Thursday, April 30, 2015

Get Organized with Thirty-One Totes

Confession: I am a bag lady.

Purses, tote bags, cute re-usable shopping bags. All that stuff.

A friend introduced me to Thirty-One Gifts and its like a bag-lady shopping spree. I think I might be getting close to actually owning 31 bags from them - mostly multiples of my favorites in various colors.  The patterns are fun and bright (and I’m excited that they finally got pink!) and are pretty durable, because I do drag a bag around and put it through some work.

These are my favorites and I keep coming up with more uses for them.

A few of my 31 bags

Large Utility Tote. I own three, or maybe four.  
(It's the big blue one with Just Piddlin' embroidered on it, in the photo)
It’s large enough to hold a small child. Or laundry, to the Laundromat or on a roadtrip. It holds all the towels and snacks and goggles for a day at the pool or beach.  Or all the stuff that you keep in the back of your trunk – more reusable grocery bags, a pair of sneakers, wipes, tennis balls (everyone does carry all this in their trunk, right?)  Keep one packed in your car for the impromptu fun day - balls, sunscreen, frisbees, picnic blanket.

As an indie writer and publisher - I have one specifically for book vendor events to carry all the materials (tablecloths, bookstands, decorations, etc.) that I need for my table.

Utility Tote with pockets. I own three - two regular ones and one with a zip-top.
The Organizing Utility Tote is a great mobile office
This is a great bag to be used as a mobile office, whether for “real work” or “mom work”.

I use it for my PTA meetings to carry my files and notes that I’ll need, and fill the pockets with other random items – pens, notecards, snacks, a bottle of water.

For my sorority conferences, I tend to volunteer in some of the behind-the-scene tasks, so I’m running around a lot. In my bag, I carry paperwork and schedules, snacks and personal items in a Zipper Pouch, and in the pockets I have all the things I need to get to quickly – my phone, room keys, pens, candy and a bottle of water.

The Zipper Pouch helps to organize everything in the big bag
And again – as the small business woman – it’s perfect to carry the supplies I need for book vendor events.

I've seen other moms use these as diaper bags and the family tote bag for all the stuff you need for a day out.  For the kids' sporting events, pack your snacks, hand wipes, cowbells, a hat, and (for the swimming and track parents) a book.  Going to the park? Water bottles, first aid kit, snacks, bubbles, hat, sunscreen - it all fits in there. Since the bags are wipe-able clean, you don't have to worry about the little spills from all your necessities.

Zipper Pouch.  I own two and need at least one more.
Always have your crochet or knitting project with you
Since I carry so many big tote bags, I needed a way to organize and collect the small things in my life. These are the perfect size for an iPad, as well as a wallet, keys, phone, inkpens and a lipgloss – all the important miscellaneous for the day.

I use another one for my yarn project.  It fits a small skein and a pair of needles or a hook. I can take along a small project – a scarf, a headband, the beginnings of a blanket – wherever I go.

I have the regular sized ones; there's also mini and thermal ones.

For those days when all you need is a phone, lipstick & keys.
I was given this one as a gift and immediately, I knew I would use it for those outings when I don’t really need a purse, but do need to carry around all my miscellaneous personal items (see all the stuff I carry in the Zipper Pouch.)  I use it when I’m at a community volunteer activity or a day out wandering with the kids.  I’ve also found it to be a great size for the traveling knitting or crochet project - since it hangs on my shoulder, I can walk and stitch at the same time.

Okay. Am I up to 31 yet?  I’m pretty close. And I think I’ve left out a few.  Go – check out the site for my favorite Thirty-One Gifts consultant, Sakima - she's set up a special page for Just Piddlin' readers - and see how these bags can help organize your life.  And if you come up with any other great ideas - leave them in the comments (I can always use another excuse for a new bag.)

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