Confession: I used to carry a ginormous purse. And by ginormous, I mean positively gargantuan. A few of the things I carried in my purse at the time were a full-size hair brush, a comb, a full-size bottle of hairspray, a huge wallet, my entire makeup bag, feminine hygiene products, a small travel-size kit with all the office essentials like tape, stapler, ruler, etc., and lots more. I finally realized it was too big when my (now ex) husband asked me to put his coat in my purse and it actually fit! It was only a light windbreaker, but still… it shouldn’t have fit in my purse. Hell, it shouldn’t have fit in anyone’s purse.
Back in those days, I wanted to be prepared for anything, and I pretty much was. Trouble was, my shoulders were taking a beating, I had a helluva time moving through crowds without my purse smacking every other person I passed; and to find what I was actually digging for in there… forget about it.
Today, I carry a very small purse. It’s a book purse, so it’s the size of… a book; a thick book, but a book nonetheless.
I understand the desire to carry as few bags as possible. I often carry my purse and at least one other bag (usually a cloth shopping bag of some sort) when I go to work and usually wish I could fit everything into just one bag. Depending what’s in the other bag on any given day, I can sometimes also fit my purse into it. Voila! One bag… Happy dance. However, somedays the other bag is full and I have to carry both it AND my purse. It’s inconvenient for sure. But here’s the thing: I don’t need a large purse/bag any other time. In fact, I absolutely LOVE the freedom that having a small purse brings.
That freedom includes:
I don’t need to carry a mini office and the contents of my vanity wherever I go. (Any more.) Chances are, neither do you. Besides, carrying a bag that’s too large is a great way to cause pain in your shoulders, neck, arms, and upper back… The very same muscles that stress causes pain and tension in. Talk about a double whammy. Ouch!
In case you’re not sure if your purse is too big, here are a few indicators that it might be:
So, whaddaya do if your purse is too big to carry without hurting you? Well, as I see it, you have a few options:
I’ll admit, it took me several years to finally get down to a “normal’ sized purse. Each time I purchased a new purse I’d buy a smaller one than I was currently carrying and then eliminate a few items and downsize a few more. It was easy at first: switch to travel size items, replace the padfolio with a small pad of sticky notes (now I just use the notes function on my phone), and replace the stapler with paperclips.
When I actually started removing things it was harder; I actually jonesed for a few items when I initially took them out. After a few weeks, however, I began to realize how little I’d actually used them and I felt better. I also realized that some things, like my full makeup bag, made me much more self-conscious. Since I had the means to fix the tiniest flaw whenever one appeared, I was constantly looking for flaws. If you ever want to feel extremely self-conscious, look for flaws in your appearance whenever you have a chance. Through trial and error, I found that my oil blotting papers, powder, and lipstick were all I really needed to carry on a day to day basis. (Now, I only carry lip balm)
The things you decide to keep in your purse will undoubtedly vary from those that I kept, as will the size of the bag you ultimately decide to carry. The important thing to remember, is you don’t want this wonderful, useful item we call a purse or handbag to be causing pain or dysfunction in your body.
Now it’s your turn: What’s the largest purse you’ve ever carried? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever carried around in your purse? Tell me about them in the comments below.
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