One Bag Nation


One Bag Nation
My Quest for Order, Serenity & Peace of Mind

About Me
Most of the organizing books and blogs I’ve read are written by people who are naturally organized. I’m not one of those people.

I’ve struggled all my life with clutter, procrastination, indecisiveness, and ineffective time management – and the paralyzing anxiety that accompanies all four. It’s a vicious cycle, and I’m ready for it to end.

If you feel like your brain is as jumbled as the cords under your desk or the inside of your refrigerator, and just thinking about tackling those jobs makes you panic, then you and I are on the same page.

But I believe there’s light at the end of the (uncluttered) tunnel . . .

About One Bag Nation
Things seemed to turn around for me a little bit a couple of months ago, when I decided to stop buying and switching purses and totes all the time. I made a commitment to one bag, it made life easier, and that small success gave me hope – and the inspiration for One Bag Nation.

Ironically, my decision to start a blog was prompted by a friend who is a professional organizer . . . yes, some of my best friends are professional organizers. I offered to write a post about my “bag conversion” for her blog and then decided to start my own.

My posts are not intended as advice, but if something I discover on my journey works for you, I’ll be delighted. I’m a “High Relationship, Low Task” person – no surprise there – so I love getting comments and look forward to reading more as my blog grows.

I’m not sure how I’ll know I’ve reached my destination, but I’m hoping that a commitment to One Bag Nation will inspire me to continue my quest until I get there.

Thanks for visiting!



14 Responses to "ABOUT"

I’m completely sympathize with the bag addiction!

I’ve already gone through three or four diaper bags with my first child and can’t stop browsing for another one for child #2!

I do dedicate myself to one bag at a time… usually, but that bag often only suits me for 6 months, tops.

Anyway, just stumbled on your blog and subscribed to your feed. Looking forward to reading more. 😀

Hi Amy, welcome!

It’s easy to overbuy when there are so many fun and interesting options out there. I see my daughter leaning the same way – and she’s only six!

And your needs do change while your kids are growing. I’m sure summer will test the limits of my one bag policy!

Uh oh. I must be one of those ‘naturally orgnaized’ people. I has one bag, a fabulous Tom Bihn Cafe bag, that I love and use all the time. Having to change bags (when I use paniers to ride to work or a cute purse for fancy evenings on the town) actually stresses me out. I get worried about what to bring and whether I’ve forgotten anything.

Bex, I think if you find a bag you love, that’s half the battle.
Thanks for visiting!

Hi Ann! Well I do have just one handbag, but I think my real One Bag might be the giant totebag that I toss everything into when I try to clear all my papers off my dining table. I’m inspired to go through it this weekend and take care of my paperwork! Look forward to reading more.

Hi smallnotebook! Welcome and thanks for commenting.

Funny you commented today; I had your blog on my mind while I was looking at some really cute notebooks at the container store – I resisted!

I have gotten a lot better about keeping the DR table clear, but there have been times when it was piled high, especially when I had my craft business.

Good luck with the paperwork; I have some of that to do myself.

I have three bags. One for special occasions, one for everyday, and one for sports gear (more of a duffle). I have a terrible habit of stuffing each one full though. Handbags, terrible addiction, I know. 😀

Hi Squawkfox: I think a collection of three bags is just right. I’m still using my trusty Dickies tote, but it’s showing signs of wear . . .

Hi, just found your site through serendipity. I’m also a not naturally organized person. Last year I ran into the “Fly Lady”. Have you heard of her? She’s one of us & has a system to get us organized. I haven’t tried it yet as we are in the middle of a move. Of course, moving to another country is the best way to declutter! Ok, maybe it’s a bit drastic, but it saved us from huge amounts of clutter. Anyway, I’m going to try the Fly Lady system when we finally find our new home & our remaining clutter … err… furniture arrives.
Good luck.

#10, Mini: I “found” FlyLady in 2003, and the “Slob Sisters” in the ’80’s, and Don Aslett in between. Oh, and “Confessions of an Organized Homemaker,” by Deniece Schofield, when I was in high school. I have a lovely organized bookshelf of organization and time management and zen books, and the rest of the place looks like heck.

The point is, FlyLady’s system is no worse nor better than the rest, although she has quite a business selling her feather dusters, timers, t-shirts, water bottles, etc. You can sign up for free at her site and she will send you twenty or so emails a day, reminding you to do your laundry, put your shoes on, get supper started. Occasionally she will tell you to shave your legs and take a warm bath. While this might be a good system for someone who is on the computer all day, or someone who really has challenges in the hygiene department, I found it patronizing. It was just too many emails and my son actually got upset that this little purple cartoon character was telling me what to do, taking me away from him “just 15 minutes at a time.”

I’m known at work as hyper-organized and efficient, yet at home I’m a clutterbug. All of my family likes “stuff,” we are archivists and collectors and junkers and recyclers and inventors and librarians, and it wasn’t really until Martha Stewart came along that I began to feel guilty about all our wonderful stuff. I no longer feel that my collections are a pathology, but an expression of my brain wiring (I’m also good at Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, you know, keeping all those useless facts and dates and eras and biographies in your head). My house is sanitary, there are no bugs or mice, and *we manage* even though Minimalist Magazine is not going to ask for a photo shoot.

The key for us is maintaining a central family calendar and staying on top of it; paying the bills on time and keeping the checkbook balanced; keeping the kitchen and one central area presentable for company. And keeping our word and following through on promises. All of us have so many hobbies we could go nuts with it, but accepting that this is just how we are and working with it has done more for my family’s happiness than any system imposed from the outside.

Best of luck to you in your new home, and don’t let anyone ‘guilt’ you into a system that doesn’t fit–take the best and leave the rest. Oops, I guess that’s the problem, I see the best in everything and try to keep it all!

PS: Guilty confession: I have one closet shelf full of bags and purses. Each purse has a matching wallet and some have matching cosmetic cases. BUT at least I’m keeping it to ONE shelf!

[…] read about my struggle with privacy here and here, and my struggle with keeping my life in order here. This winter those two struggles collided and I just stopped […]

[…] explored some of this on my other blog last year, though there my focus was on finding serenity and peace of mind through getting myself […]

[…] but I can’t seem to get on top of it. You can read about my efforts to get organized here, at One Bag Nation, my first blog. I did manage to get that pile up off the floor and deal with most of what was […]

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