KonMari Your Purse


Dear Cath

You know how last fall I KonMari Method-ed our flat? Well, that Marie Kondo did not lie about her tidying magic. Our flat still stays tidy most of the time. It doesn’t mean I don’t have to put things away — there always seems to be mail sitting on the coffee table or a lone sock sqiuggling its way free of the laundry basket. But the difference is that now there is a place for it all to be put away. And it feels so satisfying! That leads me to this KonMari suggestion:


I was so resistant to this idea when I first read her book. I thought, “Marie, I’m with you on the getting rid of stuff and the tidying and the empathizing with your socks, but I draw the line at emptying out my purse every night!” My logic was that I need the same stuff in my purse almost every single day: wallet, lippie, tissues, phone, etc. That never changes so why should I just move that stuff around from one spot to another. That just sounded like one more thing I had to do every night after a long day at work.

But even with all my reasoning, I caved and listened to Marie because she was so right about everything else (my socks feel so happy now — I know it!). But I still felt a little grumpy about the whole thing. Come home, hang up coat, and unpack purse.

But the thing is, she was right. I didn’t realise how much extra stuff I accumulated in my purse day-to-day. Even though I’ve always carried a big purse, I always told myself I knew what was in there. Lies, lies! There are those extra bobby pins hiding in the inner pocket and those crunched up receipts that provide a nice crinkly cushion to my wallet. And the worst culprit? That junior mint that snuck out of its box at the movies and got cozy with the bottom of my purse (and everything else within reach of its deliciously minty gooey centre — curses!).

Now that I empty my purse every night, I never forget things that I need that day (and have never had another junior mint episode). I thought the opposite would happen because I used to like to pack my bag at night so in the morning I wouldn’t have to think about what goes in it. Turns out, thinking about it in the morning is better — I’ve never forgotten anything yet. How does this never-forgetting-magic work? Enter: the purse box:

Kon Mari purse organizing

Because this is the KonMari method, you need a dedicated place to put all your purse items. Marie suggests having a shoe box in your chest-of-drawers or on a shelf. I keep mine next to my sock box in a drawer (yes, a sock box). This felt so weird when I first started doing it, but now I can’t imagine not having a purse box. Here’s what it looks like in said drawer (note tidy method sock-folding still intact after 5 months of beginning KonMari):

Kon Mari purse

You’ll notice that my purse items consist of smaller bags. Cath, I learned that from you! I put extra bits like eyedrops, lipstick, bobby pins and perfume. That makes it so much easier to take things out every night: keeping things together in smaller bags.


I’ve used the silver Claire Vivier pouch that you gave me for years — it’s the perfect size.

Kon Mari AsianCajuns

Oh and this is my new Baggu tote I got a few weeks ago. I love it! Made in the USA with leather sourced in Argentina, it’s like buttah! It’s the perfect size and I don’t actually lose things at the bottom. The straps are the perfect length to swing on your arm without worrying about it catching on your elbow (that should have a name — the elbow swing test).

I know to some people all this tidying sounds extreme, but it has really helped me stay on top of my clutter in my house and in my purse. I feel less frantic living with less clutter. Overall, whenever I follow any of Marie Kondo’s tips, even if they sound silly or extreme at first, I feel much calmer once they are in place and I’ve gotten used to the weirdness of them.

Love you more than Marie Kondo loves reused shoe boxes!


30 thoughts on “KonMari Your Purse”

  1. i love this IDEA.half the time i can’t find anythign in my bag. the other day i realized i didn’t even have my keys in there! i just don’t know that i could empty this every day and keep up with it. your organization amazes me!
    FYI- baggu is from williamsburg!!!

    1. Hi Diane!

      Seriously, I thought this was the weirdest idea, but I just love it now and very rarely does a day go buy without me emptying my purse. Let me know how you get on!

      And I had no idea Baggu was based in Williamsburg! That makes me love them that much more!


  2. I just started emptying out my bag this week! I had tackled the bag category as I continue KonMari’ing (KM-ing) my condo. With all my bags in order, it was fun to set up a “purse box” (love that term! will use it!) and it’s so easy now.

    I love your containers and where you’ve put your box. Mine is on an IKEA shelvng unit near my entryway. maybe I should keep the purse box closer to my purses! (novelty idea?!) I love that your house has remained clear. That’s my goal once I get through this process.

    Here’s what my purse box looks like: https://instagram.com/p/0-T9JsEqGb/?taken-by=sunnygirlsf

    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Lee Ann! Your purse box is beautiful (I’m just using an ole shoe box). My purses are just right around the corner from my chest-of-drawers — and you are so right, that makes it easier having them closer together.


      p.s. I love that you have a sparkly mini-bag in your purse too!

      1. YAY for sparkly mini-bags! Mine’s a cosmetic bag from Target. I can’t get rid of it. It makes me smile! When you were KonMari-ing your home, did you find yourself with extra storage containers? I emptied a big closet out to get access to all my clothes and I put non-clothing items with like items around the condo: photos on a shelf altogether, papers in the office, and I was left with about 50 small-to-large storage containers (cute baskets but also shoe boxes) that I want to draw from as I continue putting items away after each category KMed. Where did you put those containers? Do I just toss them? I love her idea of making do with what you have instead of buying more containers.

        1. I feel like I cheated a bit with this because I started with very little to begin with. After moving to the UK with just two suitcases, I hadn’t amassed much before I started doing the KonMari method. However, I know exactly what you mean about all those containers! I had a ton when I still lived in the states, and I gave most of them away (pre-KonMari). That said, I totally love that part of her method too! Using shoeboxes or baskets that you already have. I did get rid of a few shoeboxes I had been saving after I finished KonMari-ing my whole flat. x Lar

  3. I’ve been really resistant to this idea too, mainly because I’m too lazy to unpack and pack my bag every day and I do take out things I don’t need at the end of the day. But I do unpack my work tote on the weekend and put just the essentials in a smaller purse.

    1. I totally understand the laziness too, Lisa! It’s definitely one of those habit-building things. Now that I’ve done it for four months, I can’t imagine not doing it. I really was very skeptical at the beginning but it makes me feel like I’m properly able to “de-work-ify” once my purse is unpacked.

      Love reading about your KonMari-ing too!

      x Lar

  4. So, so, so inspiring, Lar! Seriously, I need to do some major KM-ing. The crazy thing is I totally get how emptying out your purse everyday works and I want to do that. I don’t know what’s stopping me. Laziness, probably – ha!

    Also, now I’m so tempted to get that baggu bag. Do you ever lose stuff in it because it’s so deep? Also because I’m not KM-ing yet I wonder if I’ll end up just stuffing it full of. . . stuff.

    I’m so impressed that your sock draw is still amazingly so organized after five months. Maybe you can help me do some KM-ing when you move back to the states – that would be the awesomest!

    xoxo Cath

    1. Hi Cath

      I totallly will help you KonMari when I’m home in September! I really think it is such a satisfying process, I kind of wish I could tidy again because of it — but she’s too good. I seriously do NOT have to re-tidy.

      The baggu bag is perfect! I do think that I would lose things in it if it wasn’t for my emptying purse ritual — but that shouldn’t put you off. It’s deep but it isn’t huge, as far as totes go. My one caveat is that it isn’t lined, but the quality of the leather makes up for that. I think baggu is seriously one of my favourite brands — and they are trying to get more of their items made in the USA.

      Can’t wait to KonMari with you!

      x Lar

  5. Emptying my purse at night?! This is MADNESS!!

    Seriously though, my aversion to this idea must speak to its validity. I guess I’ll have to try it. 🙂

  6. I just finished reading The LIfe Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I had the same reaction when it came to unloading my purse every day. In fact, I reacted that way with so many things (denial and refusal), but then I let it sink in a bit and I can’t wait to try it. It certainly can’t get worse than the way I already do (or don’t do) things. Just reading this book was a total mind-blower. Some of this stuff I kind of did intuitively in prep for my move to Edinburgh, but I really can’t wait to take my minimalism to the next level. So freeing! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear that it works well in practice.

    1. Hi Deserae

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment! I’m glad I wasn’t alone in my initial reaction to the things she said — but I totally felt the same way: I loved reading the book. I also had minimised much of my belongings three years ago before moving to Edinburgh. I hope your move goes well!

      x Lar

  7. I read the book last night after hearing about it from you ages ago. the fact that you’re still tidy sold it for me! I love how odd and Japanese she is, I can see my goal clearly now. I want my apartment to be as neat and clean as a Muji store (one of the ones in Japan. their international stores are never quite as tidy!).
    I gave myself a head start by already discarding all the clothes I don’t want last week, but after reading the book I immediately scurried into my bedroom and folded my socks! this led to a bit of a tidying frenzy and I can now say that all my clothes will be very happy and relaxed on their days off now.
    my husband is away for work next week so I’m going to do the rest of the apartment while he’s gone.
    probably going to ignore the whole chapter on books, cause being surrounded by bookshelves makes me feel like I live in a library and that definitely sparks joy. so take that Marie!

    1. Hahaha! I totally agree, Ali — keep those books! I think the most important thing to follow with the KonMari method is to keep things that spark joy. Though I found that terrifically hard when I was going through my clothes — I have a lot of practical items that had no joy for me but I panicked thinking I could do without them.

      Keep us updated on how you get on!


  8. I had a friend who felt about a ceramic collection the way you feel about books. (She’s working her way through the book.) I told her how I love that Marie doesn’t want us to be minimalists. That each of us have a number for an item that we will know is right. whether it’s 100 pairs of shoes or 20. In your case, maybe your number for books is 500 🙂 Also, my friend thought she could bypass her collection outright as she loves them all, but she decided to handle each ceramic item in her collection individually and indeed found some that did not spark joy. So I would nudge you to think about still looking through your book and holding each one to see which ones truly bring you joy. 🙂

    1. Sunny, that’s a really good point for Ali! I did find actually touching each object I owned did change how I felt about things. I do think that sometimes though, not everyone is ready for every part of the KonMari method. I jumped in feet first, but I can totally understand some people feeling reticent. How did you get on with it Sunny?

      x Lar

  9. This is so, so smart. I try to clean out my purse pretty often (where often is every month or two) and I am always amazed at the junk that finds its way in there. I’m going to give this a try 🙂

  10. I am actually implemented this method about a month now and I love it. It allows me to use all my different handbags. I actually end up carrying less because I may not need as much stuff that day as previous day.

    1. I am so glad this is working well for you, Stela! I have had the same result: I end up carrying a lot less than I used to.
      x Lar

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