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My purse might be my favorite point of minimalism. I feel so light and free and life feels so much simpler and easier when the gear I’m carrying on my journey is intentionally cultivated. When you think about it, it’s probably the most important step in simplifying your life because you are literally weighed down by it’s contents. So I’m going to share a snapshot of the gear I carry on my family life of adventure as an entrepreneur, including my purse, backpack, and first aid bag.
First, let’s start with the purse itself. I have a Rais Case 3-in-1 bag that is a waist bag, cross body, and clutch. It’s a creative mama owned business that makes quality hand made products, so I feel great about supporting them. Plus, the bag is stylish, durable, and versatile. Perhaps best of all, it’s exactly the right size. When I am coaching parents through simplifying their home environment with their children, one of the tips I give is to create boundaries for containment. For example, this is the stuffed animal bin. If you want to invite a new stuffed animal in, you have let go of a stuffed animal to free up the space. Choose the size bag you want to carry. To put it another way, it’s like a budget for your belongings. (30% off with code SageParenting – I get no kick back for this recommendation.) But it doesn’t have to be this purse. Fanny packs are my jam but maybe they aren’t yours. Just use a purse that does meet your needs and match your vibe.
Inside my purse I carry:
- Keys (car keys, house key, mailbox key)
- Hair Band
- Nail Clippers
- Inhaler (4 out of the 5 of us have asthma so as a family we carry 1 inhaler)
I use 4 small canvas pouches to organize my belongings, which are so convenient for bringing just what you need and transferring between bags.
The small pouches I have contain:
- Cards (personal debit card, professional debit card, driver’s license, insurance cards)
- Cash ($20, so don’t get excited about robbing me)
- Membership/Gift Cards (we have several membership cards like Costco and the library and several gift cards that we ask for for holidays to places like our favorite restaurants)
- Personal (Burt’s Bees chapstick, hair bands, nail clippers (to help get me out of my mild neurotic habit of picking at my fingers). If you wear make up and take a powder or lipstick with you, this is where it could live (I don’t wear makeup). If you use tampons or pads, this is where those could live (I use a menstrual cup).)
Altogether, this is what we’re talkin’ about (minus the phone I used to take the picture). The pouches fit easily and nicely in a stack and there is ample room to maneuver around inside the bag or add something like a pair of sunglasses or a trail mix. The membership/gift card pouch and cash money pouch (again, max $20 at any given time – I’m talking emergency taco stand cash) usually live in a locked compartment in my car and I just grab them and toss them in my purse when needed. In other words, I’m typically just rocking 2 pouches. Since this purse actually has 2 open canvas pockets on the inner wall, I could keep my personal items in one and my cards in the other and have no pouches, but I really enjoy the versatility of being able to grab exactly and only what I need.
The other pouch I have is our first aid bag. I prefer to use a small wet bag for this just in case something were to ever leak (though it never has – it gives me piece of mind for those times it’s packed in our suitcase alongside clothes or my backpack alongside jackets). It lives in the car but it goes in the backpack for adventures and in the suitcase for travel. All of the meds in it are chewable or dissolvable for easy consuming without food or water and TSA regulations. At home we keep things pretty natural and avoid meds but if we’re miles out on the trail and someone gets hurt or sick, I need the supplies to get everyone back to the car, civilization, emergency room, or home. For example, out in the woods on a remote island in freezing weather my littlest was attacked by a swarm of wasps. It would take hours to get back home for proper triage and natural care or the emergency room if his breathing was threatened. He needed a dose of Claritin and ibuprofen to safely and comfortably get home.
- Ibuprofen (junior chewable for kids and adults)
- Pepto Bismal (children’s chewable and adult’s chewable)
- Claritin (children’s reditabs for adults and children)
- Band Aids
- Neosporin (antiseptic and pain relieving spray)
- Nail Clippers
- Throat/Cough Drops
- Menstrual Pad (not pictured)
The other bag that I sometimes transfer some pouches to is my backpack. This is the only other personal bag that I own and I use it for travel, work, and adventure. It holds fleeces, water, snacks, and first aid for adventures, plus cords for work and travel.
It is lightweight and the smallest backpack that holds my laptop (and it has a perfect padded sleeve to keep it protected).
Hopefully you have enjoyed this virtual tour of this minimalist mama’s bags. Having 3 unschooled kids who are wild and free, it’s very important for me to be prepared, but I’ve really found that that doesn’t mean more stuff, it means being more intentional with the gear I invite on the journey with me. And the less I am carrying, the more free I feel to jump into the fun of life. Join me.