The Purse Commandments | Giftie Etcetera: The Purse Commandments

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Purse Commandments

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I am a one planner lady. Having one place for all my information keeps my life orderly and sane. But bags are a completely different matter. 

I have tons of bags - purses, crossovers, totes. If it is functional, I have it.

I'm not one of those women who change my bag to go with my outfit. Instead, I change my bag to go with my errands.

purse, handbag, tote, errands, organize, time management

That makes perfect sense, right?
If I'm working out, I need a tiny crossover for my phone and earbuds. When running errands, I need a place for receipts and my planner. If I am off to a meeting, I need to carry lipstick and a water bottle.

As a lawyer, I used to prefer large, fancy leather bags.

No more!

I realized that leather bags are hot (a serious consideration when living in the South), heavy, and expensive.

Instead, I follow these 10 Commandments to select the perfect bag.

1. Thou shalt not carry a heavy bag.

A lighter bag means you can carry it everywhere and carry more stuff when necessary. A medium size is usually big enough, as long as it fits my Franklin Covey compact planner and a water bottle.

TIP: Only carry what is necessary. If you are running a ton of errands, add an errand tote to what you carry that day only.

2. Thou shalt not carry an expensive bag.

I buy a lot of my bags from a store called Tuesday Morning or from Kohl's. (This is not a sponsored post. I just find those stores have the best selection of reasonably priced bags.)

It's important that I have different purses or bags for different purposes. I cannot afford a terribly expensive bag for each purpose.

3. Thou shalt carry a bag that fits thy lifestyle.

If I substitute teach, I need a bag that is different than I need in the courtroom or to have lunch with a friend.


4. Thou shalt carry a versatile daily purse.

To save time, I generally try to have one great medium-sized bag that works for most of my life. I don't want to be changing purses all the time.

5. Thou shalt have a hands-free option.

Almost every bag I own, except my big totes, has a hands-free option (like a cross strap or backpack handles). I never know when I won't have hands available.

6. Thou shalt not be black.

I am done with black bags. They get hot. They get dirty. They are BORING.

7. Thou shalt not match thy outfit.

Again, who wants to be changing purses all the time?

That said, I pick colors that I enjoy looking at and that generally coordinate well with my favorite colors to wear. I wear lots of greys, blues, and deep reds. Chestnut brown or purple are perfect contrasting colors.

My current favorite handbag? A Baggallini Duet Tote.

8. Thou shall use compartments and zip pouches.

I tend to love Baggallini for the many pockets. But I use many different brands of purses, and for those without good internal pockets, I use zip up mesh pouches to sort my stuff.

I also sort things by category into pouches so it's easy to move from one bag to another, to find my mints, or to locate my inhaler quickly.

9. Thou shall commit one compartment to things that need to be purged at home.

Receipts and papers don't linger in my bag, since I have a decided "out box" pocket that I process when I get home.

10. Thou shall not harm husbands for commenting on thy purse habit.

Probably. Maybe.

I should go to confession.


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Pat said...

I LOVE this post! It speaks to me, as a person who uses the same purse/bag until it wears out! :D :D :D

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on this. I carry a work tote every day that fits wallet, makeup case, eyeglass case, business card case, iPhone 6+ and my A5 planner comfortably, plus has a large zippered section and two pocket sections. I can also shove files, store flyers, coupon holder, lunch, water bottle in it as well. It has long enough straps to go over my shoulder if needs be. I got it at TJ Maxx for $30 and is cream, taupe and black-toned - goes with everything.

On the weekend, I'll switch to a wristlet that just holds the essentials (when I don't need to take my planner with me). As for price, my sister bought me a canvas Coach bag for Christmas several years ago and feel bad because I don't use it. I just don't like it. I also treated myself to a gorgeous, caramel leather D&B bag 2 years ago, but rarely use. I'm too afraid of scratches and pen marks. I much prefer a wide collection of inexpensive bag than one that costs more than my summer electric bill!

Unknown said...

No black purses, yes! Is so boring and so...bleh. And no expensive ones, either, because why spend all that money on a purse when there are so many way-more-fun-things to spend that money on! Compartments are important, yes, because getting my keys out of my purse while finishing at the check out in the grocery store is important, and I need to be able to do that one handed while the cashier gives me a receipt. xD

Unknown said...

I consider myself a "purse-a-holic" but somehow, no matter how many purses I have/buy, I always end up going back to my Ameribag Healthy Back Bag. It honestly seem to reduce the weight. I also tend to use fabric bags now. I love love love leather but, you are right, they tend to end up a lot heavier. I do tend to like black for my bags though and all of them are black. Ha Ha Ha! Love your blog and love getting the e-mails as well. Keep up the good work.

Jaime Barfield said...

I have to have a bag that will hold my planner. My husband will sometimes look at me like I am out of my mind when I mention that my bag isn't doing it for me anymore and I have to find a different bag. I have a messenger bag I have considered carrying as a purse, but then hubby looks at me like he might dial up the men in white coats.

Anna said...

I move around too much to have a variety of bags. I have one basic brown that I mainly use, and is big enough for my Franklin Covey & what I consider necessities. I wear it a across one shoulder for hands-free carrying. Generally I don't do black bags, but I have a cute black bag with a design on the front that is smaller for when I just need a few things. I have a bigger bag that matches that for my airplane "personal item." I always feel more put together traveling when I wear black and I have my black bag. It may just be all in my head. ;)

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond said...

I love #9 I need a compartment for items that need to be thrown away. I can never find anything in my bag no matter how small it is. Thanks for giving us some tips on the perfect handbag and sharing with us at #AnythingGoes link up.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that no more leather is good for animals too!! :) I kind of like my skin on my bod! Don't you?

Mimi said...

Lol..this is fabulous advice! I favour a neat bag. No slouchy Boho bags here! I wonder if you'd share this at my Five Star Frugal linkup at A Tray of Bliss? What could be more five star or frugal than non-leather bags that are fabulous and practical! Love Mimi xxx

muzsi said...

I have also some bags for different purposes, but I hate to change them - too much work :). So I mostly use this:
(as I searched the link, I see, I bought it for 4 years! :))
why? its big enough to have everything in the bag. also my laptop fits! has a lot of compartments. it's small enough also if I have only my purse and phone with me, don't looks silly. machine washable!!! with 3 kids - it's important. it's no problem to throw on the flour...

Unknown said...

This is so funny! I mostly carry a black purse, I've had red and hot pink, but the black is always appropriate as I wear a lot of black. I live in the north, so the heat doesn't apply. I love a bag with a cross strap and lots of pockets. I need to make one of the pockets the remove pocket like you, I have too many receipts taking up room.

Karen @ mummy do it said...

I like your idea for different bags for different occasions. You'd still have to do a bit of swapping but not too much, and probably less likely to forget something. For me, I usually have to carry a big bag with all the baby stuff in it. BUT, on the rare occasion I get to go out without children I like to carry a SMALL bag. Thanks for sharing with the #BlogFair.