With Spring well and truly under way (and even some sunshine here in London!), there is no more avoiding the dreaded spring clean. One thing I am definitely guilty of over the winter is filling my bags up with an unlimited amount of junk (as you may remember reading about it in this post last year. To quote...
“…collection of beauty products and accessories that I had no idea were at the bottom of my satchel – 2 hair bands, 3 hair clips, a pair of earrings, my mascara and concealer, a huge pot of Vaseline, an empty tube of hand cream and 3 different colours of lip-gloss… …a pen, chewing gum, a sachet of sugar, a dummy (I am a mother you know), some sweet wrappers, tissues, mints, 3 coins (all of different currency) and finally, inexplicably, a pair of socks.”
In an attempt to embrace the (occasional) sunshine, I am trying to downsize my favourite, stuff-everything-in handbag - the medium leather weekend bag for a smaller, more summery bag like the vintage two pocket leather satchel. The main problem with this is that over the winter, my bag filled up with so much unnecessary rubbish that I could barely see inside it (I have just had my second son so I do have an excuse). It needs a proper clear out before I can even think about swapping to a smaller bag!
Spring cleaning my handbag was a tiring process; after emptying its contents onto the floor, the first thing I did was throw away all the rubbish: gum wrappers and receipts, squished cereal bars and empty hand creams. Then the remaining junk was sorted into piles - beauty products, accessories, toiletries, children’s stuff etc. That was when the fun began; I had to decide what I would desperately need in my new (miniature) handbag, my answer, of course, was “all of it!” I found out that I am very good at thinking of scenarios where having 7 lip-glosses and £5 in 3 different currencies by my side was a matter of life or death.
After a lot of deliberation, I managed to get rid of a few bits and bobs and I attempted to fit ‘the essentials’ into my summer bag. It was all going well, but then the bag started to look quite full, and I still had a pile of (very necessary) mascaras, dummies and tissues on my bed. I squeezed it all in but I couldn’t quite shut the bag. It was then that it dawned on me that maybe I just wasn’t made to use a small bag.
I decided that if downsizing wasn’t an option, and the small bag was best kept for when I could go out with no children in tow, I would give my current leather bag a loving refurbishment, and continue using it. I sponged it with rapeseed oil and left it near (but not too close or touching) a radiator for 24 hours to dry. It now looks like a new bag, without the hassle of actually having to cut down on what I carry with me – the best of both worlds! If you have a very well used leather bag, or you just want to give yours a bit of special care, you can use vegetable, sunflower or baby oil as well (test on a small hidden patch first).
For more tips on caring for your leather bag, including if you get it wet or the smell is a little overpowering, just read our full leather bag cleaning guide.
I hope this was useful in motivating you to clear out and revamp your bags – maybe you’ll be a bit more successful than I was! If so, after all that hard work, there is only one thing you can do – treat yourself with a new bag for the summer! You can have a look at our selection of gorgeous leather handbags.