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I would venture to say that the purse is a lady’s most vital accessory. What other outfit add-on has the potential to be cute and fashionable, lets us carry around our most important possessions and allows us to sneak cans of La Croix and leftover Halloween candy into a movie theater?! Certainly not a dinky pair of earrings!
The handbag is home to some of a woman’s everyday necessities like cell phones, car keys, wallets and feminine products, as well as some crucial must haves like gum, lip gloss, hand sanitizer and emergency snacks (you just never know when you or your kids are going to need a life-saving granola bar). If left to its own devices, a purse’s general hygiene can spiral out of control FAST simply because there is so much dang stuff going into and out of it on a daily basis.
Thus, it is critical that a woman regularly groom her pocketbook to keep it clean and clutter free. Just a gum wrapper to the trash here, a purging of old receipts there and your tote will be a tidy and easy to navigate vessel of compartmentalized bliss. Easy, right?
Unfortunately, I am horrible at this. Like, really, really bad. My purse lives somewhere between “tornado town” and “health hazard” pretty much all of the time.
Because there are just so many other things to clean and tend to (kids, house, pool, car, meal prep, my own personal up-keep), my handbag usually gets neglected for weeks or even months at a time. Not too long ago whilst searching for a pen, I pulled a pair of my daughter’s underwear and one, single dirty sock from the deepest, darkest crevice of my purse.
Why the heck were they in my purse? Great question.
In my defense, the undies were clean. A grandparent had returned them to me after the kids spent a night at their house and the pair had been lost in the laundry. And I am pretty sure the dirty sock was shoved into my purse when I was attempting to clean out my car. Anyone else’s car a graveyard for abandoned kid socks? In both cases, I simply forgot about the articles of clothing and my purse somehow came to life and swallowed them down to the deep, dark belly of the bag. Out of sight, out of mind.
For your enjoyment, here are a few other fun and random items I have found in my purse.
Not pictured is a container of rainbow sprinkles I had recently been carrying around for 4 days. Long explanation as to how they got there but I was simply too tired to take them out and put them in my pantry. Besides, who knows when you are going to stumble upon a good pop-up ice cream social? Could happen anytime, really.
Also not pictured are several (unused) tampons that had somehow wriggled their way out of their wrapper and were found adrift in my handbag. Don’t even act like this has never happened to you, sister! I know I am not alone. But… how does it happen?! How do they get out?! Maybe they are trying to escape before being used for their intended purpose? Either that or my purse just has magical, voo-doo powers that, when combined with my inability to clean things out in a timely fashion, results in total chaos.
My husband has lovingly named my purse THE BLACK HOLE and rightfully so. The evidence clearly shows that when things enter my pocket book there is a high chance they will either be destroyed or may never be seen again.
He refuses to look through my purse to locate anything. If he needs to move my car, for example, he would not dare attempt to retrieve my keys from my purse on his own but rather will bring the bag over to me and make me find them. He is scared of (and also frustrated with) the messy vortex my purse creates and has gotten lost deep within the bowels of my tote on more than one occasion.
Speaking of Black Holes, has anyone been to IKEA lately? I have! I had my first IKEA experience just a few months ago. First of all, I totally fell in love with it when I didn’t think I would. I have been an IKEA cynic for years now but, come to find out, I could spend the rest of my life in an IKEA and be perfectly happy.
But do you know what happened to me while I was there on my first journey through the store? I misplaced my purse and couldn’t find it. I mean, seriously, OF ALL THE STORES TO LOSE YOUR PURSE IN!!!!!
IKEA is a labyrinth, a matrix, a web of confusing rooms and pathways, a third dimension in and of itself, a black hole, if you will. But, in a moment of distraction while chowing down on their delicious, gourmet meatballs, I managed to misplace my purse in the café.
A black hole lost within a black hole. Now if that’s not something that nightmares are made of I don’t know what is.
Long story short, a good person turned in my purse and an IKEA employee had to summon me twice over the store’s intercom, calling for “Katherine Rosen-Berg (not how you pronounce my last name)” to “please report to customer service.” That was followed by a panicky voyage through the maze of IKEA to find said customer service room and be reunited with my purse.
The poor conditions of my handbag are only complicated by my children who are captivated by the bag and love to rifle through it. Naturally, without me knowing, they will take things out or accidentally drop snacks and trinkets in. I attribute some of their fascination to typical childhood curiosity, some to their gum addiction that has surfaced at an early age and the rest I blame on my mom.
My mom has the most mesmerizing, well organized and all-inclusive purse this world has ever seen. It brings to mind Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag. I haven’t seen her pull out a floor lamp or a hat rack yet, but just give her some time.
Seriously, the woman has everything you could ever need in her handbag. Everything. Bottles of water, scissors, a package of baby wipes, make-up, hair brushes, extra clothes, several packets of gum, a container of mints, a small sewing kit, a poncho in case it rains, an umbrella in case the poncho isn’t enough, a can of Diet Coke, several over-the-counter medications for any ailment or pain you could possibly imagine, a box of Band-Aids, and a gallon of hand sanitizer. She stuffs blankets and boxes of candy into it when she goes to the movies. And she is never, ever without snacks and treats for the grandkids.
No doubt this endless supply of snacks is the main draw for my kids and the reason they are so curious about other people’s purses.
Anyway, all this to say I have no good, practical advice on how to keep a purse well-kempt. A few times a year I buckle down and resolve to “do better” and “stay on top of things” but it is only a matter of time before I find myself dumping the entire contents of the bag out onto the passenger’s seat in the parking lot of Target just to locate my car keys and cell phone.
I will end with this brilliant tip my mom does to keep her car keys from being sucked down into the purse vortex: she uses a carabiner to clip her keys to the strap of her satchel so they stay on top of the mayhem and allow for easy access. I have one on my keys, too, and it works! The problem is, I tend to get in a rush and forget to clip them on and… down into the abyss they fall!
Oh, well. At least I have good intentions. Maybe one day I will be a true grown-up and have a nice, clean purse worthy of showing off to friends and family. A girl can dream, can’t she?
What hilarious things have you found at the bottom of your purse? Or what things have mysteriously gone missing in the belly of your purse?