-the key to traveling light is to not need very much-

Does anyone else do this? Whenever I change purses, I only transfer the items that I really want to carry: my wallet, some pens, gum if I have it, maybe some lotion or a pad of paper, an emergency snack. That’s it really. Everything else stays in the neglected purse (to be put away later.)  I don’t like to carry a lot of stuff around with me.

Yesterday I felt like switching purses, but then I got to thinking: I never did finish cleaning out the red purse from the time before this. I really shouldn’t switch again before taking care of that.

You know what I left in the red purse? This amuses me.

-3 pens, 2 pencils, 1 sharpie
–  1 fingernail file
– a checkbook
– the quick start guide to my wireless mouse
– 18 receipts
– instructions to crochet a scrubbie
– pad of paper
– 3 used shopping lists
– small pair of scissors
–  a wrapped spoon from Wendy’s
– unopened pack of peanut butter crackers
– 2 bottles of lotion
– picture of roger’s parents
–  stack of deposit slips
– a gift I need to mail to my friend
– unopened package of almonds
– scratch n sniff bookmark (strawberry)
–  small calculator
– Wesley’s mp3 player
– extra strength tylenol
– butterfly necklace
– old library “receipt”
– 2 tootsie roll pops (gross)
– Burt’s Bees pomegranate chapstick
– 3 flavored tootsie rolls (yum!)
– a fortune cookie fortune “If you are still hungry, have another cookie.”
– fun size pack of M&Ms
– piece of decorated paper with 2 quarters taped to it (this was a present from a sweet little girl)
– blue flowered hair clip
– unidentified piece of hard green candy
– 5 stray almonds
–  8 pieces of trash
– a BP scratch off loyalty card that we forgot to use
– and the contents of our old van’s glove compartment

It’s a really big purse.

I think this may be the reason that I switch purses as often as I do. It gives me a reason to purge; to declutter. It’s a grand and wonderful feeling to start over on a smaller scale; with just the bare necessities.

This morning, as Malin was walking out the door, with her loaded backpack literally coming apart at the seams, she said to me, “Mom, when I get home, remind me to switch backpacks.” I said, “Okay. You’re ready to use your other one that isn’t ripped?”  (This is the logical train of thought, right? The girl has a perfectly good backpack but she’s so sentimental that she can’t stand to give up the first one we ever bought her.) I don’t know if her answer was “like mother, like daughter” or “typical female,” but this is what she said:

“No, it’s not that. Just…. this one is too heavy.”

I think I see what’s coming….. Put all the necessary stuff in the good backpack…. leave all the junk in the old one…. the story is a little too familiar…


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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7 Responses to -the key to traveling light is to not need very much-

  1. Shaina N says:

    Hahahaha… Yes, I am the same way. I went through a purse that I hadn’t carried in over a year and found two camera cards (the SD ones?) NO idea what’s on them. I’m pitiful about never cleaning out my purses! And I also have really, really big ones!


    • ten4ruthie says:

      I have a blanket bag in my basement where I keep “old” purses. One time when I got one out of there I found a $50 bill in it. That was really cool. One nice thing about carrying a big purse is that it can double as a diaper bag… sometimes.


  2. Ginny says:

    I am nodding here. I just got a new wallet and changed purses. My poor neglected old purse and wallet–I feel sorry for their half filled selves. Maybe I should go and clean them out. 🙂 Boys can have this problem, too. Joel still has his old backpack that is never completely cleaned out, and Abram’s backpack is filled to the brim and weighs a ton.


  3. Marcus says:

    Ruthie, you would like this guy’s pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasontravis/

    He takes a picture of a person and then a picture of everything that they have in their purse or bag. It’s rather interesting. 🙂


  4. Marcus says:

    Oh, it’s the persona series. (Direct link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasontravis/sets/72157603258446753/)


  5. christina says:

    I seriously sometimes feel like we are the same person!


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