YIKES! I’ve become a Collector

Bags, Bags everywhere, which one will I use?
  Probably the same one I have right now because I can’t find the one I need. 🙁
A confession:  – “I don’t always practice what I preach.”
For those of you who have taken my classes, participated in webinars or just follow along with posts on FB/Twitter you know EASY is a key word in most of my presentations.  When you make things easy to get to you’ll use them, if it’s difficult those things will just become “stored” items. I had a little epiphany about this in my own home just last week. 

Another confession, I have a problem with handbags.  I LOVE THEM!  Its the first department I go to in any department store. They are the thing I most often search for on the internet. They are the piece of any woman’s outfit that I notice first.  It’s so bad that my boys actually have a plan to run visual interference of handbags any time we’re shopping together. Max wraps his arm around mine and guides me away from the accessories department while London walks sideways waving his arms to obstruct my view.   I’m sure it’s quite a site to the observing shopper.

In my old house I had a few glass front cabinets where I kept all of these fabulous treasures. They were visible and accessible. I used them! In my new house, all I have are shelves high up in the closet.  This means that all of my lovely ladies have to be stored in their dust bags, out of reach.

Last week my darling girlfriend Heidi Hurst, who just happens to be the best real estate agent in the South Puget Sound (no, I’m not biased), came over to help me with some wardrobe issues.  (She was supposed to convince me to return a number of new purchases – but being the good friend she is, she was able to help me justify keeping everything.)

Okay, I digress.  With one of the outfits, I said, “Oh, I have the perfect bag to go with that, let me show you.”  I went into the closet, scanned the shelves of dust bags, looked around for the step stool, decided it was out in the garage, you get the idea.   I emerged from the closet and said “I don’t know which bag it’s in, but it’ll be really cute.”

After Heidi left I started thinking about those bags, and about the fact that I had carried the same black bag all winter last winter and the same pink bag all summer this summer, and that the reason I hadn’t changed bags was because it was too much work to find the bag I needed.  Something had to be done! I had become a collector, not a user.

When I got up this morning I decided to make a change.  I wanted to use those wonderful bags, but how could I make them visible and accessible while still keeping them clean and protected from dust.  Voila!! It came to me.

  1. I would photograph each of the bags.
  2. Print the photos and pin them to the dust bags.   
  3. Arrange the bags in some sort of “rainbow” on my shelf.  
  4. Purchase one of those small collapsible step stools so I could keep it handy.

BONUS: I can upload the “handbag” album to my phone so when I’m shopping I can pull up the pictures of the bags and match them to scarves, shoes, belts, or any other accessory without having to guess at the color. YEAH!!!

As I’m writing this post, an email has just popped up with a subject line: Get Carried Away with Handbags from MICHAEL Michael Kors.  Do you see, I am literally haunted by handbags!

Here’s the result:
Step One – Take Photos.
Step one - take photos.
Quick snap shots of each of the bags.

Step Two / Three – Print Photos, Attach to dust bags, Arrange in color groups.

Step Three – Purchase a step stool to keep in the closet.
SUCCESS!!! I’m on my way to a 50th Birthday Party tonight.  I know which bag I want to use.

Finding it on the shelf took just a few seconds, and my new step stool made it quick and EASY to reach. 


One other helpful hint.  If you’re going to change your bag on a regular basis. Encourage yourself to do it by designating a place to “dump” the contents of your bag.  I used a tray at the end of my bed. Another bonus to the “dump” tray, you’re almost forced to clean out your bag on a regular basis.

(This is my dump tray, do I really need 3 hair clips and 4 pair of glasses?)
If you have questions about organizing something in your home, office, car..life, I hope you’ll take a moment to post a comment.
Thanks so much for stopping by,
“Tiffanize” your handbags!

20 Responses to YIKES! I’ve become a Collector

  1. You are my heroine! Have many bags and shoes and will be tackling my closet this winter (after scrap atuff is done). I printed out your samples and they will be posted in closet as reminder-great idea thank you!

  2. Wow I wish I had your energy. Love purses but husband one is all I really need. But I will change his mind soon. Oh and by the way I love my Scrap Rack thanks for all the organizing tips
    Theresa Lewis

  3. Funny that Krista M. Scott Pomeroy had this same issue with her shoes this morning. Here is what she said about it on the FB group:

    This has nothing to do with scrapbooking, but shows how this group can affect your whole life!!
    I had a thought this morning—after much distress!!
    I couldn't find the pair of shoes I wanted to wear to church—had to wear that certain pair because they went with my outfit.
    Finally found them.
    Should say, yes I have lots of shoes!!!
    I keep my shoes in the boxes they come in or plastic shoe boxes. So my plan is to take a picture of each pair, print the pictures, put them on cardstock which will be put in page protectors. I will hang these on a hook in the closet. I will number each picture and put a big number on the coordinating shoe box. That way I won't have to get on my knees to open every box to find the pair I want to wear.
    When I get rid of a pair the picture will be removed and that number "retired". New shoes will be easy to add.
    Getting ready will be so much easier and less stressful.
    Just wanted to share in case someone else has the same problem.

    Hated knowing the shoes were there and not being able to find them. Hubby was trying to help, but that was just part of the stress.

  4. Tote bags are definitely self-replicating!!! In my closet I have a set number of hangers. If I buy something new I have to empty a hanger of something old. Maybe you should try this with the tote bags. Allow yourself a certain quantity, and then when a new one comes in, an old one goes out. Let me know what you come up with!

  5. WHOOOO HOOOO way to go Tiffany…how about organizing my measuring cups and tea spoons. I seem to have a plethora of them that I've collected of the 30 years of having my own home and NO I cannot get rid of some of them I might actually NEED 20 1 cup measuring cups someday when I'm cooking lots!

  6. Love this idea – my downfall is purses and tote bags – I decide to get rid of a bunch and during the next year, I accumulate more – it's like they reproduce…(LOL)! Thanks, Tiffany, your "organization skills" knows no bounds!!!

  7. I live in an older country home and the pantry had a shelf that went back so far and over the fridge. My sister thought I was "stupid" for having index cards taped to wall telling me what was on top shelf or second to top. Each shelf held so much and I put the things that got used almost "never" or once a year. It saved me time from digging into the wrong shelf while up on the step stool. Same thought as the pictures let, not really needed for bundt pan, wok, corn cob board with nail in it etc.

  8. Digging through your blog that I didn’t know existed before, I found this awesome solution! I knew the trick about putting photos of shoes on the boxes, but applying it to handbags! ?Thank you! And the idea to carry the photo index with you while shopping is a great one. I imagine this can be applied to jewelry and many other things.

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