Inspired by Marie Kondo, pre-spring cleaning and the sinking feeling that we’re lugging around way too much, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren took to the scales this week to confirm our suspicions.

It’s worse than we feared.

We’re collectively carrying around nearly 10 pounds of purse.

Mr. Bag Lady has long accused BL of being an overpacker, and there is a certain amount of undeniability in her 6-pound, 13-ounce contents:

Two packs of Wet Ones. Two bottles of Ibuprofen. Two full bags of cough drops. Two emergency iPhone headphones. Two key chain flashlights (neither, notably, on or near a key chain). Small-sized toothpaste, hand cream and deodorant. Floss. Five packets of DayQuil. Nail clippers, a nail file and nail polish. Spare glasses. Lipstick. Eight pens.

And a sentimental wood chip.

Shopping Siren’s haul includes: A small package of tissues. An old pay stub. A fistful of scrunched up car insurance paperwork. Two fistfuls of crumpled receipts. Multiple used gift cards. Multiple unused gift cards. Brush. Comb. A bottle of Ibuprofen. Three pairs of sunglasses. Floss. Spare house keys. Spare car keys. Mints. Cellphone. Two pens.

And a wallet. With even more stuff.

It’s time to recalibrate. It’s time to thank and lovingly discard at least half that flotsam (thank you, Marie!). And it’s time to get a new favorite tiny purse.

New little cute purse = less room for hoarding = lighter = blissed.

It’s like new math. Only better. Because, shopping.

Burgundy leather wristlet, “imeldadesigns” on Etsy, $35

There are no dimensions given on this cool, pyramid-shaped zippered wristlet, but the description says it’s just the right size for your cellphone, money and credit cards. What more do you need? Certainly not toothpaste and used gift cards! Also, this is handmade in New Sharon, so when you buy you’re helping a local craftsperson. Along with your own upper back.

Fanny pack hip bag, “PansyBag” on Etsy, $39

Breaking news: fanny packs are back! We’re torn about how to feel about this. On the one hand, they hold your stuff without you actually having to hold your stuff. On the other hand, they aren’t in any way attractive. Except for this one! Handmade in Poland, Maine, this gray/violet suede bag is slim and stylish — the complete opposite of every other fanny pack we had in 1991. And 1992. And 1993. Consider this your second chance at a fanny pack impression.

Crocheted purse, “HookMeUpCrochetByKJ” on Etsy, $25

Handmade in Auburn, this bright blue crocheted purse has a little crocheted flower in the upper corner and bamboo-like handle. Bag is about 7.5 inches deep, which is perfect for a wallet, a phone, keys and one lucky charm of your choice. We suggest said charm not be too pointy, considering this bag made from a pretty loose weave. It’s all fun and games until your lucky screw driver pokes out.

Fold over clutch, EllieAnna Gift Shop, $26

From EllieAnna in Lewiston, this clutch is 6 inches by 7.5 inches, with a simple elastic loop and button closure. You choose the fabric! We suggest something wildly fantastic and semi-psychedelic. Going small doesn’t mean you can’t go big.

• Medium leather compartment clutch, Rough & Tumble, $88 (regularly $178)

R&T is formerly from Norway but still Maine-based and specializes in rich leathers. Bag Lady is not going to lie, the thought of paring back to a purse that’s 6.5 inches high, 10 inches long and 3.5 inches wide is a little hive-inducing — where will the wood chip fit??? — but this sweet beauty, at half off no less, can probably ease the pain.

• Nox Clutch MMXIV hand-stitched leather clutch, Maine Leather Co., $120

Hand sewn in Portland, found via Etsy, and you can add a thin strap for $10. It’s got a powerful, rugged frontier chic look to it with wide swaths of leather and very little hardware. Like Annie Oakley brought to a power lunch, for 2019.

• Nine West small faux-leather tote, Salvation Army, $2.99

The perfect small size with divider pockets and stiff material that has the handles permanently affixed upright, so there’s no risk of slouching over and having 80 cough drops and eight pens spill out. Not that Bag Lady is engaging in that kind of glaring excess anymore. Twenty cough drops and four pens max, moving forward.

Our top find in our smaller-purse hunt this week, found at the Salvation Army in Lewiston.

Best find: Coffee-colored faux leather purse, Salvation Army, $3.99

Sized just right — not too big, not too small, with clean lines and just enough flair — and priced just right.

Think twice: Brown hobo bag, “PansyBag” on Etsy, $160

This bag is love. Like, looove. You will wax poetic about this bag. You will write love songs about this bag. This bag is the simple-yet-stylish equivalent of the perfect little black dress or crisp white blouse. And yet. It looks like it can carry approximately 37 pounds of stuff, with room left over for an emergency box of Girl Scout cookies. Marie Kondo would weep, and not with joy. We can’t in good conscience recommend getting this bag.

Also, we’re buying two.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who see joy in everything) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].

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