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I was inspired a couple of years ago by Rosemarie at The Busy Budgeter to ditch my purse.
When you are a mom of babies and young kids, you really do have to lug this enormous bag around. You must be ready for diaper changes, hunger, and the need to change an entire outfit of clothing. You must entertain them and distract them. If you are carting around a newborn or toddler or both, this is not the time for you to ditch the purse.
And then the kids get older and you are still carrying all this stuff around. Old receipts, used up lip balms, and stale granola bars. If this describes you, maybe it’s time to rethink this whole thing.
I Decided to Ditch My Purse
I had purchased a purse that I LOOOVED about 15 years ago and I carried it around until it was just falling apart and ugly.
Then I started a hunt for a new purse. That was a few years of me buying purses that were good enough or the right size or useful or I-just-need-a-purse-right-now. And I hated them. I hated all of them and soon enough, I would toss the new purse and buy a new one that again, I didn’t like. It was a vicious cycle and a huge waste of money!
After I read The Busy Budgeter post, I saw the light and even purchased a Vera Bradley mini ID case just like her. And I liked it and I used it until I didn’t.
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.–Charles Dudley Warner
Problems With Ditching My Purse
There were quite a few keys to fit in my pocket. Not that I have so many: 2 car keys and 2 house keys and a keyring, but it was bulky because I like using my loyalty card (and library card) keyrings. That way I don’t need to have 15 cards in my wallet, they just hang from the keyrings.
I tried an app that you could download your loyalty card info into but the thing didn’t always scan properly and it became kind of a pain and I gave up.
Where do you put the lip balm?? I really don’t like being out and about without the ability to reapply lip balm. My lips get dry and that makes me cranky, and it just didn’t fit that well into the wallet and my pocket.
Front pockets! Because, you know this, ladies, the pockets in women’s pants and jeans are ridiculously small, assuming you even get front pockets. But that’s a whole other blog post! Because half the time the pants that I want to buy have decorative pockets or a seam that looks like a pocket, it’s two layers, but it’s just sewn shut, there is not a pocket. I get it, I have back pockets, but for keys and lip balm, you really need front pockets.
How I Made Deciding to Ditch My Purse Work for Me
Step 1: I put all my loyalty cards on a separate ring and then put a claw latch on my keychain which allows me to take the loyalty cards on and off my keyring depending if I’m going shopping.
Step 2: I skipped the lip balm and I would only wear my pants that had front pockets on days that I knew I was going out. That lasted for a year or so, but I got tired of living kind of too far the other way from my toting-around-everything-I-own-in a-purse-days.
The Next Step in the Ditch My Purse Revolution
I made a change again. I bought a small purse that I like kind of a lot. It’s not as amazing as the original, but I like it well enough. And it’s small, that’s a huge key to traveling light. I bought a small wallet that fits in that purse and I bought a card sleeve that just drops into the purse.
So when I want to travel extra-light, I just grab the card sleeve and unhook the loyalty cards from my keyring and put it in my pockets. But when I want a little more flexibility in what I wear and want to have a few extras with me, I take the purse with the wallet and the card sleeve inside.
What do I carry in my purse these days? My wallet with just my cards, some cash and some change, a lip balm, and my car keys. I also keep a couple of ponytail holders, a pen and a small pack of gum in my purse. My keyring with loyalty cards attached is on my keyring.
But I don’t feel the need to overstuff it anymore. I really never need to clean it out because I don’t carry around a bunch of extra stuff in it anymore.
Lessons I’ve Learned Since I Decided to Ditch My Purse
- Travel light whenever possible
- You don’t need nearly as much stuff as you think you do
- Trying out new ideas is a great idea
- Tweak those ideas and make them work for you in your situation
Final Thoughts on What Happened When I Decided to Ditch My Purse
I don’t think I would have ever quite learned how to lighten the load in my purse so well if I hadn’t ditched my purse completely for a while. It was almost like a “stuff I carry around” reset. If you feel ready, I highly recommend ditching the purse, at least for a while, and learn to live without the strap on your shoulder.
Would you ever ditch your purse? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments below.
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.Charles Dudley Warner
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