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A Visit with Lyn

Lyn Marsteller, founder and inventor of Purse Perfector, stopped by Norris Products in Cincinnati to demonstrate how easy it is to use all your bags with Purse Perfector.

Norris Products Corp, the manufacturer of Purse Perfector, is a Cincinnati-based company that specializes in “products for people going places.”

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Tell America About Your Favorite Made-in-USA Product

We are tickled red, white, and blue that ABC News recently kicked off its “Made in America Summer” promotion.

Since launching a news series earlier this spring that focused on American-made products, they heard from thousands of people leading the charge with incredible ideas of must-have, made-in-America products. (Ahem, Purse Perfector, anyone?) Now, ABC plans on coming to see these homegrown inspirations first hand and helping to ignite new ones along the way.

Purse Perfector is proudly made in the USA. We think it’s important to help support our friends and neighbors, and help the US economy as a whole, by having Americans produce and package our high-quality handbag organizers.

If you love your Purse Perfector and want ABC to feature us (or another of your favorite American-made products) on “Made in America Summer,” we hope you’ll take a moment to fill out the submission form here. Perhaps Diane Sawyer will visit Cincinnati and show America how the Purse Perfector has organized her handbag. Come and see what the Great American Purse Organizer looks like, ABC!

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What’s in Your Purse Perfector?

I often have different facets and needs during the day. In fact, it was my attempt to keep everything at my fingertips that led to the creation of the Purse Perfector in 2001.

During a regular day or week, I always have my sunglasses and reading glasses, lipsticks and glosses, nail file, pens, highlighter and Tide-To-Go pen along with my wallet in the tall section of my Purse Perfector.

In the short section, I stash a credit card-size magnifying glass, pressed powder, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, a small supply of sinus pills, soap leaves, mints, two phones, hand cream, a pad of paper and business cards.

In the center pocket, I have shopping lists and coupons, loyalty cards on a key chain, a packet of tissues in a lovely origami-style fabric case, car and house keys, and sometimes, my Kindle. All stashed in the medium or original size Purse Perfector.

An added benefit of “zoning” my items in the Purse Perfector is that I have an opportunity to carry a little bit of art tucked into the center pocket between the two sections of the Purse Perfector.

I was so delighted to find that my Kindle 2 fit so nicely in the center pocket (I learned that from my sister Karen) that I find I grab the Kindle anytime I think I might have to wait for anything. But as you can see in this photo, I’ve added a gel skin to my Kindle that I just love. The design is taken from a Van Gogh painting I liked so much in Amsterdam, that I bought a little plate with the image. So I was delighted to find the GelaSkins Kindle Skin on Amazon for $19.95. It goes on very easily because it uses 3M adhesive just like PostIts, so you can be sure you have placed it correctly. They have other great designs available, too.

A friend who shares my passion for fabric and sewing makes the clever origami tissue holder. Leslie Alexandria is a fiber artist who “sews” fabric collages and taken her original interest in quilting into the realm of art with her great use of color and ability to find and create beautiful fiber art. You can see some of her fiber artwork here.

My last little piece of art is a pretty piece of turquoise that was made into a key chain that was given to me by my friend Jolynda. Rather than relegate it to a drawer with just a couple of keys, I decided to put all my mini-loyalty cards on the keychain. It’s a convenient way to manage all those cards so I can leave them at home when traveling out of the country. I tuck the little stack of cards into the pocket and let the keychain dangle to the side of the zipper, so they are easy to find in any size purse when I’m in the checkout lane of the grocery store.

So what’s in your Purse Perfector that makes your life easier? Please leave a comment and tell us about it.

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8 Tips to Organize Your Home from Rebekah Gould

While attending the 2011 National Association of Professional Organizers conference in San Diego last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Rebekah Gould, a professional organizer who specializes in helping older adults remain clutter-free, safe and independent in their homes. (You can watch her video review of Purse Perfector, recorded at the NAPO conference, here.)

Rebekah brings many skills to her clients in order to help them create a peaceful and organized home. To get you started on organizing your home, here are Rebekah’s top eight tips:

  1. Identify your lifestyle. Purchase only those items that support your lifestyle and you have room to store.
  2. Give a home to all your possessions. Always store like items with like. If you have multiple sets of keys, keep them all in the same place. Store items where you use them for easy accessibility. Return items to their designated homes.
  3. Create a designated space in your entryway or kitchen for keys, eyeglasses, cell phone and wallet. Use a bowl, basket or drawer.
  4. Replace mismatched hangers with matching ones. Arrange clothes by type of apparel (skirts, pants, shirts), and then by color. You will save time and energy by not having to search for what you want to wear.
  5. To add order to your kitchen, hang cooking utensils, pots and pans on the wall, but within easy reach.
  6. Keep recycling container in kitchen; each week recycle unwanted newspapers, magazines, documents, plastic and glass containers.
  7. Neatly store all bed linens, blankets, pillows and towels in one cabinet sorted by color and size.
  8. To manage paperwork, sort all documents and store alphabetically in clearly labeled folders in a file cabinet.

For the past 25 years, Rebekah Gould was an employee of major New York and Connecticut corporations specializing in business organization and event planning. She also worked extensively as a volunteer in social service agencies and community programs that provide services for older adults. Now she runs her own professional organizing business, Organized Aging. Transferring her workplace skills to home organization has given her the opportunity to enable older adults to live clutter-free and remain independent and safe in their own homes for as long as they can.

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This Blogger Is “In Love” … with Her Purse Perfector

We recently gave a Purse Perfector for review to Karen Eborall, a busy mom of two who blogs about her thoughts and opinions at Little World After All. It’s always interesting to hear how our handbag organizers help different people organize their lives. But we can’t help but blush when reviewers proclaim their outright love for Purse Perfector:

I’ve had this in my purse for about four days now and it’s absolutely perfect (no pun intended).  Like most women, I used to clean out my purse out of necessity a few times a year. Within a day or two (or an hour or two), my purse would look like a disaster once again. And so the cycle would go on and on. Or so I thought. Since I put this into use, my purse is still neat and organized.  I can reach in and instantly find what I’m looking for.  I wear prescription glasses and have sunglasses for sunny days. To know exactly where my glasses are every time I reach in while driving, is really such a lovely thing.

I am in love with my Purse Perfector.  It’s a fantabulous product for organizing something that’s used by me constantly throughout the day.

(Read the entire review at Little World After All.)

Thank you, Karen, for the kind words! We hope your Purse Perfector keeps your purse in order for years to come. And as soon as we invent the House Perfector, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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Celebrate Memorial Day with “Made in America”

In honor of Memorial Day, we thought it was appropriate to highlight a recent ABC World News series called Made in America.

If you waved an American flag today, do you know where it was made? (Hint: Lots of flags are actually made in China.) If yours has the Annin brand on it, you can be confident you’re flying a made-in-the-USA flag. The Made in America series featured Annin Flagmakers, which runs its largest factory in Coshocton, Ohio. Annin makes 50,000 flags a day — more than 5,500 flags an hour, 93 U.S. flags a minute. They also have plants in New Jersey and Virginia.

During the past few months, ABC has explored the notion of where all of our “stuff” (and we have a lot of it!) is made. More than half of what we Americans buy gets manufactured abroad, but there are plenty of great products being made in the USA — including the Purse Perfector. Our handbag organizers are all manufactured in San Francisco, then hand-packed and shipped by a Cincinnati nonprofit, Easter Seals Work Resource Center, which is dedicated to training the developmentally disabled in meaningful work for a variety of businesses.

Why buy products that are made in America? It helps us and our neighbors improve the U.S. economy. According to ABC News, if we each bought $3.33 more in U.S.-made goods each year, it would create 10,000 U.S. jobs. So next time you hear of a product or brand that’s “made in the USA,” consider the jobs you’ll be helping to create by choosing that brand over a foreign-made competitor. Now that’s patriotic!

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Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

With Mother’s Day just a week away (Sunday, May 8), you’re no doubt seeing plenty of ads for flowers, jewelry and other traditional gifts for this annual celebration of moms in your life.

But if you think your favorite mom, mother-in-law or grandmother would prefer something a little less conventional, try one of these gift ideas to show your love and appreciation:

Nurture her favorite hobby.

Nearly everyone has some passion or interest other than work, family and daily tasks. Whether the mom you’re buying for pursues her hobby often or only once in a while, give her something that helps her do it more frequently or enjoyably. A bucket of golf balls for the golfer, gardening tools for the gardener, concert tickets for the music lover … you get the idea.

Give the gift of your time.

Does any mom ever get enough quality, one-on-one time with her children/grandchildren? Offer up a couple of hours to take her out to lunch, a movie, park or museum, shopping – wherever you’d both have fun doing something together. Turn off your phone and really pay attention to her. She’ll definitely appreciate the time with her loved ones more than any bouquet of flowers.

Make one aspect of her life easier.

Moms work so hard, don’t they? All year long, they’re taking care of others, at home, at work, in their communities. Consider a Mother’s Day gift that eases her workload a little bit or improves her daily life. For example, the Purse Perfector is an ideal way to help Mom get organized in a jiffy—and it allows her to seamlessly shift roles, from work bag to diaper bag, travel carry-on to gym bag. Other make-life-easier gifts include services like housecleaning or lawn mowing, or handy tech gadgets like an Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad.

Turn special memories into visual mementoes.

These days, you can do so many amazing things with your family photos, home videos, special songs and heirlooms. There’s still time to create a gift for Mom that helps her remember a special time, place, person or moment. You could have a family portrait or snapshot of her grandchildren turned into a beautiful canvas print, or make a necklace with her children’s names engraved on the pendant. Get creative—the possibilities are truly endless!

Whatever you end up doing for the mothers in your life, just remember to express your genuine feelings and make each mom feel special. A gift is just the icing on the cake.