Modules are the 'M' in Francine Jay's 'Streamline' method of organization.
They are also the secret to my purse organization success. How many bags do you have? Likely it's more than one. Are the bags that you are *not* currently using full of mysterious contents? Chap-sticks, lotions, band-aids, jewelry, receipts, notes, change, granola bars, maybe a pot of gold or two? Because who even knows? Modules are the key to avoiding losing possessions to your purses. But, what are modules?
"The concept of Modules comes from systems design; basically, it means dividing a complex system into smaller, task-specific components....For our purposes, a Module is a set of related items that perform a particular task (like paying the bills or decorating a cake). To create them, we'll need to gather things of similar functions together, eliminate the excess, and make sure they're easy to access and move around when needed. In short, we'll need to consolidate, cull, and contain our stuff." -- Francine Jay, "The Joy of Less"
The Module system applies obviously to many household items...
...Like keeping dvds together in one place, books together in one place, art supplies together in one place, socks with socks, dishes with dishes, coffee supplies with coffee supplies, etc. It's a simple and intuitive tool for keeping a home organized. But how does that apply to bags and purses??
Here's a not-so-secret about me; I am a chronic purse over-packer. I really took my brother's boy scout motto (Always Be Prepared) to heart. When I leave for the day, I am prepared for and number of scheduling, boredom, hunger, thirst, makeup, and first aid emergencies. If I get stranded somehow, that purse is filled with enough contents to keep me going for a day or two. My secret to purse over packing while remaining organized is utilizing the module system. If I had a camera that worked right now I'd share pictures, but here is basically how it works for me: simply, I keep like items contained with like, within my bag.
I have a:
- Medical Module: a small zipper pouch full of various band-aids, miniature Neosporin, Tylenol, floss, a tide pen, after bite, tissues, a spare lip balm, and an emergency feminine product or two.
- Makeup Module: a small zipper pouch that is filled daily with *only* the makeup I am wearing that day. Usually for me, it's just whichever lip color I've decided on, a spare lipbalm (look, I'm addicted), loose powder and a brush. If I'm going to be going out straight from work, I may include an eyeliner and/or small blush, just to touch up on the go. I trade out the contents every day, after putting on my makeup for the day. If I don't wear any makeup that day, the module is emptied into my makeup box (which is also full of modules) and left home for the day.
- Writing Module: a pencil case with sharpened regular pencils, a few colored pencils, a hot dog eraser, a few pens, and a highlighter.
- Day planner - self contained
- Usually a book, packed in the morning and unpacked at night.
- Cash system friendly wallet - has separate and defined areas that I use for cash, cards, coins, and receipts. Receipts and coins are removed either in the evening when I get home or the following morning when I'm packing for a brand new day! (I input my receipts into my budgeting spreadsheet & then toss most of them, and coins get put into my coin jar. They are rolled and deposited once the jar is full).
- Sometimes, a phone backup module: a charger and/or external batteries, and/or headphones, kept in a clear ziplock bag.
- Usually, a filled reusable water bottle or a spare La Croix, for thirstmergencies.
The Modules you need will be unique to you.
The point is to keep like items with like, in separate containers. Then you will always know where everything in your purse is, and it makes it VERY easy to change from purse to purse; just remove your modules from one purse, stick em in the other, and put your empty purse away where all of you bags are stored neatly together.
Going from a big bag to a small bag? No problem! Just transfer essential items from your standard modules to the clutch for the evening. If you're a big nerd like me, you can still keep like items together and separated through the use of clutches with multiple compartments, or small zip-lock snack bags.
The use of modules keeps everything organized and easy to access. It also keeps you from ever having bags that are not in use but are full of mystery items and trash!
Before you get to organizing techniques like the Module system, you must declutter/cull your possessions!
Everything's got to be done in order, just like baking a cake! If you want a helping hand with decluttering and organizing, send us a message on our contact page, or give us a call!