Control freaks in a good way, obviously. Because I’m one of them. And I have a handbag-well, I have a few different handbags, and I actually feel quite sick and panicky at the idea of leaving the house without all of the things I could possibly need to get through the day. Before I had a baby, I dealt with this quite badly, by basically buying giant, ugly bags and piling all the stuff I could think of into them. It met the requirement of not forgetting/being without things, but it made me feel scatty and I quite often had that thing of KNOWING something was in my bag somewhere, but it taking whole minutes to find. Not good.
So, having failed to use my maternity leave to do any of the things I planned (trip to the National Gallery, organise bookshelves, redecorate, learn how to make choux pastry hahahahaha) I decided that it was very important that I should get the handbag thing sorted out before I went back to work. Because I have something in my head that says mothers, as a group, should be organised people. I know it’s wrong, and it represents weirdy conditioning, and fathers should be just as together, but I’m not a father, I’m a mother, and I wanted to feel like I was actually in control of something in my life. It clearly wasn’t going to be my baby, so I thought my handbag would be a great start. And I was right, hurrah.
Handbags. I started by taking all the stuff out of my huge bag and seeing what I was actually carrying around. Quite a lot went straight into the bin, but the stuff that stayed generally fell into little groups of things-stuff for my hands, assorted tablets and medicines, make up, money and keys and bits. I bought a vast stack of clear plastic pencil cases from ebay, and each little set of things got its own pencil case, keeping it neatly together and visible with the added bonus of keeping it free of baby slime/sticky hands. I bought a new handbag for work (Scaramanga flight bag, I love it-room for my laptop and all the other stuff I cart around with me) which now contains all of these things in little pencil cases:
Hands Mini hand cream, nail file, orange stick, small bottle of clear polish or topcoat, tiny round pot with those all in one polish remover wipes
Essentials Phones, USB phone charger, debit card, house and car keys, work pass, £30 cash in notes, five pounds change in coins for car parks, comb and mini mirror
Medicines/emergencies (this one is very full, but has no more than four of each tablet or thing!) paracetemol, ibuprofen, sudafed, Strepsils, immodium, senna tablets, Karvol, Calpol sachets x 2, teething powder sachets x 2, plasters, earplugs in a small case, single use twisty thing of saline solution, tampons x 2, mini tube of antibac gel, tweezers, tea tree oil spot stick and probably a few other things I’ve forgotten!
Snacks Small bag of almonds, small bag of apricots, Nakd bar, Earl Grey teabags x 2, pack of chewing gum
Make up (worked this out as everything I’d need to repair my face if I ever cry at work) Travel pack face wipes, 2 x sachets of facial moisturiser from a magazine, cheapy Boots cucumber eye gel. Tiny pot (5ml?) with enough foundation for me to use it two or three times, concealer stick, mini eyeshadow, black mascara, eyebrow pencil, very thin flat pot of blusher and small blusher brush
Also Fully charged Kindle with lots of interesting things to read, and Organised Mum Family life planner book (this is brilliant-comes out and about with me, and then I have the family calendar on the wall at home, so EVERYTHING gets written down as soon as it’s agreed)
If I am going out for the evening, I can take the essentials and make up cases in a small bag. There are more cases for travel, but I think I’ll do those in another post as this one is quite long already. I like to think I have most things covered-what do you always carry around with you?