Google Maps is amazing for traveling. It’s also terrible at letting chance do its job. Big purses vs small handbags is kind of similar. Sounds like a far-fetched comparison? Hear me out.
Let say you’re in Portugal, and your eyes ae glued onto your screen, trying to navigate the sinuous streets of Porto to this cute cafe your friend told you about. You’re most likely going to get there faster, but oh my will you miss on some beauty! The charming architecture of some random house. A secret alley hidden between two fruit stands. A gorgeous guy trying to make eye contact with you.
Your big purse is like that linear, predictable itinerary — the extra space allows you to have your just-in-case arsenal with you at all times. Umbrella: what if it rains? Concealer: what if a pimple pops out midday? Spare shoes: what if I get blisters from the ones I’m wearing? Perfume: what if I want to freshen up before my 5 à 7?
How about a change of perspective:
- Umbrella: May I need to remind you how many love stories, fictional or real, involve some rain-related romance?
- Concealer: So what? You’re beautiful, with or without a pimple. Let it breath. You might even bond over it with a girlfriend of yours.
- Spare shoes: Just don’t wear the ones that hurt your feet in the first place. And let this be a reminder next time you go shopping to leave the uncomfortable shoes alone.
- Perfume: Ditch it! Here’s what I suggest: Head to a department store, try a fragrance that you like and let it be your scent for the night. Who knows, maybe you just stumbled onto your next perfume.
See what I’m doing here? Keeping your purse to the bare minimum is like welcoming new adventures with your arms wide open. Decluttering your surroundings will declutter your mind, and consequently an exciting blank slate.
Even if there are plenty of articles out there on how to organize your purse, I think the best way is going cold turkey by switching to a mini bag.
I warn you. Choosing what to put in it will feel like that famous question: If you were stuck on an island and could only bring three things with you, what would they be? Except now, it’s not just some random question a stranger asked you at a lame party. In this case, it’s the real deal. You actually have to make that heart-wrenching decision. What do I REALLY need?
Here are a few of my go-to tips to make the process easier:
- Just bring the cards you need (credit, debit, healthcare card, driver’s license, and that’s it).
- The only makeup allowed: lipstick.
- There’s no room for a book, so download a podcast before leaving your apartment.
- If ever you need extra room, try to wear an outfit with pockets. Is it cheating? Whatever! You make the rules.
- Bring Listerine strips instead of gum, they take up less space.
Remember: if you feel both excitement and anxiety as you walk out of your apartment, it’s totally normal. That’s what letting go of what-if’s feels like. Heading into the uncharted territory is like saving a seat for your most exciting friend: chance.
Okay, enough of handbag philosophy, it’s time for some shopping.
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