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In Search of the Elusive Pen

I keep hearing the same complaint over and over like scenes from the movie “Groundhog Day.”

It goes like this: “Why is it that every time I need a pen I can’t find one? My purse seems like a black hole for pens of all shapes and colors. They seem to disappear like socks in the dryer.”

You might ask why we even need pens since so many transactions are electronic nowadays. In defense of the pen, it has not outgrown its use. We still sign checks and whipping out a pen is still the quickest way to jot down info from voice mail messages.

One pen lover confided, “I tried using a case for my pens. It sunk to the bottom of my purse, buried by all the larger necessities of life. Even my fancy Mount Blanc got eclipsed by a sun glass case and checkbook.”

Friends have told me they constantly face this challenge. Some have pen horror stories, like the time a pen exploded all over the lining of my friend’s new Hilde Pallidino bag from Europe. She entered a deep depression.

So is there a solution? Of course. Use Purse Perfector. It has a special slot just for pens that keeps them upright and at reach at all times. I promise the pens won’t fall out unless you are upside down on a roller coaster with an open purse. That seems rather unlikely.

And if the pen leaks or explodes? No worries. Purse Perfector is washable and quickly line-dries.

As we approach National Ball Point Pen Day on June 10, I invite everyone to join me in unabashed love for the pen. Like newspapers and cable TV, I am just not ready to let go. Allow Purse Perfector to keep a secure hold on your pens for you.

Senior lady writingHalf M Black:Berry


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Macy’s Merchandise Expert Reveals Spring Handbag “Must-Haves”

It’s spring, time for reorganizing, cleaning and downsizing. That means an opportunity to part with those big, clunky winter bags that stored extra shoes, gloves and scarves, and transition to the latest trends for the season.

According to Devon Bitzer, executive My Stylist @ Macy’s, there are three “must haves” for spring 2016:

  1. The Mini Bag. They come in an array of dazzling colors and light weight designer brands perfect for work as well as casual outings.
  2. The Drawstring Bag. It has made a come-back! These bags are available in various sizes and shapes. The photo below shows a Fossil Jules Fringe Drawstring Bag.
  3. The Novelty Bag. Don’t be surprised to see the newest going-out bags in the shape of food or emblazoned with emoji’s on the outside. They are fun and whimsical.

Devon, whose career path started as a buyer and veered toward perfecting the personal shopping experience, recently toured the Macy’s handbag section with Purse Perfector Founder Lyn Marsteller. They started with a yellow Michael Kors XS Crossbody mini bag called the Ava Bag shown below. Lyn demonstrated how to easily divide a medium Purse Perfector in half for a small bag and voila! It fit inside like a glove. That’s when Devon got a revelation. “The Purse Perfector actually helps you decide what you really need to carry in your bag. My new motto is, ‘if it doesn’t have a place to go in the Purse Perfector, you probably don’t need it.’”

What about the drawstring bag? Can the Purse Perfector fit as snuggly with that purse’s structure? “I was impressed with the material that the Purse Perfector is made of,” says Devon. “It molds to the shape of the drawstring bags beautifully.”

“It’s nice to know that you can unzip a Purse Perfector and place it in any purse,” concluded Devon. “I just love the convenience it brings to me and to my clients.”


Kate Spade Ice Cream Francis Bag, retails for $198 (left)

Fossil Jules Fringe Drawstring Bag, retails for $148 (middle)

Michael Kors XS Ava Crossbody Mini Bag, retails for $178 (right)

Purse Perfector fits beautifully in the stylish yellow Michael Kors Ava Mini Bag

Purse Perfector

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Changing Seasons and Purse Organization

It’s the time of the year when we clear our closets, swapping summer clothes, sandals and straw and light handbags for sweaters, layers, boots, and leather and suede purses. We wanted to share some tips from our colleagues at the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) in order to simplify the closet change and how to have your Purse Perfector purse organizer ready to move from a slouchy hobo to a divided handbag to a snazzy leather clutch.


When hanging your winter clothes in your closet, turn the hook of the hanger backwards on the rod. After you wear that item, turn the hanger hook around. At the end of the season, you will be easily able to see what clothes you haven’t worn and should consign, donate or give to a friend.

Shoes and boots

If your suede boots or shoes have water spots or stains, get a suede brush (looks like a kitchen sponge with a soft and a scrubbing side) or sponge to softly rub the stains away. You can find these essential tools at your local shoe repair shop or the accessories area of a department or shoe store. After you have cleaned them or before you wear any new shoes, spray a little suede protector over the shoes to help resist spots.

Purse Organization

Start by taking your Purse Perfector insert out of your summer bag and literally clean the inside and outside of those bags. Determine if your collection of summer bags, totes and purses are worthy of another season with you. Pad the inside of each bag with crumpled tissue paper or clear plastic dry cleaner bags, using more tissue or bags between the bags and place in a storage box which can fit in your closet, cupboard or under your bed.

Now would be a good time to empty your Purse Perfector, clean out the tissue crumbs, errant mints, etc. and either spot clean or place in a laundry bag and toss in your washing machine on gentle. Air dry. Reload.

Since my winter handbags tend to be heavier than my summer purses, I take out my folding fan and a small tube of sunscreen and any other warm weather items. I also switch lipstick and gloss colors, but much of the rest stays the same.

Now that I have my Purse Perfector perfectly organized and my winter purses are ready to be used, I want to be sure to see all my bags so I can easily slip my Purse Perfector into any bag within seconds and be ready to go. Using 3M plastic hooks, I hang several of my purses on unused wall space in our closet. When I want to use one of those purses, I have a hook to bring them down and I’m ready to go.

Changing Seasons and Purse Organization

If I want to use a smaller handbag or a clutch, I simply unzip the two sections of my Purse Perfector™, rearrange a few items, use a small wallet and just use the short section to keep everything at my fingertips and in predictable order.


Half M Black:Berry

Purse Organization - Large Navy with Silver Sage partially unzipped
Purse Organization – Large Navy with Silver Sage partially unzipped


Need to reorganize your purse for the new season? Check out our purse organizers!

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Organize your documents

At this time of year, whether or not you organized last years paperwork will either be a big help to you or a big hindrance. If you did a great job of organizing your home and life, but a terrible job at organizing your financial paperwork, then we’d like to help you change that in 2015.

We’re not suggesting binders or shoe boxes,  instead, we’re looking at different services and software applications that are designed to make the process of keeping track of all of those slips of paper easier. By being software savvy and utilizing one of these programs, not only will you have organized papers with minimal effort, but you will be the envy of both your friends and family.


shoeboxed-300x83This super efficient app and back-end program on your home laptop/pc might be the 2nd best thing since sliced bread. The app lets you track receipts on-the-go as well as giving you the ability to track your mileage. The smart phone app is free.

If you want to use Shoeboxed to keep track of all of your receipts, bill, business cards, etc., you can also sign up for an account online. There’s several options available: A free account will allow you to have five receipts processed each month — or you can manually enter as many as you’d like. If that just sounds like too much work, then you might want to consider a lite or classic account (both with monthly fees). With lite, you can actually stuff an envelope of your own, mail it to Shoeboxed and they’ll process the receipts, documents, etc. for you (up to 50 documents a month), or with classic, you’ll receive a pre-paid envelope which you can stuff with any documents you’d like scanned, and they’ll take care of it for you.

The online version of this also offers integration with your G-mail account to capture receipts. As mentioned earlier, the app for your phone is free. If you’re also interested in trying the expanded services available with one of the subscription based online versions, be sure to search for a coupon code as there are some out there that will save you money.

eDoc Organizer

edoc_logo_printThis document management software is toted as an easy to use solution where you store your documents in a cloud. You can access your documents from your phone, app, or on your laptop/pc.

eDoc Organizer uses labels instead of folders so you can assign multiple categories to a document instead of only one. This means that each document can be found under multiple categories, and each category can be combined with others to help find documents quickly. The program uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to make items very easy to find when searching for them. You can even specify various options that can help automate processes based on which folder the documents are imported from.

This program has a monthly fee starting at $10 with increases depending on the options you select.


paperless-appicon-hrPaperless allows you to keep up and maintain the task of organizing all your receipts and documents, simply and easily, just like it should be.

Paperless for Mac and Paperless for Windows reduces your need to keep paper documents of any kind. Simply scan your receipts, bills, statements, warranty cards, business cards – any type of paper and the OCR function of Paperless recognizes the data and adds it to the Details Window. Make more notes, assign categories – all the tools you need for a neat and clean digital filing system is all right there in Paperless.

With Paperless, you can create a database for everything – financial to medical to those product manuals for all your tools hanging in your basement. Oh and, yeah, the fun stuff, like your 2nd grader’s pictures and all the other cool stuff she brings home from school. Store and organize it all, safe and secure.

Paperless offers two versions – the regular version and Paperless Lite. Paperless Lite is designed to provide simple digital receipt management, where you can create and store a digital version of just your receipts. With Paperless Lite, you can scan your receipts and create Smart Collections for easy organization and retrieval. Paperless Lite has the same OCR functionality of the full version so the more you scan, the more Paperless Lite will automatically fill in details. You can make notes, email, and print out the digital copy of your scanned receipts too. 

Paperless (both the regular and lite) are downloaded programs that you house on your laptop/mac/pc. There is no smart phone interface. The cost begins at $19.95 and increases depending on option chosen.

Scanner Applications

Most of these programs or applications require the use of a scanner to create PDFs.  You can find scanner apps available for your phone such as Genius Scan or TurboScan.

Make this the year that you get paper clutter under control.


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Your 2014 Holiday in Review

Phew. The madness, the wonder, the rush, the fun — everything that makes us love, and hate, the past month, is past us for another 365ish days. Now is the perfect time to look back, figure out what worked, what didn’t and get organized, and prepared, for next December. No matter if you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you know it’ll return again in 2015, just like clock work.

What was successful?

Think about your gift list; the gifts you bought; your card list, the list of friends and family you mailed cards to; the parties you threw and the ones you attended. Jot down some notes. If you have lists, look them over — if you don’t, now is a great time to make a few. It’ll be really helpful next year.


By creating a list of who you bought a gift for this year, and what you bought for them, and then tucking the paper into your Purse Perfector, you’ll be able to pull this out throughout the year so that you can remember what gift you gave to which person so that Aunt Jane doesn’t get a new scarf two years in a row. Carrying this list with you year round will help you when it comes to buying a birthday gift for the same person. Let’s say you bought Aunt Jane a scarf for Christmas, if you have this written down, when her birthday comes around in February, you could get her a hat and some gloves that match the scarf.

Is there someone you regret not giving a gift to? and is there someone who you might not wish to purchase a gift for going forward? These are great things to make notes of on your gift purchasing list. As the year progresses, occasionally pull your list out, make any needed updates as well as jotting down the items you’ve purchased.


Here’s a chance to really look at this list when you’re not just trying to get them into the mail on time. Did you forget someone this year?  If you did, add them now. Same for any deletions you’d like to make. Tidy this list up and next year, you’ll be the first to send out cards and check this item of your holiday “to do” list!

Holiday Decorations

As you prepare to put your holiday decorations away, take a look at them carefully. Are they in need of any cosmetic repair? Have they outlived their life? Are there things you store every year that you don’t use anymore? I know you just want to put things away, and forget about them with the :shove it all in and worry about it later philosophy’, but if you sort tired, worn and just not used things before you store them away, you’ll thank yourself next year. Make this one a priority or  otherwise next year, you’ll just push these things aside once again as you pull out your favorite and best decorations. (Before the years end, donate these items to a local charity and you’ll be able to use this donation as a charitable contribution on your taxes for 2014.)

Do you need more of something — ornaments, pine cones, wrapping paper, ribbons, boxes, etc.? If you do, now is the perfect time to purchase these items. After the holiday’s, as you know, stores mark these seasonal items down significantly. You’ll be able to save money by buying now, and you’ll be better organized and prepared as you enter into the 2015 holiday season. Here’s a quick tip: stores mark down tissue paper as well. Stock up on neutral colors, such as white, and you’ll be set for using these with gift bags and presents the whole year ahead.


Review the parties you attended and the ones you hosted. Were there things at either that really made the occasion special or unique? Again, jot down some notes and put this information with your holiday decoration to be stored. Put it right on top. When late November rolls around in 2015, and you get ready to decorate again, finding this note will remind you of how clever you are, and were, for getting organized for next year this year.

If you have favorite recipes that you only use during the Holiday’s, why not tuck those into the decorations box as well?

End the year with a bang!

Doing the above items, if broken down into individual tasks, will just require an hour or two at most for each one. What you will gain from spending this time now will not really be discovered until next year when you begin decorating and planning for your 2015 Holiday Season. Being able to pull out lists you’ve been referring to all year; knowing all of your decorations are organized and usable; and having a head start on gift and card lists; will help to make 2015 not only merry and bright, but peaceful as well.



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Gorgeous Handbags for Fall and Winter

When the leaves begin to turn and when pumpkin is added to everything we eat and drink, then you know it’s time to switch out your handbag for something new. If you haven’t chosen a new handbag for this fall and winter yet, we’ve done some groundwork for you to bring you some beautiful options.

Coach – Mini Stud Edie Shoulder Bag ($1100)

With new designer Stuart Vevers comes new fresh and more forward thinking designs. While there’s still some of the traditional Coach pieces which have been around for a really long time, there’s some gorgeous new handbags that might just make your next must have list. Picking one, might not be possible, but we’re narrowing our choice down to the Mini Studs Edie Shoulder Bag.



Proenza Schouler – PS1 Medium Leather Satchel ($1,695)

This PS1 is iconic Proenza Schouler styling that will be a firm favorite for years to come. This handbag is both beautiful and functional. The main compartment is perfect for keeping your Purse Perfector.



Kate Spade Saturday – The A Satchel ($250)
This lovely handbag is too nice to save just for the weekend. It too is very functional with multiple inside pockets. Do you have a favorite color? Good. Because this handbag is available in ten different colors — one is surely your go to color. 
Frye – Campus Shopper ($398)
You don’t have to be a cowgirl to love this beautiful tote. This will take you, and all of your “stuff”, anywhere you need to go all day and night long in gorgeous style. This is available in five colors. We love how soft and supple Frye’s leather products are to the touch. They’re a joy to carry. Cowgirl boots optional! 
Rafe – Celia Large Satin Triangle Clutch Bag ($250)
Turns head when heading out on the town with this sweet clutch
There’s so many gorgeous handbags to pick from, that it was hard to choose. We’ve listed just a few of our favorites. If you have a favorite handbag your carrying this fall, please share a link in our comments.
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Purse Perfector is a Labor of Love


2014-laborKids of all ages are heading back to school. Notebooks, folders, books and organizers are all being checked off of shopping lists. Maybe today is your day to “head back to school” and put some organization into your own life as well. We’d love to help you get your handbag organized.

As the creator of Purse Perfector, I can share with you that from the first pattern and prototype to the product we now offer, this has been a labor of love for me. I wanted the Purse Perfector to not only be useful and functional, but well-constructed and made to last.

Using the Purse Perfector not only means you can find things quickly in your handbag, but that you can switch your handbag quickly and easily. If you still follow the rule to switch out your handbag after Labor Day, then you’ll love having your own Purse Pefector.

Through September 5, take 15% off your purchase by using code USAMADE at checkout.

Cheers, Lyn

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No Stress Vacation Photos

SLR type camera - wide Depth of FieldIt’s wonderful to have Jody Al-Saigh from Picture Perfect Organizing to be a guest blogger once again for us. Today she’s imparting some great tips on how to enjoy not only your next vacation, but all of the wonderful photos you’ll take while you’re away.

Just like other types of organizing, keeping up with your photos is an ongoing task. I recommend to clients to try to go through photos on a monthly basis. But vacation photos add a whole new element to this process. Sometimes we take hundreds of pictures in just one vacation. That’s when my clients say to me:

“Now what?!”

The good news is, with a little preparation, you can do some of your sorting and organizing as you take your photos, for instance, on a vacation.

Before you travel, label a series of large envelopes or manila folders with the date and location you will be each day/week. This will be a catch-all for any memorabilia you collect along the way – ticket stubs, brochures, postcards.

As you are taking photos at different locations, take a photo of a sign or another descriptive shot so you will know where you are in each photo. This will help you later if you choose to make albums and want to include descriptive captions. It’s also helpful if you visit a lot of places that look similar. Marble statues and ornate cathedrals begin to blur together once you are out of vacation mode!

At the end of the day, keep a journal or log of the day’s events, special people you met, or places you went. This can be in a small notebook you keep in your pocket or the notes app on your smartphone. On this log, you can also keep a running list of people in the pictures alongside the picture number from your camera.

When you get home, if you have prints made, label them immediately, even if you don’t have time to work with them yet. This will save you from stress and headache later – after all isn’t that why you took a vacation in the first place?!

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Ireland Musing this March

Cliffs-of-MohrerLet’s celebrate St. Patrick’s day for a few more days this year, shall we? I’ve extended my offer for 25% until March 23, 2014 with code IRISHEYES.  Click here for available Purse Perfectors.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Ireland’s famed west coast, meandering by car from Shannon airport to the village of Kenmare. After a hearty breakfast (memorably good oatmeal and almost orange yolks in my eggs over-easy), we shared the narrow roads with tour busses in the intermittent showers of “Irish sunshine.” Although we missed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, we did enjoy beautiful vistas and charming characters.

These are a few of my favorite images caught while looking for wool and knitting mills that took us to Dingle peninsula, to the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Mohrer and ending in far-flung Leenane, home to a wonderful wool museum. Did you know that most of the wool sheared from the sheep is cut to help the health of the sheep and that it is exported to China and India for rugs?

And I finally got an answer to questions I’ve pondered in England, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland: what does the blue or red paint color on the sheep mean? Is there a difference in which color is used on which sheep? The fifth-generation owner of Kerry Woolen Mills divulged the big secret: color doesn’t matter. It means that the sheep has been inoculated for disease prevention.  

May all your travels lead you on beautiful paths, to interesting people and to answers to your questions.



P.S. – photos from my trip can be found on Pinterest.

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You Won’t Need to Find a Four Leaf Clover this Year

StPatDayThe luck of the Irish is yours with a little help from all of us at Purse Perfector. Between now and March 17, 2014, use promo code IRISHEYES in order to receive 25% off the list price of our medium or large Purse Perfectors.

Remember as a child how you thought you’d be able to follow a rainbow to its end, and discover that pot of gold? I’m not sure the Purse Perfector will make that dream come true, but I do know it will give you the freedom to have everything you need from your handbag right at your fingertips. That’s worth a twinkle in your eye, and a skip to your step.

“May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, may good luck pursue you each morning and night.”

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

Order now.