My purse is qualified for the job..

It is Friday.

We are fighting the frump with Fussy. Today the Nirvana is talking purses. My purse.

I have not always been a purse participator. I didn’t carry one until diaper transportation was a necessity. At first, I used a diaper bag with my wallet thrown in. Now I use a purse with the diapers thrown in. I have learned that life is too short and the diaper years too long to be toting a bag decorated with duckies and rainbows in various shades of blue.

To qualify for a position as my purse, you must have the following qualifications:
1. Must be able to stand upright when set on the floor or table.
2. Must have outside compartments that can carry a sippy cup, water bottle, keys, phone and camera.
3. Must have straps that can be slung over shoulder easily and comfortably. These straps must absolutely not slip off my shoulder when carrying child or bending over to pick something off the ground.
4. Must be closed on the top so if inverted the contents are not scattered.
5. Must be able to accommodate a file, manila folder and the calendar that hangs on my kitchen wall.
6. Must be neutral in color and attractive.
7. Must be a reasonable price.

Let’s do an annual review on my current purse. It is vintage Target couture 2006. It retails for $19.99.

It stands on its own. It is neutral in color. It is reasonably attractive. It is large enough to hold essential gear. It has a zipper on the top so contents are secure. It’s straps are comfortable and stay in place as I move.
I love the side pockets on this purse. They can accommodate a baby bottle, water bottle or sippy cup. They also can carry my phone and camera tightly.
I use a clip for my keys that is easily attached to the strap. I know this is not exactly frump-free, but cut me some slack here. I need quick and easy access. With the keys in this position I can lock/unlock the car while walking away/to the car while carrying a child and yelling at the other two to stay out of traffic.

This purse has met all qualifications. This purse has been a loyal worker. This purse is 2 years old and needs to train a replacement. I have been searching for a replacement, but have not found many qualified candidates.

Now let’s explore my E.H.S.F.I.P.C.C. (Elaborate Holly System For Interior Purse Clutter Control). EHSFIPCC is a compartment system that allows for groups of items to be added and subtracted from the purse with minimal thought on my rushing mommy brain. Not all compartments get the pleasure of traveling on each outing. It is a privilege, not a right to be in my purse. Here are the hopeful travelers:
Listed clockwise from the 12 o’clock position:
1. Orange super wallet. See below for details.
2. Large paper compartment. It carries coupons, directions, papers picked up on a trip, papers needed for a trip. It can hold an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper without folding or crumpling. I go through it often to discard out of date coupons, receipts, etc. that tend to accumulate.
3. Diapees & Wipees. This is one of my very favorite things in the whole world. They come in pretty fabrics and hold 2-4 diapers and a travel wipe container. When the boys were a bit younger, I had one set aside for each boy. The older boy’s contained a change of underwear and an extra pair of shorts. They were all different fabrics so I could easily grab the ones I needed for a particular outing. I also want to add that I have given up the notion that everything related to the boy’s diapers needs to be blue and child-like. I have chosen Diapees & Wipees that I like. I have several pretty pink ones *gasp, she has 3 boys!* because I like pink and I am the one that has to lug it around.
4. Tech compartment. This has my ipod and ear phones, portable video games or any other item I may be toting for myself or others.
5. Hand-washing center. This compartment has hand sanitizer and lotion.
6. Ziploc bag central. It is my belief that you can not have too many Ziploc bags in your purse. I use them for diaper disposal when out. I use them to create new purse compartments on the go. I use them to carry wet anything.

I love my wallet. It is so compact and orange. It replaced a wallet nearly twice it’s size. It is also a Target find (currently on sale for $4.99). The many sections in the fan create oodles of organized space for credit cards, all those store-specific buying cards, gift cards, library cards, etc.
Here are a few items that escaped the EHSFIPCC sorting process and made their way to the bottom of my purse. Non-conformers. They will suffer the consequences of their actions…


  1. Momo Fali says:

    I love your purse and your system is BRILLIANT!!

  2. Mrs. Fussy Fussypants says:

    SUPA-FAB FTFrump! 😉

    And your reader -Fussypants, Karla, Bossy & Puntabulous.

    Honey, your taste is sublime!

  3. slow panic says:

    seriously. you are an organizing genius.

    oh, and i LOVE the orange wallet. love it. it’s orange.

  4. Love the purse it reminds me of the one I am currently carrying. But mine looks like a mini tornado lives in it. 🙂 So I am off to organize the purse before I go out of town.

    Such a wonderful idea!!

  5. Sister Honey Bunch says:

    I really like that. Totally going to copy it.

  6. Happy Campers says:

    Oh my gosh…I LOVE your purse and wallet. I currently go between an ugly black leather backpack purse (it fits the sippy cup & other necesseties and STAYS put!) and a big black purse that’s just fugly. But it works.

    Your organization system is brilliant. You should steal the Diapees & Wipes concept and create your own “Mom Compartment Sets” to sell. Just think how cute that would be???

  7. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    “What’s in your purse?” The phenom is sweeping through the blogosphere much the way “My Life in Hair,” did a couple of months ago.

  8. I would need a power ranger/star wars figure bag, too. I shed the big bag as soon as my last was out of diapers. I currently carry a ridicuously small purse that can house a wallet, checkbook, keys, shades, AAANNNDD…. a power ranger or two.


  9. I am rolling! This was brilliant. I want to come steal your purse. It is too cute! I’m still in diaper bag ville, but I have one purse that I love. It stands on it’s own. Has one center section that zips, It’s original, nobody else here has one, it’s super cute and it has sparkles.. plus, I can’t fit too much crap in it.
    Love your organizational system, I have one somewhat similar.
    Great post honey!

  10. Baby Mamma aka Tamra says:

    I second the Diapees & Wipees. Pure genius.
    Purse contents are so fascinating. Why?!

  11. Love it all. And I buy most of my purses at Target. My current purse I bought at Kohl’s. The straps allow it to convert to a backpack or a shoulder bag, which I love.

  12. So freakin organized. I think I might be sick with jealousy. Love the orange wallet too!

  13. Mackenzies Momma says:

    love the purse my dear! I have to keep my purse small otherwise it ends up looking like a tornado in a trailer park. I wrote a post about a month or so ago on everything I find in my purse it was a bit freaky.

  14. Tootsie Farklepants says:

    That is the most organized purse I’ve ever seen. Mine is jealous and now hiding all the things that are swimming at the bottom of it. Also? I have that Target purse (tote) in a light tan color and I can vouch for its awesomeness.

  15. just checked out your site for the first time and now i feel like an under achiever. i am so impressed..if only i could do that with the diaper bag!

  16. You are one organized mama! And I love your purse–I have been lugging around one I got for free for buying make-up at Nordstroms.
    I have got to copy your system–it’s genius!!

  17. I love how organized your purse is. And it’s nice to see that mine isn’t the only purse with a bunch of junk floating around at the bottom!

  18. You are a girl after my own heart! I also use the container within the container, although not to that extent. I use a small makeup bag to keep track of my 95 lipglosses, and metal business card holder for all those darn punch cards. The paper container is brilliant — gonna have to use that one!

  19. I never knew there could be so much thought given to purse organization. No wonder I’m always untangling my iPod headphones from my keys and my gum gets sand all stuck in it even though it’s still wrapped. I’m a complete purse failure.

    You’ve inspired me to get some organization skills. Here I go to dump the whole thing out and start over!

  20. anglophilefootballfanatic says:

    It erased my comment! AHHH. Okay:

    Holly is trying to embarass Holly. Holly resents Holly doing that to Holly. Holly, Holly, Holly…why you go and do that to Holly? (reader post, of course).

    And, I live for my diapees & wipees. But, WOW are you organized!

  21. I hear ya on the Diapees and Wipees, mine is classic camo for my little “prince”. I have started to see the beauty of large purses with baby stuff inside, that said you wouldn’t catch me carrying a duck diaper bag.

  22. hey there. love the purse, love the requirements you have for your purses. lol
    you are so organized. 🙂 i have some diff bags in my purse, but not that many. and I must say how much I absolutely adore your diaper and wipe bag. i have to know where you got that. 🙂 please.
    your wallet it GREAT, and I totally agree with you about the ziplock bag thing.. I have them every where, in the car, purse, diaper bag, any where you can think of and places you can’t. LOVE ziplock bags. 🙂
    thanks for sharing. although my purse isn’t a total disaster, it coud be a LOT better,I’m going to work on it now. 🙂
    hugs, jenn

  23. “life is too short and the diaper years too long to be toting a bag decorated with duckies and rainbows in various shades of blue” – Amen, Sistah!!! I hear ya. And I have similar requirements for my bag. Standing alone is a MUST. As much as I love a hobo, I detest carrying them. And it mus go over my shoulder. And closed on top. Yes, yes, yes.

    Now, I do like a colorful bag, and reasonable price? I suppose that’s relative. 😉

    I was going to do purses next week, dang, you stole my show! 😉

  24. Happy Campers says:

    OK,…and is that wallet still at Target? ‘Cause I want one! I loathe my wallet….

  25. Domestic Accident says:

    Oh my god. I bow to purse organizational skills. The key thing is nothing short of genius.

    I have purse fever. I’ve been searching for a green one that’s perfect for spring. I saw one I liked it on Katie Holmes but it was $2000. Target seems more up my alley.

  26. jennifer h says:

    Target has the best purses–my current fave is from there. You’re so organized. I need some more zippered things for my bag.


  27. I can’t believe you got that at Target. I love it. I do love Target too but I don’t think about purse shopping there. So, did your “stuff” equal the woman’s average of 67 items per purse? Haha.

    Have a good weekend.

  28. “Not all compartments get the pleasure of traveling on each outing. It is a privilege, not a right to be in my purse. “- So funny!!! Great post!

  29. What a cool idea for a post this was, Holly. Your system is awesome to behold. I wouldn’t dare to reveal the contents of my purse or the state it is in. Let’s just say half the time I want to fling it across the room, because I can’t find anything. I just need a big, cool purse like yours – Target Couture!

  30. stephanie says:

    You have inspired me (like I need a reason to shop) – tomorrow, I repurse with purpose. It’s spring, after all; it’s time.

  31. Loralee Choate says:

    Your purse requirements are frighteningly similar to my requirements for a bra.

  32. I bet that when you walk past the purse section at stores…all of the purses vie for your attention. I can hear them now “pick me…no pick me”. You are one very organized woman. You are my hero!

  33. Wow, you have put a LOT of thought into this!
    But I have to say, regarding #6, I have been craving a purse of NON neutral color lately. Like ORANGE or BRIGHT GREEN.
    Must be some sort of midlife crisis. Hmmph. 😉

  34. You are so funny. I love the Target couture (sp?)! heheh This post is a riot.

    Now, come on over – i’ve created a new game. it’s called 40 & fit-abulous. I know this is for you – you’re the perfect age. It’s for anybody who has figured out life — which I believe happens at a certain age. It’s what happened to me when I turned 40 (or probably right before, like age 37 or something). I’d like you to join in by sharing each week what you’ve accomplished that’s positive (that’s the “fit” part)tell everybody how you’ve accomplished something mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally — and make linky-love in the process. *yippee* Lemmeno you’re interested and I’ll add you to my blogroll. We’ll play every Friday/Saturday (most likely Saturday since not as much going on that day). Thanks for your consideration ma’am *smooches* and have a gr8 weekend.

  35. Melizzard says:

    Smacking my head against the desk. I organize my junk drawers little bags of stuff, why had I never thought to do it with my purse? Which let’s face it just a traveling junk drawer. The heavens have opened and the angels have sung and now I’ve seen the light.

    I lament that this is the first I’ve heard of diapies and wipees as I am now near the end of that long long road but not so near that I won’t get one for the princess panty needs that I’ll inevidably have for the next few months.

    Just found your blog but I know I’ll be around to stay.

  36. fullheartandhands mama says:

    Too goood. This comment–“It is vintage Target couture 2006.” will turn me into a regular reader.

    GREAT post!

  37. My purse starts out like this – then by Friday it looks insane! I clean it out every Friday. I shudder to think what it might look like if I didn’t!

  38. Christine, Queen of the Crazies says:

    G.Y.T.R.T. = Giiiirl, you totally rock Target. Love it! 🙂

  39. Say What? says:

    Checking out your local thrift store is a good choice for fun colorful purses too!

    I love the crap found at the bottom of the purse – I usually find LEGOS, Polly Pockets, lollipops and plasticware in the bottom of mine.

  40. BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) says:

    Holy cow woman!

    I just bought a new purse today at Off Broadway Shoes and I think it’s only the second one I’ve bought in the past five years. It is totally wild for me. It’s clear, trimmed in lime green leather and the interior bag lifts out and is this wild (for me, boring practical purse woman) pucci type print.)

    I need to use your organizing tips!

  41. Manic Mom says:

    I am in love with your organization system. Brilliant. You should start a business organizing people’s purses. Seriously. Have them email you photos of the junk in their purses, tell them what to buy, what to put where, or just have them give you the money and the contents and you shop and systemize! There, I even came up with your company’s name: SHOP AND SYSTEMIZE! I would be the first to sign up for your services!

  42. ClutterControlFreak says:

    You think like I do! My kids aren’t little anymore so I don’t have to worry about diapers. So most of the contents of my purse get to travel with me on a regular basis. I made sure to find a purse with enough inside and outside pockets to organize my “like stuff” together – 7 good-sized pockets, some card slots and a big main space for a book and a planner.

  43. I take pleasure in, result in I found exactly what I used to be having a look for.
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