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Spring Cleaning for Your Purse

Large Black with Silver Purse Organizer

Spring has finally sprung and the world takes a collective sigh as the final traces of winter begin to fade. Most of us are opening the windows, turning on our Spotify, and getting to work on some household spring cleaning. However, if you’re not quite ready for that (the warm weather hasn’t fully set in yet), we recommend you begin spring cleaning and organizing something you use every day: your purse!

In today’s busy world, we too often use our handbags as a catch-all collecting candy wrappers, unneeded receipts, and loose change. If your bag could use some spring cleaning TLC, here are six steps to help you rejuvenate your organization:

1. Start with a clean slate.

We recommend starting by emptying your entire bag. Take everything out, shake out loose crumbs, change, and wrappers over the garbage can, not forgetting to open and unzip all compartments! Next, take a damp cloth and wipe out the interior and exterior of your bag. If you have some fabric refresher, give it a light spray – Chanel No. 5 works great, too! Hopefully during this process, you’ll find that ring you thought you lost or even a surprise $20!

2. Consider your handbag options.

Is the bag you’re cleaning out too worn to use anymore? Does it need repaired or dry cleaned? Is it out of season and not following current colors or trends? Is it time to retire this bag and get something new? These are all things to consider when you’ve emptied out the contents and wiped it down. Spring is a great time to revamp your wardrobe, so it might be time to treat yourself to a new bag, maybe even that Birkin you’ve had your eye on – alright, that’s a bit of a stretch and a dream for most of the world, but you get the point.

3. Sort it out.

Once you have emptied out your bag and selected which handbag you are going to use, it’s time to begin organizing! Sort your items into piles:

  • Use every day: i.e. credit cards, wallet, lipstick, parking pass
  • Use once a week/month: i.e. car wash tickets, store loyalty cards, friend’s spare key
  • Never use: old grocery lists, spare diaper that has been outgrown, children’s socks

Out of your piles, what can you throw away, store elsewhere, or use in your everyday handbag?

4. De-winterize your purse.

Now that winter is over (hooray!), what can you take out of your purse and store? We’re talking cold medicine, hats and gloves, hot hands – you name it! Once you have purged your winter supplies away, begin thinking about what you will need for spring. Right off the bat, we recommend sunscreen and a new stock of tissues and Allegra for allergy season.

5. Change up your makeup.

Not only do we change our accessories and wardrobes for spring, but we also change up our makeup. Time to shelve those dark, gloomy colors and buy some new, bright ones for spring! To see the hottest color trends for spring, check out Pantone’s Spring 2015 Color Lineup – we especially love the color of the year, Marsala!

Once you’ve decided what to do away with for spring, decide what needs to be thrown out due to out-of-season colors or damage. By the time you’ll need it for the next season, it will more than likely be expired anyway.

6. Invest in a Purse Perfector.

Even the most organized of people find they can get disorganized at times. Let a Purse Perfector help keep your handbag organized at all times! We have several colors and sizes to choose from. Check out our shopping page to see which one is right for you!

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The Perfect Weekender Bag

Getting away, even if just for a few days, is so important for you soul if not your sanity. Having the perfect weekender bag stashed in your closet makes packing for your trip a breeze.

To help you choose the right one for you, here’s a list of some of the nicest weekender’s we’ve found on the internet:

The Catalina from L&S. This weekender has a zippered closed bottom pocket, it’s machine washable, and boy does it hold quite a bit! If you go to the website, you can watch a video of how much you can actually pack into one of these bags. When your trip is over, this folds down for easy storage. catalina-front-thistle-1200x900 (1)

Blue Claw Company’s Ezeiza weekender is made in the US. It’s waxed cotton and leather straps makes this a durable choice for someone looking to make a one and done purchase. Removable shoulder straps and an outside pocket make this bag both stylish and versatile. blue claw

Tumi’s Voyageur Expandable Duffel is the perfect choice is you plan on shopping while you’re away. When you head out, pack this with the expander zipped closed. Even if you don’t buy anything to bring home, doesn’t it always seem that your clothes have doubled in volume while you were away? This bag is a great choice if you don’t want to battle with getting your clothes packed. With the expandable feature, you’ll be able to make everything fit with ease. This bag is made of nylon, and has two cell phone pockets on the outside. tumi

Fashion meets function in our last choice. If you must have both, then this may be a good choice for you. Sakroots Artist Circle X-large duffel bag comes in numerous gorgeous colors. This bag is a coated canvas with exterior magnetic closed pockets and a large center compartment.sakroot

Do you have a favorite go-to weekender that you just can’t do without? If you do, please leave us a comment and we’ll add your bag to our post.

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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

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

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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It’s GO month!

GO-MONTH-300x211January is always a great month — so much for each of us to look forward to over the next year. In addition, each January, the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), celebrates GO month: Get Organized! Many of us make the same resolutions each December: We’re going to lose weight, get our finances under control and we’re finally going to get organized.  Being organized, though, is a continuous process with no real end date. Organizing your closet today means you need to continue to follow certain practices in order for it to remain organized tomorrow. Here’s some things to consider on your journey this year.

Review

An important start  to begin your journey is to look at your purchases. Out with the old before in the new will really help you to put an easy stop to clutter before it moves in with you and brings it’s friends along for the ride. If you buy a new pair of gym shoes, consider relegating your old pair to the garage for messy yard projects. Did you buy new towels? Donate your old ones. A simple way to make this process easy is to use a pretty basket or bin. Place it in a strategic place in your home. As you go through each day, try to find one or more things to toss into the basket. These are things you’re going to donate. If you’re diligent, you’ll be able to fill up your basket each week. This seemingly slow way to eliminate items will surprise you in how quickly you’ll actually be able to eliminate real clutter in your home.

Schedule

Schedule a day once a week, or even once a month. Set aside three to four hours. Take the time to tackle a problem drawer or storage area. You know what we’re talking about… the one you try to ignore as you open, grab and then shove closed? Yes, that one. We’re sure you have more than one of these in your home. Maybe in your kitchen, your bathroom, your bedroom or your office? Perhaps all of the above. That’s okay. All of us has a junk drawer (or three). By purposefully allocating time, you’ll begin to take care of these problem areas. Throwing away things that haven’t seen the light of day in years, and that you don’t know what are used for anyway, will make you feel wonderful. We’re sure you’ll also find hidden treasures or memories. Think of a better way to keep these items rather than tossing them into a drawer.

Create

Create a yearly memory box. This can be both a physical box and an electronic box. Remember when you were a teenager and kept all of your most precious things in a shoe box on the top shelf of your closet? Finding it when you moved away from your childhood home brought back a flood of good and awkward memories. But you wouldn’t, and didn’t, throw away that box ever. Create a box each year with mementos, cards, letters, photos, etc. from the year before. Buy a pretty box this January, and place it somewhere where you can see it. As your year unfolds, tuck things into the box. Things you’ll hope to not forget. You might even want to keep a stack of index cards nearby or inside the box so that you can jot down memories not captured anywhere other than in your mind. If you have children, make this a group project — let them decorate the box and help decide what goes inside. Next January, you can store this box wherever you’d like: put it on a shelf in a closet to later discover or create a shelf on your family bookshelf to store boxes neatly stacked to be pulled out whenever you need a moment of escape.

Create the same thing digitally — take time, again scheduled time, to look through all of the photos you took last year. Delete the ones that are blurry, or not something you’d like to keep. Create a folder for 2014, and place the photos there. Move other important documents, etc. from 2014 to that folder to keep handy in one place. For 2015, create a new folder. As you go through the year, when something comes up that you know you’ll want to keep, move it to the 2015 folder. Be sure to name things in such a way that they’ll make sense to you.

Simple, but purpose driven steps throughout your 2015, will help you to be more organized in this new year. Share your tips, and advice, with our readers below.

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Let us help you get organized in 2015

2015-300x115To get 2015 off to a great start, why not begin with something small, but effective? In fact, we believe that if you organize your handbag, you’ll be taking a huge step towards getting your life organized.

The simplicity and ease of an organized handbag is nothing to be trivialized. How many of you ladies knew you put something important in your handbag, but when you went to pull it out at the needed time, it was no where to be found?

We’ll give you 15% off a Purse Perfector with code 15SPECIAL at checkout . With our help, there’s no excuse to have a messy handbag.

Cheers,

Lyn

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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.

Gifts

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.

Cards

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.

Entertaining

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.

Cheers,
Lyn

 

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We have so much to be thankful for!

As we quickly enter the 2014 Holiday Season, we have so much to be thankful for. We hope that you do as well.

Big Savings on our Large Purse Perfector

large-category-banner13To get you in the festive, and organized mood, we’re having a big holiday sale. Now through December 7, 2014, you can get two large Purse Perfectors for $90 — that’s a savings of over 25% off the regular price. Would you like to take advantage of this offer? Enter promo code TWOFER at checkout, and it’s yours!

As a leader in handbag organization tools, we’re pleased to have been able to help so many women end handbag chaos. There’s no need to spend precious time digging in your handbag when the perfect solution is available.

Small Business Saturday

SBS_EPOP_BadgeWe’re proud to participate in Small Business Saturday again this year. This Saturday, November 29, will mark the fourth annual Small Business Saturday.

The perks of doing your holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday far outweigh those of Black Friday. Crowds should be more manageable and you can get some really great deals. And there’s a big bonus–you’ll be supporting your community in style.

When you shop small, it can lead to big things. The shop small movement makes an impact on small businesses and neighborhoods across the country. When you register your American Express card, spend $10 at a participating small business on November 29, you’ll get $10 back, up to THREE times. So why wouldn’t you shot this day? It just makes sense for you and the impact on small businesses is important.

Not only will you avoid the insane crowds of Black Friday, but shopping on November 29 gives you a chance to find that one of a kind gift that’s not sold at mass retailers. We’re proud to be a woman owned small business, and we’re excited to be a part of this years event. (And remember you can use promo code TWOFER at the same time.) Be sure to register your card today, learn how this works, and then see which small business are participating.

Free Shipping

If you’re just in the need of one Purse Perfector or prefer to purchase the medium size for gifts, that’s great! We’d like to offer you free shipping on your purchase. Use promo code SHIPFREE at checkout.

With so many great things going on in the next few weeks, we hope you’ll take advantage of one or more of these offers. We’d like to thank each of you for being our customer!

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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.

coach-purse

 

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.

handbag-3

 

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. 
kate-spade
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! 
frye
Rafe – Celia Large Satin Triangle Clutch Bag ($250)
Turns head when heading out on the town with this sweet clutch
rafe
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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Use Google Calendar to Simplify Your Life

google-calendar-final1Keeping track of your own calendar can sometimes seem a daunting task. Having to also keep track of your husband’s, your kid’s, your grand kid’s, etc. can seem almost impossible — or at a minimum something that will surely give you a headache.

If you have a smartphone and a Gmail account, and you’re not also using Google Calendar, I challenge you to give it a try.

Basic Calendar Features

Start off by adding events to your calendar to keep track of your own appointments, tasks, outings, birthday’s, days off, etc. — I add events for anything that I would write into a paper planner. By doing this, I don’t need to remember to carry my paper planner with me (unless I’m attending a meeting). Wherever I am, I can quickly glance at my calendar on my phone to check my future availability, and I can add new appointments/events to my calendar directly from my phone.

To add an event to your calendar, click the date and time. A popup window will appear where you can add whatever details you’d like to include. You can be as basic or as elaborate as you’d like. You can also set an event to repeat. Do you pick you son up from tennis every Thursday after practice? You can set this as a repeating event. You can use this same feature for birthday’s and anniversaries you want to remember. When you create events, be sure to set a reminder — I use 30 minutes as a reminder for appointments, but one week for an out -of-town birthday which give me time to pick up a card and mail it to arrive before their birthday.

You can also invite people to your calendar events, and they can invite you to theirs. You can invite your husband to a party you both need to attend this weekend. You can invite him, and then pass off additional information such as: ‘I can’t pick up John from tennis on x date. Please be sure you arrive to pick him up by 6 p.m.”

Use your calendar to share the little snippets that you would share in a verbal conversation. I’m not suggesting you should replace talking to your husband or significant other, still share things with them, but also confirm the information through the calendar. This way, there’s not any room for someone not being where they need to be. We’ve all done it. Blissfully doing something when suddenly our phone rings or we jump up realizing we’re supposed to be somewhere else at that precise moment.

Share your Calendar

In order to invite others to your events, they don’t have to be using a Google Calendar. But, if they are, in addition to inviting others to your events to keep them informed or involved, you can also share your calendar with them. With a simple click, they’ll be able to view your calendar (you can choose which events you want to share — I prefer to share it all, that way there’s no chance of being double booked).

In order to view a calendar that’s been shared with you, you’ll need to select it from sidebar under the area which says “My calendars”. Click the small arrow next to that, and any of your calendar’s or ones shared with you will appear. This is also where you can create separate calendars if you’d like to color code your own evens/activities. You can create separate calendar for work activities versus personal ones. By assigning a color to each calendar, you can make your electronic calendar color coded just like you might do with your paper planner/calendar.

This is also the same area where you can share your calendar with others.  (For privacy issues – don’t make your calendars public – if you’re going to share them, share them only with specific people.)

Here’s an example:

 Calendar-e1410537241728

The different colors on here are for different calendars. You can quickly see by looking at the calendar, and the color, who is where when.

 

Use Tasks to Organize your “To Do List”

tasksAnother neat feature in Google Calendar is the ability to create tasks. These can be found on the right hand side of the calendar. You can use them to remind you to do every day tasks or to remind you do pay bills, purchase gifts, etc. Whatever you would include on a paper list, you can create a task for. You can add due dates, reminders, notes, etc. The nice thing is when you check them off your task list, they get a nice big line through them. Talk about satisfaction!

Using Google Calendar is just like using any calendar – either paper or electronic. It’s a trial and error process to determine which features work best you and which ones don’t.

If you have tips on how to use an electronic calendar which isn’t covered here, please be sure to post them in the comments section.

 

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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