. Yet the complete bag of items is accessible outside if I needed it. This has freed up so much cart space, arm stiffness, and confusion! It was too hard to remember what I was putting away where when the people inline wanted me out of their way (I can't blame them too much- we buy so much wherever we go, it must be terrible to get in line behind us!).

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