Sleepless Nights and Closet-Cleaning (Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird)

What to do if you wake at 3AM and can’t go back to sleep? Here’s a thought — get up and sort something out. For example, these purses came from a deep dark corner of my closet, the result of an early bird cleaning session.

Purses from the closet

Some I’ve carried, and (good grief!) some still have the tags.

My favorite purse was one I bought on a trip to Rome, longer ago than I care to admit. It was a man-purse. Sam tells me this is now referred to as a murse (not to be confused with a male nurse), or better yet, a satchel. Back then, only Italian men were brave enough or stylish enough to carry handbags, and theirs had all these great pockets and card sleeves and zipper compartments that were then lacking in women’s bags.

My 1980s Italian Man-Purse

Here’s my man-purse with the back flap open to show a few of the compartments – I used it until it was shabby and had to be mended. People told me that I looked like a meter maid when I carried it.

A few years later, womens’ purses with pockets caught on here in the States. I bought one, then apparently became fearful they’d go out of style and I’d never find another, so when they went on sale, I “stocked up”. Either that, or they’ve been breeding in the back of the closet ever since.

Admission: that first photo didn’t include the worn out purses I found. Yes! Somehow worn out purses got saved too. Was there anything in them? — well, um, yes.

Among other things… Two membership cards to the now-defunct Hollywood Video, a boarding pass, two fortunes, and a partly used packet of 32 cent stamps (I looked it up — U.S. 32 cent stamps were in use from 1995-1999).

Purse - archival contents

Assorted packets of stevia and one of now-petrified honey didn’t make it into the photo.

That’s all from my closet purse-museum. If I wake up tonight, it’s back to the file cabinet for more papers to shred — that closet is way too embarrassing.

What have you found in your closet lately?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird.

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23 thoughts on “Sleepless Nights and Closet-Cleaning (Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird)

    • Oooooh no, I have an envelope full of stamps I’ve found and am using up. These day’s it’s taking a while to use them though, since not as much gets snail-mailed. Luckily, I’m still using up Christmas cards. (and I would always donate instead of throwing anything away)

  1. great job on clearing that hidden corner of your closet, but your 32 cent stamps made me laugh. I too have an odd assortment of stamps of varied denominations. One year, I counted them by the varied denominations and was shocked at the number that I had! Friends laugh when they receive my letters or cards because I have multiple stamps across their envelope. (I know because they tell me.) I buy them for the pictures on the stamp; when there were sunflower and butterfly stamps, I bought lots of extras because I love them. I include them on special letters now, and love combining them with the pretty tiffany lamps, crowns, etc. that are the 1, 2, and 3 cent stamps. I found out I was ‘different’ when a co-worker bought one stamp because she had one letter to mail. Only one, NO MORE!! I asked her how many stamps she had at home, and she looked at me oddly and said: “I do not have any stamps at home. I only buy a stamp when I need one.” I have never forgotten my feeling at that moment. I dared not confess my stamp-hoarding tendencies.

    • So funny! Not too long ago I found some old stamps that were, if I remember correctly, 7 cents. And from time to time I find little packets of stamps that must have belonged to Bob’s father. He was a stamp collector and his letters always looked like what you’ve described – full of many gorgeous stamps of odd denominations. For me, the problem with having so many different ones is this: not all have the face value on the stamp, and I have to look them up to see how to use them. And since new postage is “forever” I also have to look up how much to use. (and thank you for sharing your stamp-hoarding tendencies – you see, you are not alone) — Sandy

    • Ah, it’s going to be a long struggle. One little corner of that closet down, more corners, and shelves, and more closets, to go. It’s the “good fight” though, right? And we can donate our stuff to people who’ll use it.

      • The memento-type things are more fun to go through that I had realized. Maybe I should quit thinking of it as a struggle and consider it a blessing to have a little “look back” (sometimes bittersweet though) — Sandy

  2. A couple of years back I cleaned out the closet and have been doing it every six months since so there isn’t anything hiding in there that I don’t want. I say if I haven’t worn it during a season or looked at in a year or two it has to go. Release. Never got up that early to clean though. Good for you!

    • You are doing things the right way — I’m hoping that’s my future, and that when I get cleared out here, I can move to a smaller space and not let things get away from me again. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Very interesting early morning finds, Sandy. Those purses you got there look really trendy and at the same time, practical. To be very honest with you, I think man-bags or bags made for men are way more practical than women’s bags – the latter of which tends to pride material and looks. Your bags look in pristine condition. I’ve some old bags in the closet and the other day took them out and they had splotches everywhere. Pity. I’m currently on the prowl for a new sling bag, something I can use to put in my jacket and things for work and I must say the man-bags are looking very attractive to me…

    I hope your fortune came true after all these years 🙂

    • My current bags (yes, bags: one for every-day at home and a larger one for trips) are from Travelsmith.com. I’m not sure if you have them in Australia but it’s worth a look. They’re treated fabric (no leather = good karma) and slash-proof or at least slash-resistant due to metal wire in the shoulder strap and mesh in the fabric. It took me 5 years to wear out my first one, now I’m 2 years into the second. I think the new ones are RFID-proof. And, the travel-sized ones have man-bag type compartments! –oops, sorry, I sounded like an advert there. — thanks for the fortune-wishes, so far, so good. — Sandy

      • Thanks for the site, Sandy. They don’t do international shipping but they do have many brands which might be available in Australia 🙂

        I tend to prefer fabric bags over leather or hard bags with solid casing for luggage bags. As for everyday carry bags, I prefer them cloth-fabric material with a sizable strap so it does not dig into my shoulders.

        You sure know how to use your bags and make them last. It helps if they are made of quality material.

      • Like you, I prefer sling bags, or crossbody bags. Not a huge fans of the ones where you have to carry in your hand. Two empty hands is always better than one.

    • Well, of that stack, I decided to release them all. There’s one that didn’t get into the picture that I might keep, in case (heaven forbid) I have to dress up for something and need a spiffier looking bag than my everyday one. Or, I could just make sure I have good pockets. Good question, you made me think — Sandy

  4. Ha! I usually wake up at 3am too – they call that the witching hour. You’re very ambitious at that time, I usually just play Scrabble on my iPad till I get drossy agian.

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