You remember my friend Allison -- she of the 21 Tips for Living an Organized Life.
also known as: How To Be Freakishly Organized
The one I've adopted is cleaning out my purse -- not every night, certainly, but at least once a week. Or every other week, really, if I need to be entirely honest.
My first go at it was an eye-opening and somewhat disgusting experience involving stray hair, weird crumbs and a lipstick covered nickel, and I've evolved an efficient method that I am sharing here today.
You need:a well lit, clear space
a large piece of newspaper or a large dishrag
Q-Tips or similar
Rubbing alcohol and paper towels
1. Don't try to remove everything from your purse one by one. Spread out the newspaper or dishrag on your clear well lit space and upend your purse. This is vitally important. It's the equivalent of doing the dishes in rubber gloves -- it really lets you get in there and do it.
2. Shake the purse again over the newspaper. Peer inside. See the crumbs in the corner? Tug on the lining (if there is one) so it is inside out.
3. Wipe out the inside of the purse/lining with a paper towel dabbed with a bit of rubbing alcohol provided we're not dealing with silk here.
4. Poke into the hard to reach corners, like the zippered pockets, with Q-Tips. Keep poking till they come out clean.
5. Now sift through the disgusting mess on the newspaper. Throw out all the unnecessary paper -- surely you have some cash receipts you don't need. Wipe off your compact and lipstick with paper towels and alcohol, pick the hair out of the pen clips. Replace each cleaned bit into your fresh purse.
6. Wash or wipe down the loose change. Put the quarters back in your change purse and the rest in your change jar where you are saving for a new Birken (get on the waiting list now. By the time you have enough money, your name will be on top).
7. Put in your purse a small, nearly empty -- but still fragrant -- perfume bottle that used to hold a scent you love without its cap. Every time you open your purse you'll get a nice hit. You could do the same thing with a small sachet of lavender or rosemary (but make sure it's well sewn, otherwise you'll have lavender crumbs next time.)
8. Toss the newspaper, feel superior to your former self, and take anticipatory pleasure knowing that the next time you dig for change for a nice homeless person (I like Miss Ruth, who wears black shoe polish on her face, white sweats, stores her things in white grocery bags, and sings like a dream) it won't come out all gummed up.