Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just the essentials

When I started carrying this big planner every day, I had to rethink the other things I carry. I had been carrying a fairly large bag, a nice leather tan leather one. It closes with a magnetic snap, so it's sort of open, sort of a "feed bag" effect, I guess. A couple of weeks ago there was an incident with my cell phone -- I had gone to Target, and when I got in the car I was going to look at my phone because I don't always hear it when it rings and I'm in a store, and the phone wasn't in my purse.

I nearly panicked, of course, and rushed over to where I had left my cart, and sure enough, it was in the bottom of the cart, having apparently fallen out of my purse. So I knew I needed to do something different anyway.

I always struggle with the purse issue. I'd love to carry just about everything I own with me every day. I like to be prepared for any contingency. But also, I know it's not good for me physically to carry a heavy bag on my shoulder everywhere I go. I had started carrying an old Land's End canvas attaché that I had bought years ago, but with the attaché and a big purse, I was a bit overloaded.

So I switched my purse to a small one, a leather Fossil bag that only holds the bare essentials -- wallet, cell phone, tissues, a pen, pill box -- basically, that's it. And I even had to switch to a smaller wallet because my regular one wouldn't fit in there, and my glasses wouldn't fit in at all. The strap is long enough to wear bandolier-style, which I like, so I was carrying that purse and the canvas attaché and that was working pretty well. I put my hair brush, Palm Pilot, glasses and hand lotion in the attaché, which was fine for work, but really, that purse was too small. But I didn't want to switch back to the big one.

Then I was in Kohl's on Saturday to buy some t-shirts, and I looked at the bags and found one that I really liked. It was a Rosetti bag made of a lightweight fabric with leather trim, and it was $45, which I didn't want to spend. But I really liked it. I carried it around for awhile, then sadly put it back, because I just couldn't justify buying it.

The t-shirts didn't work out, so I took them back on Sunday, and again, I looked at the bag, and this time, there was a sale sign on the rack -- they were on sale for $18. Well, obviously I could justify $18, so I bought it. It's quite a bit larger than the bag I was using, plenty of room for a hairbrush and handcream, and of course I'm now struggling with wanting to load it up with all the other things I'd like to carry with me.

But I've resisted so far. And I decided to carry the planner in my arm, like a book -- I don't really need the attaché; I don't need four pens and extra notepads, etc., that's just my obsessive nature talking. Carrying it in my arm didn't really work out, though, so I went down in the basement last night and pulled out a tote bag that's just big enough for the binder and not much else, hopefully that will keep me from loading it down again.


  • Wallet
  • Palm Pilot
  • Hairbrush
  • Handcream
  • Phone
  • Keys
  • Notepad
  • Pen
  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Makeup bag with:
    • Lip gloss
    • Nail clipper
    • Pill box
    • Small flashlight
    • Tissues
    • Emery board

Writing it all down, it sounds like a lot, but it's just the essentials.

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Sharon said...

Willa, I know how you feel. I've struggled for years trying to figure out how to carry things that I need in my purse. I had a big purse once too and of course I had it loaded down with stuff, not to mention the stuff that Eddie would give me and say, "Would you put this in your purse?" I started havng trouble with my shoulder from carrying all that stuff.

I finally decided to get a smaller purse and just carry as little as I could get buy with so I wouldn't be hurting my shoulder.

So now what I carry in my purse is: My wallet, hairbrush, cell phone in a side pocket, checkbook, hand cream, flash drives, hand sanitizer, petroleum jelly, small pocket calender, small flat calculater, small round tape measure, and extra pens.

Now that I've written all that down it sounds like alot, but it's really necessary for me. It doesn't even include a small note pad.

I think I need to reorganize things. I probably need a small makeup bag to carry the cosmetic type stuff.

I'm sure you wanted to know all that, but I think it's fun to see what other people carry.

OH, and did I mention the extra tote bag I carry with my knitting stuff and my book, and maybe a magazine?

Sharon said...

Darn, I forgot to mention my keys. I have to get to and from work and get into the house. :)))

Liora said...

I'm a big-purse person. Have tried the cute little ones but can't stand them after a short while. A purse must have room for a book.

What I've settled on for the last few years is a leather healthy back bag by Ameribag. It stays put when I sling it over a shoulder. My cell phone slips perfectly into the outside pocket. There are other little pockets dispersed throughout so the weight is supposedly spread. It does feel better on my back and shoulder than a regular purse does. Still I long for the day that I can reduce some weight by finding the dream device that is a cell phone, a book reader, and a personal organizer---and is inexpensive.

Willa said...

I have one of the Healthy Back bags, too -- it's a microfiber one. I like it, and I use it when I travel, but it drives me nuts for everyday, because it's hard for me to get anything out. And it doesn't seem to hold much because even though it's tall, it's all wasted space because I can only use the bottom .... Different strokes, and all that. :) It just doesn't work for me although I do wish it would!

And -- I can only use a small purse if I also have a tote bag, because, yes, of course, I always have to have a book!

mwats55 said...

i too am a bag nut! currently found the bag of my dreams made by matt and nat, and called bono
it holds all my stuff.. and has these glorious pouches on outside they have subtle magnetic catches.. and more pockets inside.
it was light until i loaded it up with all the usual 'necessities' and paperwork i need for my medical appointments!!
i am proud to be a 4 year lung transplant survivor!!!!