Adjust, Adjust, Adjust

How do we respond to circumstances outside our control (that is, most of them)? Scripture and a multitude of books have plenty to say on our heart attitudes, but for today, let’s talk about a completely practical side.

Most of us use our vehicles a lot; it’s the culture we have. Lately I’ve been getting used to a different vehicle and have had to make adjustments. Different is not equal to bad, and change isn’t either. But change can be hard. It also takes a little thought and planning. It’s helpful that habits are hard to adjust, but it’s rough when that’s necessary.

Usually we know change is needed because we are bugged by a problem. Something doesn’t work! It helps to look at what isn’t working and what could be done to help. Then choose the adjustment that is the best mix of easy and effective. You don’t want to change more than you need (i.e., a broken cabinet door doesn’t require replacing ALL the kitchen cabinets…unfortunately), but you do want the solution to fix the problem.

Here are a couple of examples:

A smaller purse. ([Gasp] Say it ain’t so!) There is a nifty spot for storing a purse, but it is a smidge smaller than the one I was using. The trade-off is that I now have a spot for a purse other than the floor of the back seat. I had another purse in the closet that was slightly smaller, so I changed purses and was thankful.

A smaller console. The purse storage logically affected the console size. I used to make the most of a deep, wide storage box that held everything from a tissue box to medicine to snacks to napkins to sunglasses…and more. Well, now it’s time to choose what’s most important! So, I did, and the console is fully stocked with the highest priorities. What didn’t make the cut was moved elsewhere. For instance, the napkins were banished to door storage, but that means now we each have our own stash at hand. 

Grocery habits. I used to have all my reusable bags stuffed in all the door slots. It was handy to be able to grab one or a bunch before heading into the store. It was also nice to have within reach if someone else needed one too. Now I have all the bags in one bag in the cargo area. The new habit is grabbing bags from there before going shopping and returning to line up the bags in the far back (rather than across the back seat, as I did before). It will take a few runs, I suspect, but it is possible to adjust.

One habit I didn’t have to adjust was having my planner right at hand. There is still a slot, happily.

Refresh: An Organized Purse

Speaking for myself, my purse is my treasure trove, lifeline, and security blanket. If it wouldn’t break my back, I probably would put the kitchen sink in there!

We use our purses for many things throughout the day. Think of how many times you reach into or look into yours. How many minutes a day do you spend digging for car keys or wallet or Chapstick? Add that up over a month, and you may be surprised. If you could reclaim those minutes, would you?

I have found that organizing my purse saves a great deal of time otherwise spent scrambling. An added benefit is that it takes less than 2 minutes to switch purses when I want to add variety. Here I would like to share what works best for me. I hope that it helps, in whole or in part, as you seek to improve stewardship of your 24 hours.

With a couple of large exceptions (i.e., Kindle), everything has a zipper pouch for a home. Each pouch is a different size, shape, and texture, so that I can reach in and feel what I need without even having to look. I’ve collected mine from a variety of places, from Walmart to thrift stores to Vera Bradley direct.

  • One case contains “tools” such as a flash drive, a couple pens, a Sharpie, a highlighter, and a creaser.
  • Another pouch has makeup and medicine. So lipstick, aspirin, essential oils and BandAids are all in one place.
  • A third has gum, a granola bar or dehydrated fruit, and cough drops/peppermints for church. Basically these are edibles, so I find a lined case works best.
  • There is also a bag for hygiene, ready when needed. Key here is refilling it at home on the weeks it is used.
  • Coupons, gift cards, and important membership cards and papers can go in an envelope or pouch also.

In addition to the pouches, I have my wallet, an emergency shopping bag, my Kindle and my car key. My phone is generally in my pocket, but occasionally it has to be dropped in as well. I have found that having at least one pocket in the purse helps immensely to contain the key. If I always drop it in when it’s not being used, it’s always there when I need it. Same for your phone.

Anything other than those items that gets dropped in will stick out like a sore thumb, so I generally find it easy to take care of it when I’m at home or have a few minutes.

As I mentioned, when switching purses, I move 5 pouches and four items over. Then all I have to do is check the pockets and throw away any debris at the bottom of the bag. Ready to roll!