09/23/2011 03:50 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2011

Fall Into My Cluttered Purse Life

While recently picking up my children from school, my oldest asked, "Does a cluttered purse reflect a disorganized life?" You see, my cell phone alarm was going off repeatedly. Since I was driving, I had given up finding it and refused to try any more.

"That's the problem with a big purse," I told her. "You buy it because it's huge and can hold a lot. But everything shifts around uncontrollably or even disappears." She gave me a disapproving look as she tried to find the bleeping alarm.

I teased her, "Watch out or something might bite you -- never know what's in there." She finally gave up as my younger daughter laughed in the back seat. That one already suspected I may have deficiencies both with organization and electronic devices.

But my oldest daughter remained optimistic. "You know, Mom," she said, "if you would take a few minutes every day to declutter your purse, you wouldn't have this problem." At her age, she had forgotten those preschool days when she was the cause of my disorganized purse and lack of time.

However, I always am willing to try new time management and organizational tricks. I even had attended whole seminars on the topic. If I could ever find my notes from those, I was sure what I learned would work. But let's day dream for now.

Picture me with a perfectly organized purse -- picking up my children on time with my cell phone in the right pocket and everything in my purse so easy to find. I would even relax while waiting, reading a book in a clean car with my hair perfectly done.

Back to reality. Today, I was five minutes late, stressed about a deadline at work, frantically moving stuff off the seats so my children could get in. As you now know, I hadn't found my cell phone to save my sanity or the pain reliever tab the purse also held, which I had needed all day for a headache.

I thought a little more, imagining my time devoted daily to decluttering my purse. Although productive, it actually sounded a bit boring. Wouldn't it get tedious waking up to purse organization each day? Plus why would I want to reduce even a little of the more important activities I love?

I responded to her challenge, "Well, if I had time to do that, I would have to cut back on everything else, like work, exercise, errands... family and fun. Those things make my life full and meaningful."

"So, I choose the cluttered purse life," I said and smiled with satisfaction. Followed by, "But maybe I simply need a new purse in a different design." I had remembered a clearance sale - smaller purses, more structured, in the latest color.

She didn't miss a beat, "Mom, you just look for any reason to buy a new purse." And on that point, she probably was right.