handbag confessional

i have a confession: i am disorganized.

one would think that a person whose job it is to design and make purses – one of the quintessential things that keep us efficient and organized – would have the slightest ability to a) design a purse that actually facilitated organization, and b) was able to use those functions to their potential.

i have always known this about myself.  i’ve even taken a sort of pride in my total lack of organization – marking it up to my “creativity.”  i see now that that’s a total cop-out.  as is typing without capitalizing, but we’ll save that for another post.  it all became very clear to me the other day when i went to the courthouse to renew my auto registration (which it turns out is in a different building, so this fiasco was for naught).  there’s an x-ray machine at the entrance to this building, and i confidently plopped my purse down, knowing that there were no firearms or weapons of any sort within.  as i stood and waited for the security guard to examine the skeletal contents of my bag, i looked at the screen along with him, feeling more and more self conscious about what was actually in there.

he asked “do you have any screws in here?”

a sheepish “probably.”

“let’s have a look.” said a younger cop, and he proceeds to sift through my belongings.  i gave a meek “i kind of have a lot of stuff in there.”  “um, yeah.  you do.”  eventually we located the bag of screws in question, and i was allowed entry into the grand courthouse.  only to turn on my heel and leave, in search of the correct building.

it got me thinking: why do i have so much crap in here?  as i looked on with the security guard, i realized that it’s only when looked at through someone elses eyes do my messes really become clear, and does my disorganization become a bit more…concerning.  HOW do i have so much crap in here?


my bag, right now


so here’s my project.  i’m going to – right here in this public sphere – empty the contents of my bag.  (inspired also by a segment that i’ve seen a few times on design sponge, in which artsy types reveal what’s in their bag – and it’s usually like 5 awesome things, and this project where pockets are emptied and judged) i will photograph it and catalog it, and set off on designing the perfect bag that houses only the things i need.  i will – knowing that my slovenly (and daresay hoard-y) habits have been revealed, be much more aware and conscious of the things i decide to bring with me.  i feel like this exercise might help with other tasks that i let build up with junk and clutter.  bringing awareness to the things that need attention, and retraining myself to act more consciously around them.

here i go.


i need ALL of this stuff



  1. a package of vintage iron-on numbers
  2. a stack of various dvds that someone gave me like 4 months ago
  3. 2 action small figures
  4. a ten-sided die
  5. a bottle cap & pop tab
  6. a tube of baby orajel
  7. 2 pair of sunglasses
  8. a folded up paper bag
  9. an ipod case (no ipod)
  10. wallet (contains only cards)
  11. loose bills
  12. zipper coin purse (contains cash and a couple receipts)
  13. zipper pouch (contains a ziploc baggie of jewelry making supplies)
  14. chapstick
  15. a brown crayon
  16. my son’s nintentdo ds
  17. zipper cosmetic bag (actually has cosmetics in it, the only of which i use is lip gloss)
  18. a stack of various coupons
  19. a child’s clip-on necktie
  20. a stack of brochures & business cards
  21. a pile of random receipts,  gum wrappers and lists
  22. the charger to something
  23. keys
  24. checkbook
  25. a little memo book (that is nearly 100% full of kids doodles, not mine)
  26. a little flower press
  27. one earring (hope i can find the other one.  i’ve been looking for those)
  28. a pen
  29. some drink tickets
  30. an unmailed bill and some mail from my mortgage company
  31. (my phone is usually in there, but i used it to take the picture)

next step is to divide into three piles.  keep (need in purse), put away (need, but not in purse), throw away (don’t need).  there’s also the question: are there things that i actually NEED but do not have in this bag?  i’ll explore that too.  once i do this and have my keep pile, i will set off on designing a receptacle for it.  it will be cute, functional, and it will change my life.  stay tuned…


About bricoshoppe

Bricolage is a store, low-brow gallery and workshop in downtown Boise, offering one of a kind, humanmade objects from makers around the country, as well as art prints, books, cards and other awesomeness.
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3 Responses to handbag confessional

  1. wendie says:

    Brilliant! Way to go. I look forward to reading the progress. Ps, I did the very same thing at the court house. I’m sure they are used to it.


  2. Love this! I want a replica of the purse you make. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Things take time | bricoshoppe's blog

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