a clean & organized purse + an announcement

May 4

i love having an organized purse, but with 3 children and a busy schedule – it doesn’t always work out that way….
items get thrown in and/or yanked out in a hurry. the kids rummage through it to see what kind of snack/toy they might find. i toss things in and then grab and go. some nights it even sleeps in the car (in our garage), never brought inside to be refreshed for the next day.
by the end of a busy week, not only are we ready for some downtime….my purse is ready for a rest of its own, hanging in our cubby/mudroom area.

i mentioned earlier this week that i purchased myself a new grown-up purse for mother’s day last year. prior to this purse, i was using a diaper bag. and had been for more than 7 years! it was a long over-due treat for mommy. when i purchased it, i promised myself i wouldn’t allow any snacks or sippy cups to make their way inside.

famous last words.

in my defense, i’m busy and sometimes when i am out running errands with our daughter, i need my hands free….so one day into the purse i tossed in her sippy cup. some of the milk dribbled inside the bag…

and as a liquid does, is wasn’t just inside the bag. it was also on the outside a bit…

on my wallet…

and on a few other small items inside.

no need to worry. this could easily be cleaned. and i figured my purse in general needed some TLC, so i cleaned and re-organized the entire bag. i love having a fresh start! πŸ™‚

first, i emptied the entire contents of my purse. i am always apt to find something interesting the boys have left inside. this week? a tiny bee (thankfully not real!) and a random piece of plastic they found and decided would make a great sword/hook. boys!….

then i went outside, turned over the purse and shook it vigorously to remove any crumbs or bits of whatever were lurking in the bottom. on occasion, i have even used our handheld vacuum to really get the inside clean.

once emptied and with crumbs/bits were removed, i used mild dish soap to clean the lining of the purse. i have always used dawn for this job. the soap is very mild – mild enough for cleaning those sweet animals after an oil spill. surely that makes it mild enough for the inside of a purse! :-)…

here was the after…no more dried milk! the soap even removed a small black ink mark that had been in there for about a month…

once the inside was clean, i figured i would clean the leather as well. i needed to remove the milk stain, but instead of only spot cleaning i felt the purse in general needed a good overall cleaning. since i made the investment in a nice purse (coach), i think it’s worth buying the cleaner or conditioner they offer you when you make that big purchase. it will definitely make your hard earned purchase last longer. for the leather cleaning i used the cleaner recommended by coach…

just followed the directions by applying a small drop to a soft cloth and working in circular motions to clean. looks so pretty now!…

don’t forget to clean your purse straps! sometimes they are easy to forget – but remember those are likely to be the dirtiest area of your purse. they not only sit on your shoulder and against your body, picking up body oils and dirt. but you also grab those straps with your hands…more dirt, oil, germs, etc….

once the inside and outside was clean, it was time to re-load. here is what the inside of my purse looks like…

all of the sections/pockets are what sold me. i like having defined spaces where everything can live. it makes it easy when you are in a pinch and need to grab something. you aren’t fumbling around in the bottom of a huge purse when there are sections to keep everything organized.
you may be wondering what exactly i keep in my purse? not sure about you, but i love to see what other ladies keep in their purse. it’s always interesting…and laughable, too. πŸ™‚ i don’t have anything shocking to share with you…but thought i would share for those curious to know how an organized freak person keeps her purse.
i keep 2 of my favorite pens…yes, i’m a pen snob. i LOVE the ultra-fine tip black sharpie pens. love them!….

i keep a small pad of post-it notes. why post-its and not a small notebook? a couple reasons. when i get home, i just peel off the post-it and add it to my bigger notepad. because i suffer from “mommy add”, sometimes i need to write something down and have it in front of my face. instead of writing a note on my hand/palm, i will write the note on the post-it and stick it to the front dash in the car. so helpful!…

i keep an emergency stash of feminine products. you never know when you or a friend will need something…

mints or gum and an emergency hair clip…

a small make-up bag…

inside i keep hand lotions, lip gloss, and a few other personal items…

my wallet…

and my old banged up sunglass case…

good thing the sunglasses live inside the case, otherwise they would look just as banged up as the case itself. ha!

and finally, here is the bag clean and organized…

….ready for another week of whatever comes our way.
if you have some great purse tips, i’d love to hear about it. leave a comment so we can all enjoy!
i have a quick blog announcement…
next week i’ll be sharing a series all about getting your car organized!
we’ll talk about it all – the front seat, console/glove box, mid-section, trunk …
great car organization products and more.
not sure about you, but my car is an extension of home. we spend a lot of time carpooling and going to various activities, errands, etc. having an organized car makes my life easier.Β so, i hope you’ll come back next week to join me for 5 fun, organization-filled days dedicated to your car!
have a great weekend!

comments +

  1. I love this post! Thank you for the cleaning tips! A few months I too bought my first "gown-up" purse and I have a small pen mark on the top…going to try your soap method to try and remove it. I just bought my 2nd grown up purse (for myself for Mother's day – I hope it arrives in time!) as I figured I now needed a summer bag…so excited! Love the organization!

    • Hi crissy! Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving the sweet comment! I would suggest trying the dawn dish soap on your own ink pen mark. It completely came out from the inside of my bag. Let me know how it works out! The soap is so gentle and mild. Oooooo, a second grown up purse? Lucky girl!!!! πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for stopping by,
      Samantha πŸ™‚

  2. Eva says:

    I was excited to see the purse cleaning tips but I'm SUPER excited about the car organization tips. As an SUV owner, I'm always looking for ways to get the most out of the car. Have a fab weekend!

    • Eva, you are so sweet! Let me know what you think about the car organization series. We are on day 1 and I already am realizing I have so many more ideas to share when it comes to getting organized in the car πŸ™‚

  3. Nadia says:

    loved that post! May I ask what is the name of the coach purse? love it!!!

    • Thank you, Nadia!!!

      Ok, now I'm stumped!!! I only bought the purse one year ago, but when I looked at the coach site it's not there. I think the bag was from their Chelsea collection. And if you are in the market for a coach bag, I have a coupon for you!!!!

      Lemme know doll and I'll send the coupon your way πŸ™‚

      Sam πŸ™‚

    • Nadia says:

      You are so sweet! Of course you would have a coupon!! Otherwise let me know when you are sick of your purse!! πŸ˜‰ P.S. I also love your wallet, your makeup puch nd your sunnies case!!!

  4. Anna says:

    Great organization! I love a clean and organized purse!


    • Hi Anna! Thank you so much for stopping by – I appreciate it very much! I love anything clean and organized, but especially a purse πŸ™‚

      Samantha πŸ™‚

  5. karen says:

    Thanks for sharing a what's in my purse along with your post…I think those are fun:)

  6. I love looking inside other women's purses! It's kind of like looking inside someone's home to see how they decorate!

    I cleaned out my purse today, too, as well as my diaper bag. I like how you organize yours; it gives me some ideas! Thanks!

  7. I dumped my purse and cleaned the inside but it never occured to me to wipe off the outside. Perhaps I'll do that. I love the random objects in your purse. The sticky notes are a great idea!

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