How to Organize Your Purse & Makeup Bag

Today is Week 3 of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge.  We’re working on purses and make up bags.  Why?  Because purses and make up bags are a part of our every day lives and they get plain messy!  Oh and the other reason is because it’s on the list.  :)

Makeup Bag & Purse - Cleaning it out.

So, how do we keep these things under control?

I’m eager to hear exactly how you do this, but…. for me, being the ultimate procrastinator that I am, I wait until my purse is overflowing with receipts and spilling junk out and THEN suddenly I decide it’s time to clean it out. For my make up bag, I don’t have to clean it out quite as often, but when I do, it’s usually because I’ve opened up 2 empty mascaras in a row….and I wonder which one is the one that actually has some mascara left in it.  You don’t do that do you?  :)

5 Tips to Keep the Junk in Your Purse Under Control

  1. Keep your receipts together – Many people will put the receipts in their wallet, but they tend to get out of control quickly, making your wallet a wreck.  Consider carrying a ziplock bag to contain your receipts in.  I keep mine in a zippered compartment in the middle of my purse.  Decide if you will need the receipt and pitch any receipts you don’t need to keep.
  2. Buy purses with lots of different pockets and compartments.  That way you can designate a place for each thing you keep in your purse for long periods of time.  If you don’t like this kind of purse, you can purchase pouches that you can set inside of the purse.  This would also make switching purses much easier, if you’re one who likes to change purses on a regular basis.
  3. Make sure you buy a purse with a light colored lining, rather than dark colors.  Dark colors, like black, make it impossible to find things in.  I cannot stress the difference that it made when I switched from a dark colored lining to a light colored one.  It was amazing.  I went from always losing everything to always finding things.
  4. Set aside 5 minutes each week to get rid of anything in your purse that doesn’t belong.  If you’re really doing this weekly, it won’t take more than 5 minutes.
  5. Simplify – Only keep the things in your purse that you really need.  Don’t keep lots of things in your purse on a just in case basis.


Keep Your Makeup Bag Organized, too


For me, the larger my makeup bag, the messier it became.  When it came time for me to keep my makeup bag under control, I switched to a much smaller bag, keeping only the essentials in it.  I have foundation, eye liner, mascara and lipstick in it.  It is all that I really need and use.  I love how I never have to dig very far to find what I need.


How I Did….


Purse & Makeup Bag 2

I like this week, because it was quick and easy.

My purse was a mess….. I dumped it all out on the floor….

Purse & Makeup Bag


Then I put it all back in, making sure to actually put the things I want to find in the inside pockets.


For the makeup bag.  It wasn’t as cluttered, but I did take everything out and wiped it all down with a baby wipe.  I had my eye liner sharpener in there and it was dripping eye liner chunks all over the place… really, everything inside of there had to get wiped down.  Plus, I had to remove all the eye liner chunks off of my sharpener.  What a difference that will make!  It already feels so much better!


Makeup Bag



What do Others Do?

Karin says:  Carry the smallest purse possible! Evaluate each item you haul around day in and day out.


Melanie says:  I made up a small makeup bag of items I would take if I were traveling. The surprising thing was I never used anything else! Easy way to see what needs decluttering.


Lori says:  Clean out your purse and car weekly.  


Pin this picture on Pinterest, please.

Cleaning Out Your Makeup Bag & Purse


What about you?  Have you cleaned out your purse and makeup bag yet?  How does it feel?


Next week:

We’re working on switching out and storing the seasonal clothes.  You know this is a hated job for many people.  If you have any tips that would work well for others and make our lives easier, be sure to share them here in a comment or on Facebook!!  We will all thank you for it!    if you’re still following along, let me know how you’re doing.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?

Clean Your Vehicles! – {Week 2 – 52 Week Organized Home Challenge}

It’s Week 2 of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge!  Welcome back!  How are you doing on your goals so far?


Last week, we did socks.  This week, it’s time to clean out our vehicles.  (If you’d like to see what we’ll be working on all year, go here:  52 Week Organized Home Challenge).




I chose when to schedule when I had to clean out my vehicle, very carefully.  I knew we’d be going on vacation and I would need to clean it out.  Not only did I need to clean it out, but the day we got home, I had to clean it out again, as my husband was taking a van load to the Kansas City Royals baseball game the very next day.  My little kids seem to think that trash is to be put on the floor while traveling.  ARGH


As a large family mother of 7 children, we have a very difficult time getting our 15 passenger van cleaned out on a regular basis.  There’s lots of little kids.  There’s lots of seats and only so much energy from these old parents.  We’re getting better though.  The trick is to not let it get so bad and utilize your helpers!





Are you one that lets your car get really trashed out and dirty, too?  I guess we get excited about getting home, that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the car to carry everything in.  If you have trouble with this (or even if you don’t), here’s your action steps…


1.  Remind everyone to not leave the vehicle without their arms full of things that need to go in the house or in the trash.  Even little kids can carry something light.


2.  Have something in the car to catch the miscellaneous stuff.  For me, I bought 2 bins.  One was for trash, one for things that go in the house.  Now, use them!  If you fill the trash one up, you can stop at a gas station or car wash or dumpster to dump it out.


3.  Create a system!  Not only do you need to get your stuff pulled out regularly, but we need to get it to where we do it automatically.  That’s the hard part, isn’t it?  Train the kids that trash only belongs in a trash bag or can.  If there’s none available, train them to take it inside as soon as you get home.  Reward them if you have to.


4.  Schedule yourself a time to vacuum and dust your vehicle out.  This can be as often as you’re comfortable with.  I hear that doing it weekly makes the job much easier, but doing it monthly could sound a bit more reasonable to you.  Really, there’s no right answer here.  You know how bad your car gets and you know how much time you have.  Give it the time it needs.  If you don’t let your kids eat in the car, you’re less likely to need to vacuum as often.  If they do, well….you know how that goes.  Vacuum away!  :)  Better yet, assign a kid that chore.


For me, it’s more about the clutter left within the van, than the crumbs.  Yes, it does get crumby, but that doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the clutter and trash.  (We seem to have a pattern of clutter!)  After our vacation, we pulled out a whole trash bag of trash.  We were not using a system!  We did not remind the kids to throw their things out on a regular basis.  We let it pile.  Not good.


Products to Help You

(may include affiliate links)


Here, you can see a bin on Amazon similar to the two bins that we use.  We just happen to have room in our large van for a bin of this size.

Sterilite basket

If you don’t, there’s other options out there.


What about this collapsible trash can?

collapsible trash can


or this back of the seat trash container:

seat back trash container

or better yet, this leak proof litter basket for your car:

Leak Proof Trash for Car



What Others Suggested:

I asked how other people keep their cars clean on Facebook and I got all sorts of hilarious answers.  Things like, don’t have children, don’t allow your children to travel with you, don’t use your cars, etc.  :)  It was fun, but I did get a few more useable answers, too.  I’m sharing some of them below:

Karin says:  1. Every time you get out of the car, take your trash with you. Children can do this, too. There are trash cans everywhere! At the very least, throw away the trash when you get gas.
2. Only drink water in the car. This is huge for cleanliness AND healt
h. No more mystery sticky gooey messes… 
3. Whatever you bring to the car, take back out — every time. Children can do this. Learn and play some “stuff-free” games in the car.
4. Be a role model and make it fun! Smile and create games to get into the new habits. 


Ginny says:  Put shower curtains in trunk to keep clean.


Jamie says:Routine. I vacuum it out every Monday. It makes it easy and quick since it doesnt get too bad week by week rather than waiting until it’s awful and takes a long time. As I vacuum, if I find something in the van that doesn’t belong, I toss it in the trunk. After school, kids can sort thru that.


Connie says:  Never eat in it! Our kids are 18 & 15 and have never had more than water in our cars. 


Kelly says:  Remove everything as soon as you get home…don’t wait until “tomorrow”


Aja says: Everyone grabs something out of the car every time we get home.


 Jaimie says:  Walmart bags for trash…Windex or car wipes to wipe down when waiting in long lines, Febreeze clips for nice smell.


Karin says:  We keep a tarp in the back of each vehicle (trunk or “way back” in the hatchback) to make clean-up easier.   The people area of our cars are always clean/organized since we take out anything we brought into the car each time. The trunk and “way back” are disasters at this time of year! Our summers are ACTIVE and we still have summer weather.


Janet says: I pay a monthly fee for car washes and cleaning. One price for as many times as i want it done inside and out. I keep a grocery bag in it for garbage and baby wiped in glove box for quick wipe ups. No eating in my car — just drinks. But nothing with sugar or cream that will stain. So no soda or sugary coffee drinks


These are some great ideas, ladies!  Thank you for sharing them!


Now it’s YOUR turn.

How’d you do?  Did you get your car cleaned out?  Do you already have a good handle on it?

If you find this post helpful and are enjoying this series, would you consider pinning this picture on Pinterest?

Clean Your Vehicle - 52 Week Organized Home Challenge

Pinterest is an excellent way to tell other people about our fun new series…..and gets more of us involved.  The more the merrier, don’t you think?

Next Week

Next week we are working on our make up bags and purses.  Do you have any tips for how to organize your make up bag or purse?  How do you keep yours cleaned out?  Do you have anything special you do?  How do you choose what to keep in them?  Please email me, leave me a comment on this post or on Facebook and fill me in.  I love including your ideas into these posts!  It makes the posts that much more valuable!

If you want to see where we’re we’ve been so far and where we’re headed in the coming weeks please check in below.  If you’re new, just jump in where you are.  We’d love to have you along for the ride!

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?

Organizing Your Socks – How Do You Keep Them Under Control?

This sock organizing post is brought to you by Sock Dots, sock identification in a snap.  



19 Ways to Organize Your Socks - 52 Week Organized Home Challenge


Are you ready to get started? I know I am.  It’s crazy really.  My socks are overflowing to the max.  I think my MIL gets my kids all sorts of different socks for Christmas each year.  I buy them socks when they need them, too.  AND apparently we never get rid of them, unless they have holes in them.  So….. getting through the sock basket is a really exciting thing for me!  I’ve had this overflowing basket in my room for months. Literally.  Months!  (I told you I was a disorganized mess!)  It vomits all over my floor on a regular basis.  I start wondering why I’m wading through socks and realize that someone must have been looking all the way to the bottom of the sock basket to find the perfect match. So, currently, my system goes like this.


1.  Do a load of laundry


2.  Fold all clothes from said load, including matching any socks that go together.


3.  If the socks don’t have a match, they go into a laundry basket that is especially for unmatched socks.


4.  Some day, I will match socks from basket if I ever get desperate enough.


5.  Be afraid of throwing them away.  You may have the other sock in the laundry.  (ha…that doesn’t help me one bit, does it?)


SO, as you can see.  My sock system isn’t working very well for me.  I have several hundred unmatched socks.  Seriously.  We have 9 people of differing sized feet in our house.  We have a lot of socks.  We have more unmatched socks than matched socks because apparently, I never wash the right socks together in a load.  Here’s a picture:

My Sock Basket - Time to Get Organized!


I’ve threatened to start over, but I can’t bear the thought of spending $100 or more in socks for the family when we already have so many pairs.  I’m out to find a system that works better for me.  Ultimately, I need to get rid of all the ones that have no matches.  I need every sock in the family to have a match and if it doesn’t, it’s going to have to go away.

Last week, when I announced that we are going to work on socks, I was amazed at all the awesome ideas that you sent me.  You all are brilliant!!  There are so many great ideas to try.  I was really excited about one product in particular, that you could use to really simplify your sock sorting if you happen to have a large assortment of socks that aren’t exactly the same (like me), but you don’t want to go purchase all new socks (also like me). A big thank you to Clary who told me about the company, Sock Dots.

Sock Dots

Sock Dots for sorting Mismatched Socks

Sock Dots are a way to color code your socks, so that you know who they belong to.  Each person is assigned a color and you snap the sock dot onto the sock, so that they can be easily and quickly matched with it’s owner and it’s mate.  It stays on permanently, even through the washer and dryer!   I know what you’re thinking…..what if that one person has a bunch of different kinds of socks, then what?  Well…get a Match Maker Tin.  Here’s the explanation of that from their website:

Match Maker Tins are designed to match up a specific pairs of socks. Socks with the same color Sockdot combinations (ie Red top/ Yellow center) belong together. This insures the wearer the same wear and tear on that mated pair.

As you can see, I think that Sock Dots would be an excellent way to organize our mounds of socks.  I think maybe a mom came up with that idea.  :)  What do you think?


Ask the Readers:  How Do You Organize Your Socks?

(Pin this picture!)

19 Ways to Organize Socks -

Here’s more of the ideas that you all sent me.  If you sent me an idea and it’s not featured don’t feel bad.  Either it’s a repeat or very similar to another idea that is already on this list, or I just simply didn’t have any more room.

Crystal says:  “On the socks I don’t bother to match them….too time consuming. However each person in my house has a mini basket on their dresser that I just drop their socks into. When I buy new socks I toss out ALL the ones that were in the basket before I put the new ones in.”

Linda of Apron Strings & Other Things shares about how they have a sock basket similar to mine….but her system works quite a bit better than mine has.  I have a feeling she has a better place for her basket.  :)

Julie says:  “I buy all the same color and type of socks for each of my children – that way if one goes missing its mate has a whole drawer of new mates!”

Judi says:  “We have eight children. When doing the laundry the children have a bowl with elastics in their room. They are to put their socks in pairs and put an elastic around either the top or the toes. No more socks being eaten by the washing machine and putting socks away is a breeze, they are already together.”

Sarah D. says:  My tip for keeping track of those socks that are missing a mate: 
I hang up a shoe bag (in the laundry room or a closet) and organize the socks into pockets. You can do it by person and then by color/style, depending on how abundant your spare sock population is. We have one organized into little guy socks, little girl socks, big boy whites, big boy darks, big boy colors, Mom’s, Dad’s whites and Dad’s darks. Periodically I’ll go through them and throw away any that seem to be hopelessly parted.

Dawn says:  I keep my socks organized by buying each kid different socks. My oldest likes to mismatch, so hers are all different colors and designs. The youngest only has pink Old Navy gripper socks. The two boys in the middle, one has gray w/ colored heels and the other has white with colored heels, all from Target. No matching necessary! Just sort into the right basket and away you go!

JoLynn says: I have a basket that i throw all the socks into when I’m folding clothes. Then I have the kids sort and fold them.  About once a month, when i know all the clothes (or most of them have been washed ) i throw the extras away. I figure if the match shows up we have tons of socks anyway. 

J. Woody says:  I bought all of my children and myself a lingerie bag to put our dirty socks in. 

Lori says:  I buy at least two packages of the same identical types of socks, which are different from other household members’ socks (my current ones are Hanes with grey bottoms, which also don’t look as dirty when they get older), and just stack them in a pile. When one disappears or gets holes, I throw it out and barely notice. If you start to notice there are fewer, start with three packs or buy another pack. (Only open one pack at first though, to make sure you like them first.) 

Tricia says:  My sock trick is just for my husband and I (our 4 boys have left the nest).   First, I go through my sock drawer and match everything up. All single socks go in a clear zip lock bag – bag goes in the sock drawer.  Then periodically, the singles will appear while I am folding clean laundry so I get the zip lock bag out and match the socks together.  Use plastic clothes pins to match them when they are dirty. There is a certain brand that can go through the dryer. I’m still trying to train my husband and my kids (I am willing to pay my kids for each clip, but at least my socks are so easy to fold. I guess if you bought enough you wouldn’t have to un-clip them, just toss in drawers.  Eventually when it is clear that a missing sock is gone forever then that one becomes a dusting or polishing cloth.

Sarah P. says: I use plastic clothes pins to match them when they are dirty. There is a certain brand that can go through the dryer. I’m still trying to train my husband and my kids (I am willing to pay my kids for each clip, but at least my socks are so easy to fold. I guess if you bought enough you wouldn’t have to un-clip them, just toss in drawers.) 

Amy says:  I clip lost socks on a line strung across the ceiling of the laundry room, they usually get collected now not so much when the kids were little though!

Holly says:  I make these cute little signs to hang in laundry rooms for those pesky missing socks (you wouldn’t believe how many matches I ended up pairing up because of this)

Sock Holder


Jennifer says:   I have the BEST way I have ever heard of to keep socks organized.  I buy ONLY one kind of sock for starters.  It’s from Belk and it’s called Gold Toe.  I only buy crew (middle ground for those who like tall and those who like short.  Gold Toe labeled their socks with a stripes, more stripes for bigger sizes.  We purchased a “sock tower” , as we call it, from Target.  It is a large plastic look alike piece of furniture.  It comes in different colors plastic but ours is just the standard white with clear drawers.  All drawers are labeled with masking tape ; a 1, 2, or 3.  Those are the three drawers at the top.  The two larger drawers at the bottom go for big kids (12 and up) socks AND church socks for all sizes.  Again, or the older kids socks I have only crew and they are sized 10-13 (that is only one size by the way).  That is as big as I have so farJ  The two larger drawers at the bottom are also labeled BOYS CHURCH SOCKS or GIRLS CHURCH SOCKS.  Again I only get gold toe church socks as they are “pre-labeled” from the factory.  One, two, or three stripes.  NO MATCHING EVER REQUIED!!  Church socks do have to be more matched than regular, but at least they get in the right size drawer because they (meaning kiddos) count the stripes, even if they don’t make the match.  When we are given socks we re-gift them, or give them back to the person who gave them to us – politely explaining why.

Marianne says:  I have a clothes line with lonely socks. I have them all hanging so they can easily be paired if the other turns up in the next wash. Every 6 months I put all the single socks away. I pair them with the ones that were put away 6 months ago if I can and the remainding of the batch of single socks I put away 6 months ago are thrown out.  Here’s a picture:

Mismatched socks on a clothes line


Elizabeth says: I can relate to the sock problem and I have a solution.  The rings that are left on bottles and milk jugs.. To remove these use a butter knife and pry up.  Put the ring around the pair of socks before washing. Use the milk jug ones for thicker adult socks. This works great. No sorting or lost socks after drying.  

Laurie says:   Mismatched socks: I keep a bag in the laundry room that all mismatched socks go into.  Once in awhile we go through the bag and look for matches.  (Turns out my 4 yr old has great talent and patience for this)  We matched up almost 20 pairs of socks last time we went through the bag.

My other big annoyance is trying to get out the door, and one child (or more) can’t find a pair of socks.  In cold months I now keep several pairs of socks in the closet near the door.  This is my “emergency stash” that I draw from when when time is of the essence and socks are needed.  (You just have to remember to replenish the stash on laundry day.)
Have you noticed that sock companies are starting to make it easier for us moms?  Sometimes we have problems matching socks because we have two different sizes that are the same color and brand.  Last time I bought socks, the smallest size had one line of color near the toes, middle size had two lines and large size had 3 lines.  It makes matching so much easier.  Sometimes it’s hard to buy a different brand for each child, though that too can work if there are enough options available.
Jennie says: I have a gallon ziplock bag in my laundry room and any odd socks are put in there. When it gets full I match up any that are pairs. After a while I trash the ones that are still odd.   Another way (which I need to do) is buy the same brand & color socks each time for each person that way I should always have matching ones!

Unfortunately I did not quite finish my sock basket (yet).  I went away on vacation before I could get it completely done, but you should see how many we have folded so far!  My plan is to finish matching them up and to start by throwing out all of the ones with no mates.  Then, I will throw away any bad condition, stained and/or thread bare socks.  Finally, I will give each person in the house 10 pairs of socks and start using the Sock Dots system.  I will keep some of the extra pairs, just in case we lose some, but I’m not going to allow the sock clutter to take over my bedroom again!


What about you?  How did you do with YOUR socks?  If you have more ideas, please leave a comment, we want to hear them!!

Now It’s Your Turn!

Next week we are going to be working on our vehicles!  Do you have a great system down to keeping your vehicle cleaned out?  Do me a favor and email me, leave me a comment or post about it on Facebook.  I’d love to hear about it so that I can share it with the rest of my readers.  Pictures would be great to see, too!

If you want to know what we’re working on next, please go to the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge page.

Will you join me in this 52 Week Organized Home Challenge?