Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day Eight: The Svelte Handbag

My Christmas present from the Ala Moana shopping centre in Hawaii.

Once a week I like to upend my handbag onto the carpet and put everything back one by one, clearing the clutter as I go.  I also do this with my tote bag which goes to work with me each day since I like to carry things such as a smaller tote bag for walking, fold-up umbrella, notebook and pen, extra sunglasses, a book, etc.

This little routine keeps my bag from accumulating unneeded things which might get lost at the bottom and add up to a bulging bag.  Just as I do not want an overweight body, I also do not want an overweight bag.  It’s  a good time to clear out tissues, receipts (although if you are like me your receipts will have been already entered into Excel and put in an envelope for that month) and other small pieces of litter.

If you haven’t tipped your bag out for a while (it is so much fun though, once you do it you will want to keep on doing it regularly) you would be wise to do this just before vacuum-cleaning, as there could be ‘bits’.  Or a clean towel underneath that you can shake outside afterwards.

Periodically it is a useful idea to re-evaluate items you carry around just in case that have hardly ever, or maybe never, been used.  It’s good to be prepared, but I have not yet found the occasion where I’ve needed to use my Crabtree & Evelyn rosewater soap flakes.  And I’ve had that little packet for years.

Along the same lines, within my handbag I have a small zip bag with cosmetics, hair ties, headache pills and more in it.  I sometimes tip that out on my bed and look at what’s in there to see if I actually use it.  I always have a lip gloss in there but because it’s not used that often I put my newest lip gloss in since I’ll use up ones in  my makeup area first.  Stock rotation - not just for the pantry!

It’s such a nice feeling going out the next day with your streamlined bag.  You can find everything and it’s dust- and detritus-free.

Of course if you’re a mum it’s probably a different story.  A stylish and friendly lady whom I served last week (who was also very funny in a dry way) opened her beautiful black leather handbag to pay.  She said, pointing to her bag which had a sandwich container and a pair of balled up socks sticking out of it, ‘do you have kids?’.  I smiled and shook my head no, and she responded ‘this is what happens’.


  1. Love your handbag tips! being a mother I do have a little backpack for the toddler so as to keep my bag sticky fingers free! Hence more stylish I am hoping!

  2. Yes I do the handbag clean out regularly too, I hate it when I can't find what I want and I detests wallets with more receipts/paper than anything else. Perhaps the latter is because I spend so much time on the other side of the counter?

  3. Fiona, you are such a wonderful inspiration! I am a long time reader, but I haven't commented before.

    I am so thrilled that you are back blogging and your "30 days of chic" really points to the little things in life where I need to improve.

    Thank you!

  4. I do this regularly too. It's amazing how quickly we can collect bits of paper and odds and ends! Love your bag.

  5. I may be a bit OCD on this one! I declutter my handbag at the end of every day. I own only two handbags (quality over quantity :) and they are on the small side. This means I really notice it when I have things in there I don't want like receipts, hair bands, and so on.

  6. A friend had her purse stolen a few weeks ago when we were out to coffee. The cash she lost was minimal (for her) but the headaches of replacing cards and car keys were phenomenal. The car insurance insisted on having car locks/keys changed and with the electronics involved it is no simple matter. They had a tacky little rental car for weeks - and have ended up changing insurance companies as the result of this experience. She's re-evaluated what she carries now and only has a very small bag.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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