6 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Purse

6 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Purse

Expert tips to help you start the season with an organized bag.


For most of us, “spring cleaning” means getting our houses back in order after the cooped-up chaos of winter. If you’re not quite ready to wash your windows or swap out your cold-weather wardrobe, however, now might be the perfect time to spring clean the home away from home you carry with you every day: your purse. If your bag has gotten out of control, here are six steps to whip it into shape for the new season.

1. Start with a blank slate. First things first, empty your entire bag. Take out all the contents, shake out the crumbs and loose change, and give both the interior and exterior a wipe so you’re starting fresh. Maybe you’ll find something you thought you’d lost, or something you didn’t know you had. (Surprise $20 bills are my favorite.)

2. Consider your options. Now’s a good time to decide whether this is the purse you want to use for spring or if you’re up for something new. “Think about whether your bag is light enough in weight to work with your spring clothing,” advises Angela Kantarellis, a professional organizer based in New York City. If you love your bag and decide you want it to make the transition to the next season, take this opportunity to make sure it’s still in good condition, both inside and out, Kantarellis notes.

3. Sort it all out. Once you have your purse’s contents lying in front of you, sort like items into piles. “Purge duplicates and anything you no longer need or love,” says Kantarellis. Her general re-organizing advice is to “lighten the load” by getting rid of what’s unnecessary. If you find you’ve been carrying around a lot of things that you can’t or don’t use -- old grocery lists, a spare diaper one size too small, a pair of children’s socks -- you might make this sort-and-purge step a monthly chore instead of a quarterly one.

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4. De-winterize your supplies. What can you take out of your purse now that winter is (almost) over? Look at everything from cold medicine to cold-weather accessories like hats and gloves. Start thinking about what you need for spring, including sunscreen and a new stock of tissues for allergy season.

5. Switch up your makeup. Whether you swap out your winter makeup for fresh products in spring colors, definitely take the time to check the condition of your supplies. Throw out anything that looks damaged or smells off. Check the expiration dates on your products and know when it’s time to throw makeup away.

6. Pouches make perfect. “Before putting things back into your bag, take like items and put them into pretty pouches and cases,” says Kantarellis. “Corral your lipsticks, mascara, and hand moisturizer in a cosmetics bag, your pens in a small pouch.” Having smaller pouches within a larger purse helps keep things organized for longer stretches, so use as many pouches as you need: one for beauty products, one for emergency supplies, one for kid stuff, one for snacks, one for tech and tech accessories, etc.

Kantarellis also recommends taking special care in storing items you use often, like your phone or your keys: “Avoid rummaging through your bag by choosing a regular spot for [these items], so that you always know where to reach!”

What tips do you have for spring cleaning your purse?

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