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March 13, 2009

the organized purse - post 2

This is one of those posts that gives me perspective about my life. I remember seventeen-ish years ago, I was fresh out of college and had my first job in the real world. I worked at an R&D facility with mostly men, and mostly men that were old enough to be my father. (My now husband, Jay, being one of the very few exceptions.)

One fateful morning I was hurrying into work when I did the unthinkable—I dropped my purse. It wasn't a clean drop, but a rather messy one. Somehow the purse inconveniently stayed strapped to my shoulders, so instead of just dropping the whole purse on the floor, the contents spilled onto the floor. All of them. 

Luckily, or not so luckily, one of the many men that I worked with was at the ready to help. Very sweet, but OMG—I thought I would die as we collected off of the floor all of the former contents of my purse—coins, lipstick, gum, tampons and all other sorts of fun things that really, should just be kept in your purse and not strewn on the floor of your place of employment.

Flash forward seventeen-ish years and, gee, gone are the opportunities to spill my purse in public so why not just willingly share photos of the contents so everyone can see the inside of my purse? It makes perfect sense, right? OK...not really, but I'm going to do it any way and just be amused by the complete contrast of these two events—spilling my purse and thinking I would die, to now willingly spilling the beans about my purse in the public forum known as my blog. Have I evolved as a person, or is this random chatter just an attempt at avoiding the unveiling of my purse? These are the things I ponder...

OK...stalling over. Here's the inside...

Butler bag 

Wow...that holds a lot of stuff, doesn't it? From left to right we have, two Eco friendly bags, a magazine and my mini binder, which holds a print-out of my calendar and my to-do lists. Now, going counter clockwise around the inside compartments I have saline solution, lip balm and pens in one compartment. In the next compartment is my pouchee—which fits perfectly, I must add! (This was very thrilling for me.) The next compartment has photos of my kids and Kleenex. (Which clearly don't go together, but fit well in the space.) The next compartment up has my MP3 player and a tiny tape measure (underneath.) The last compartment has two tins filled with First Aid items and a little notebook. Hidden inside (and kept in place with a zipper!) are those personal items that you don't want spilling on the floor at your place of employment, or anywhere else for that matter. :) 

Here's a close up of the little tins. I used gift card tins from Michael's which work great for storing bandages and such, and they use the vertical space in the bag quite nicely.

Purse organizer 

So...what's the verdict on the Butler Bag? I really, really like it. I love the idea of the compartments and I love that there is a place for everything—and I mean everything. I have never in my life owned such a big purse. Had I purchased this bag in person, as opposed to on-line, I probably would have opted for a smaller bag. But, I do I love that I can carry my mini binder right in my purse, because I'm still not an electronic calendar girl. And you know I love magazines, so being able to take a long a book or magazine, is truly a bonus. All in all, I love the concept of the Butler Bag. The compartments totally rock because, just like organizing a larger space, they give you a specific place for everything. I also love that you can see every single thing in your bag just by peering inside (except for the things you tuck into the zipper pocket.) So, all in all, I think it's a brilliant organizing solution for one of those areas of life that is really important to get under control—your purse. I think my next Butler Bag, however, will be the next size smaller. But, I guess that's testament enough:  I will get another Butler Bag. :)

If you're interested in the Butler Bag, you can get leather bags on the Butler Bag website. Non-leather versions are available at K-Mart.

OK...happy weekend to you! I'd love to hear about your purse organizing or spilling adventures...if you're up for sharing. :)


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ohhh I love that you have the eco bag i sent you in there.
I swear i have been on the hunt for the PERFECT little black handbag for so long - i went away in Jan and came back with THREE new handbags - one was a big one - so i thought i could put more in it and that would make me organised - but NO - i just ended up with it full of junk - i brought a organiser - but the bag was too big and made me carry around more clutter. The second bag was much smaller with just two compartments and a zip and phone pocket on the outside - i downsized - and it was perfect -until a week after using it it ripped (because i brought it from a market stall i couldn't take it back)
Only last week i found a bag almost the same and I love it - it is big enough for me to keep my 'essentials' but not big enough for me to add clutter to it !!!


Where is your wallet? All of your cards... credit, library, frequent shopper etc. I find that my wallet is HUGE with all of those things so I actually have a separate holder for the cards cards and more cards. Are your in your pouchee thing?


My pouchee serves as my wallet. It has my driver's license, YMCA card, library card and I carry just two credit cards, one for biz and one personal. The pouchee also holds my checkbook (when I take it with me) and money.



I'm so glad to see your review. I actually tried to buy one a couple of years ago and they messed up my order and I never received it. After some failed attempts at tracking it down, I just gave up.

One question...your link goes to the main page. Which one did you get? I have such a hard time buying purses online because I need to *see* the size, not just read the dimensions. LOL

I've had the Pouchee for a long time so it's good to know that will fit because I can't give that up! And it looks like I won't have to carry a spare diaper and wipes much longer so that frees up some space too. Woohoo! I'm betting the smaller one will work for me too.

Melissa G...aka...ScrapMomG

Hi Aby! Thanks to your post about the Butler Bag, I have now found the perfect purse for me that I've been searching for for months on end. After checking out the website, I was intrigued and decided to try it, so off to e-bay I went to find my Butler Bag. After measuring and remeasuring and comparing the dimensions from the website to the "black-hole" that I was carrying for a purse, I found my Butler-the Classic! I bid, I won, and it was delivered yesterday evening while I was at a meeting. While my kids were napping today, I grabbed the "black-hole" and my new Butler Classic, and transferred the items over. Everything that I normally carry on a daily basis fit perfctly!! Even my digital camera is in there-a little snug in one of the compartments, but it's in there! I'm also thinking about my next Butler Bag purchase-the same one that you purchased-the Hybrid, for use on road trips for the same reason of wanting to carry along a book, magazine, & bottle of water with me. Just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for helping me to FINALLY find the perfect handbag that I'll ever buy for the rest of my life! Have a blessed day! :)


Mine is the hybrid. If you click on the photo of the bag itself (the outside shot) it will take you to my bag. My next one will be a classic.



Aby I am so glad you love your bag! I have never ever liked handbags, and it occured to me the other day that it was because they are always so messy inside and I feel embarrased rooting around trying to find stuff. I may have to get a Butler bag, or a pouchee at least. I own very few bags, so I have no problems buying one that I will use all the time. Thanks for sharing! Sue


I've not seen that bag before. TFS...I love to be organized..and my purse just isn't there yet. I recently made myself a purse and I put a couple pockets on the inside around the sides..but still everything in the middle gets all jumbled up. Thanks so much for this review...I'll have to check it out closer.

Have a great day!

rachel in Cali.

Ohh Love It! Thanks so much for sharing!! I will be taking a trip to DC over the summer and I keep thinking about this bag.

We will be on a school tour bus, so it will be a different type of vacation for me, and I can't exactly keep a 6 pack of water bottles in the bus with us, like I would in our car, but I can keep at least one in my bag. And my planner, camera, sunblock, etc...
Gotta' get me one of them! :0)


I have wanted to try out the Butler bag forever. I don't have the funds right now to get one of the real leather ones so I went to Kmart today. They are on sale for 30% off so I got the tote for $21!! I am thinking of going back tomorrow and getting the satchel to try as well as the tote seems a bit large for everyday. Thanks for your great review


I also went to KMart today and got one on sale! I'm going the cheap route until I know it's the perfect bag for me, then I'll splurge. (I've been burned by too many diaper bags that look useful and once I pack them, they aren't!) Thanks so much for sharing this great post- with handy links to your other great posts! That pouchee looks cool... may be my next splurge! :) And I am printing wallet photos of my kids as we speak- another brilliant idea! I'm ebarrassed that I only have 1 photo of 1 child in my purse (I have 4 kids!)

Kris Van Allen

Thanks for sharing the peek inside your bag! It looks wonderful. Would you be willing to share a photo or 2 of the inside of your Mini Binder? I've been working on something similar to this, that would contain both my calendar and notes/lists, and would love to see what yours looks like!


Hi Abby !

I have the exact Butler Bag. But I was wondering...

When I want to "run in" to the store and not take my heavy Butler bag (my planner inside the bag mades it heavy) I want a wallet that I can grab out of my Butler that has a handle on it so I can put it around my wrist so I'm not apt to lay the wallet down. Does the Pouchee have a handle? My only problem with the Butler is that its heavy and sometimes I don't want to lug it into the store etc. I just want to grab my wallet and run into the store. How do you do it? Do you have the same dilemna? I work so the Butler is awesome for my planner etc etc.

Thanks for any insight you might have as to running into the store and you do NOT want to lug something heavy.

My mom bought a Butler bag too and she found it was so heavy while traveling that she nixed it. Needed something lighter.

I'm rambling sorry.

Thanks so much for any tips - advice.

I've followed your blog for along time. Love Love it! Thanks again. Jennifer


Hi, Kris,
Here's a link to a post about my mini binder as planner:

I'm so with you on it being a bit big. The pouchee does have a little handle, but since the credit cards are stored on the outside, I don't think I'd be comfortable using it alone outside the bag. You might try a wristlet of some sort...



Oh Aby, I was excited to see this review! I am such a bag girl! It seems several members of the organizing community are all abuzz about Butler bags lately. Naturally I had to check out the Butler bag for myself after reading this.
I went to my local Kmart and have to tell you, I wasn't that impressed! You can read more of my thoughts about purse stuff here but I really don't get all the hubbub.

Vickie Sheridan

I love my butler bag and I only have the k-mart version. I bought the small version for my daughter and myself and I have received so many compliments on it even before I show them the inside. I have sent several women looking for a k-mart. Now I need to get a gift card tin since that will work perfectly. I also have one of the new hard case wallets and I just love it. Bought it at Macy's and it holds alot but is very thin.
I have also just bought a larger version of the butler bag in a burnt orange color and a straw bag for summer. All at K-mart and very reasonable. Maybe a leather one for my birthday!!

To Jennifer who was asking for something small to grab and go to the store.....I have a very small key chain wallet that attaches to my keys. It makes for a bulky key ring but it holds my drivers license, credit card, library card, insurance card and AAA card plus an emergency $20.00. I grab this all the time to run to the grocery store, drug store, gas station and don't even take a purse. I bought several of these at Barnes and Noble a few years ago. I still have one and it says made in China by SACCHI for Barnes and Noble. It was $12.95 but I got them 75% off. I'm sure someone must still make these and they might solve your problem. Thanks for a great post.....!

Creative Triplet Mom

Love this bag. Thanks for sharing. You have been rewarded the sisterhood award. Come to my blog to find out what it's about.


Aby: how do you have the puchee in your purse? did you remove one of the sections?

Jackie Zepeda

Thank you for the inspiration to get organized! After reading your posts...I purchased the Butler Bag and I LOVE it! You have so many wonderful tips for getting better organized. I also have the binder. Thanks!

Joyce M/Blythe, GA

Oh Aby about five years ago I found a similar bag at a home show in Augusta of all things. It's from which is a family owned business. Before that I was a handbag freak, well over 20 (maybe 30) bags in my possession and always looking. But since going vertical I haven't bought another, other than for special occasions like an evening bag. Truly makes me more organized. Mine is washable but the Butler looks must more professional, will check it out. Thanks!

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