Inner Conflicts

Irrational Me: Let’s go shopping and buy three cabinets with doors like Elaine uses for her handbag storage!

Rational Me: But you don’t have enough handbags to fill even one cabinet.

Irrational Me: I know, but I keep my handbags forever and I’ll probably add to my collection in the years to come.

Rational Me: No one needs that many handbags.

Handbag Storage

Photo from Elaine Hau on YouTube


Irrational Me: But, but, there are so many beautiful bags out there! Remember, I still want a Lady Dior handbag one day. Plus, they say it’s good to rotate out your bags so you’re not using the same one all the time and wearing it out.

Beautiful Designer Bags


Rational Me: You don’t have any place to put three cabinets in your bedroom or dressing area.

Irrational Me: What about that long empty wall in the hallway just outside the bedroom? Think how pretty they would look displayed there! And they would be easy to access when getting dressed.

Hallway outside master bedroom


Rational Me: If you put them there, you’re going to cover up the light switch on that end of the hallway. Plus, it’s going to make that end of the hall feel a lot smaller…not good for resale one day.

Irrational Me: I rarely turn on the overhead hallway lights. If I really need to turn them on, I could use the switch at the other end of the hall. Plus, there’s a lamp at the end of the hall where the shelves would be. When it comes time to move, I could always move the shelves down to the basement.


Rational Me: Why don’t you just buy one cabinet and see how that works, then buy more later if you find you really need them.

Irrational Me: But what if they quit making the cabinets and I can’t get the other two later? I could always store something else inside the empty cabinets for now. {Mind racing…can’t think of anything else to store there.}

Rational Me: They’ll probably never discontinue the cabinets because they are basically their iconic Billy bookcase, just with doors.

Billy Bookcase with Glass Doors


Rational Me: {Shakes head ~~~sighs~~~} You’re going to buy them no matter what I say, aren’t you?

Irrational Me: {Squirms uncomfortably.}  Umm, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has these ongoing discussions with themselves. What is something you would love to run out and buy right now, but you don’t because your rational side knows you don’t really need it?

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  1. Yes…the inner conversation….always. Not just about purchasing something for the home, but haircut, where to get hair cut, asking people where they get their hair cut, etc. – not to mention shoes….”if I love these, I should buy them in every color”, and so it goes…on and on. Good luck – can’t wait to see when you have them all in your hallway and filled with beautiful purses. BTY….it is SNOWING and FREEZING cold here so toasted cheese and tomato soup for supper !

    • Oh, I completely relate! I’ve been having that haircut discussion with myself, too. I’m always afraid I’ll get a cut I hate, so I delay, delay, delay.
      Well, not sure if I’ll cave…still making myself wait and wait and wait.
      Umm, that sounds good! I haven’t had a grilled cheese sandwich in ages, that sounds so good right now! Stay warm, Ann!

  2. I would buy all 3 at the same time. I bought 3 of the smaller ones and went to buy 3 more a few years later, the colors didn’t match. That being said, you only have to use 1 at this time and when you are lucky enough to have more bags you already have the cabinet.

    • That’s a great point! I had that same issue with the large rotating pencil caddy I use on my desk. They were on sale a while back at Pottery Barn, so I purchased a new one since a pen had leaked out just a little in my old one. When it arrived, the new one didn’t match my PB Bedford Office furniture, it had sort of a greenish cast.
      When I returned it to the nearby PB, they told me they had changed manufacturers and the color for all of the Bedford office furniture and accessories was slightly different now. I’m glad I got all the furniture pieces I needed so many years ago. I’d be so upset if I were trying to add additional desks units today and they didn’t match. I can’t believe Pottery Barn let that happen!

      • That happened to me too! I bought the side table from Pier 1 (like you have in your office next to the chair) and it had a green cast to it. Not a nice ivory. Bummer.

        • What??? That stinks, Mia! Mine definitely doesn’t have a greenish cast…it’s a soft white that matches my office furniture pretty closely. I wonder, Pottery Barn and Pier 1 aren’t owned by the same company, are they? I know PB and Williams Sonoma are owned by the same parent company. Why in the world do companies use paint that looks like that, I do not know! My island in my laundry room is like that. I bought it many, many years ago from Grand Harbour, a store that’s no longer in business.

  3. Oh my, that sounds like me as I try to justify something that I want but don’t really need. Can’t wait to see which side wins out.

    • lol I’m fighting the urge, but I’m only human! Ha! For this minute, I’m staying strong. Hope Ikea doesn’t quit making those cabinets, though! 😉

  4. Terri Santiago says

    I went to Hobby Lobby today just to look and ended up with things that I will take back. Don’t need. I can easily justify that, even though it all didn’t cost much. Just wasn’t in the buying mood.
    It wasn’t a need, but a want.

  5. Cookbooks, must have more cookbooks. Despite the fact that if I lived 100 lifetimes, and cooked 3 times a day, I’d NEVER finish them all, lol. MORE……

    PS: Ebay is a dangerous place….

    • Tammy, you would have loved my sister, Glenda! She loved collecting cookbooks! Whenever I was out antiquing, I would buy them for her if I found a really special one. She had one particular cookbook that I ended up finding again while antiquing. The one I found was in pristine condition and autographed by the author. We ended up swapping and I gave her the autographed version. She was over the moon happy! She used to love to sit and read them, so it really didn’t matter if she ever cooked any of the recipes. I think that’s such a neat thing to collect and they don’t take up a lot of space…so I say, enjoy!

  6. Tammy Schulz says

    This does not answer your ? but irrational me saves many childhood things for my four kids to have one day. Example: Bunnykins plates
    that I received as a gift from my Grandma and my kids have from theirs. So glad to see that you too have such a collection displayed on your small secretary. We are irrational together!

    • I know, I couldn’t get rid of the sweet collectibles I was given when I was expecting my son. There really wasn’t a good spot to display them in my two grandson’s bedroom, so I still have them. I would love to pass them down to them one day, though…maybe they will use them with their children. Yes, let’s be irrational together! 🙂

  7. You deserve them!! That always works for me

  8. That steamer you wrote about a few days ago! And shoes in a recent Talbot’s catalogue that came with a 25% off coupon. Agonizing!

  9. Just do it…you know you want to…”someone” will always want “shelving…” Why do we do this to ourselves…*sigh*…cause, “this is us!” franki

  10. Sounds so familiar. I’ve done it so much that my house is too full. I’m now having the conversation over what to give away!

    • I’ve donated many things over the years that I no longer needed. Plus, your taste changes or you just want to freshen up. Barbara, don’t part with anything you still love and brings you joy, or you will regret it. One trick I read was if there’s something you’re not sure you want to donate/sell, put it in a box or bag and store it away in the basement or garage, etc… If in a year you haven’t thought about it or missed it, you should be okay to give it away. I’ve heard too many stories of folks “making” themselves part with things that they later regretted…so don’t pressure yourself if you’re unsure.

  11. Inner conversations????yes, no, yes
    Maybe 2 cabinets, enough to make a statement, give room to grow, not cover the switch

  12. If you bought one, just one, could it fit somewhere in your bedroom?

    • I had thought about that. One would fit on the wall where I have the large, framed scarf that was barely visible in yesterday’s post. The only thing about putting one there is they would be pretty close to the window in that room and that room gets a ton of light from the window…although it might not hit the bags inside the cabinet. Just not sure. That’s one good thing about the hallway…no windows. I may buy one and just try it there. If it doesn’t work, I could always put it to use in the basement. Thanks, Judy!

  13. CONSTANTLY! I’m in the process of gutting and doing a total remodel of the house where we hope to retire and it’s to the point where I want to tell them to just stop and leave me alone for a year or so because I cannot pick out one more thing. I don’t like to spend money, I don’t want to have regrets, I want everything to be perfect, but I’m tired of looking at things, and reviews, and specs, and on, and on, and on. I want a giant fridge, but I don’t want to pay for it….UGH!

    • I always say I could never build a house today (like I did when I was newly married) because I know too much. I know about way too many features that I would want to include, so I would probably never be able to afford it. lol I don’t envy what you’re going through right now, Ali…but I say go for it and don’t leave anything out that you truly love. If you do, you’ll be kicking yourself later on! Maybe you just need to take a one week break and go do something else entirely…maybe take a short vacation somewhere sunny. Then come back all refreshed.

  14. Haha, that’s so funny written! I love it, Susan! 🙂
    Situations where you have an angel and a devil sitting on your shoulders are the worst, and I know that’s no comfort to you, but I didn’t buy a very yummy looking donut at the grocery shop on Saturday, because the little angel sitting on my left shoulder reminded me that I gained 1 kg over the holidays! Sheesh! Nevertheless, not sure if the little angel would prevail over the little damon when it comes to buy or not to buy cabinets for more handbags… hmmm… LOL

  15. I do this all the time! In fact, I was just doing it as I was doing the dishes and looking out the kitchen window. I was trying to tell myself that I only “needed” several more styles and colors of dishes. Haha! Rational self-“Where are you going to store all of the new sets of dishes?” Rational self-I don’t know, but I am sure that I can figure it out. After all, I really should have enough sets and variety to pull off all the tablescapes for the different holidays. Especially Christmas. I should have at least 3-4 different sets to change it up!” Haha! I feel your pain my dear! I DO love seeing how you organize and display things in your home. How fun it would be to have such a great display down your hallway!

    • I do love organizing. I think that’s one reason I’m in love with Elaine’s storage idea for handbags. I love seeing everything all organized and in one place. Plus, where I’m storing my bags now are difficult to reach. Arell, maybe you could just but the salad plates in the patterns you love and see how you like using those with dishware you currently have, if they would work. That mostly what I do these days. I don’t need more full sets so I just purchase salad plates for the most part.

  16. I am relieved that I am not the only one who goes through this questioning. I was at a thrift store looking at wool yarn for needlepoint(it is hard to find),,,should I buy it or shouldn’t I. Do you have any idea how much yarn I have, not to mention needlepoint projects to complete! I will never go through all of the yarn an never complete my needlepoint projects. What do you think I did? I bought all the wool yarn, you just never know when you might need that certain color.

  17. My new motto is do not buy it unless it has many purposes. I have been purging, donating and reorganizing. Also, I sometimes feel so guilty having so much when there are children with not enough food or warm clothes. How much “stuff” does one really need?

    • Mary, if there’s something you want and it would make your heart sing, you should buy it. Just because you buy something for yourself, doesn’t mean that you can’t give to charities or help those you see around you who need help. You can do both. The cabinets could be used for many purposes in the future, so appreciate that insight.

  18. Jane Boyd Broce says

    You are absolutely hysterical and just make me laugh-thank you!
    Don’t most of us have these issues???! You are the honest one among us and express this issue!

  19. Linda Hastings says

    More dishes! I see beautiful dishes and think “Oh, I love these! They would make a beautiful table!” But my rational brain reminds me that “You already have a set of beautiful dishes for Easter! You don’t need these new dishes!” Irrational brain says “But these are so cute!” I keep telling myself “You don’t NEED more!” Now we simply will not discuss my collection of table runners! I have no resistance to cute table runners!

    • Linda, I totally hear you! Sooo many cute dishes every season and holiday. I have to give in a pick up a few from time to time…can’t resist!

  20. Barbara Edwards Armacost says

    Sometimes I wake up at night and say “why did I buy that – I have to stop spending money on things I don’t need,” but then the next day everything is fine and I’m glad I did because we all deserve these pretty things. I would buy all three now. If you can’t fill them with handbags you can always find something else to store in them. As my husband says “sometimes too much is not enough.”

  21. Lord have mercy! I was having a similar discussion with myself this evening regarding the purchase of an item for the house that I really do not need. I imagine it will be an ongoing one until the irrational me wears out the rational me!

  22. So many homeless purses needing us to take them in and love them! Your best argument was what if they discontinue the cabinets. I say, go for it!!

  23. Just showed the husband this as he is very familiar with Ikea….he thought it was fabulous….and they are so cheap…I say go buy the three you can fill it with purses and shoes!….I have one glass cabinet in my closet and it’s filled with Louis V purses….I now have 11….the husband buys me one every Xmas..but they are crowded….I think a trip to Ikea is in my future!

  24. Inner battles with self. Weekly. Sometimes daily. LOL

  25. Well, I have the same conversation with myself way too often, but I realized it was too easy to justify myself with the …can always use it for something…justification. that usually meant going out to buy things to fill the now empty space, leading to more space, etc etc etc. Now I try to just admire other friends and bloggers creations, and limit my spending to truly needed items. I have less clutter, more money for travel and fun things, and nicely curated items. But I still fight the want itneed it battle, lol! Good luck whatever you decide, and thanks for a humorous post.

  26. Jane Franks says

    Oh, yes. I go down that road, too! I have a friend who donates or tosses one thing for every item she purchases. I’m not that disciplined. But I have become better at sales resistance. The greatest test is watching QVC! Ha!

  27. Jean Sprimont says

    Loved this post. While reading I had just one thought….summed up perfectly by you last irrational me

  28. Jean Sprimont says

    PS. Go for the three. Until you can fill all with handbags you can store/display other items

  29. Well, every time you post with your tables and I see the cute plates my irrational self thinks I should buy some (especially the bunny plates). Then my rational self reminds me I never have dinner parties! I did buy the cute bunny bowl though; my irrational self won on that one. How about a remote on that wall where the cabinets will go (if you need to cover the outlet)?

  30. Cookbooks. *sigh*. When I moved to Mexico from the Virgin Islands I had to get rid of so many. I got rid of more than 500 cookbooks and many were the Junior League ones I was obsessed with. I just couldn’t justify moving them over an ocean, across the U. S. And then halfway down Mexico but I still miss them.

    England is my other obsession and I justified buying business class because I told myself it will be my last trip there (which it no doubt will be) but still…

  31. Cyndi Raines says

    Yes, unfortunately, we all get it. Lol Sometimes, I even put the item in the cart and walk around with it while shopping and the battle rages. Sometimes I win and purchase it and sometimes, I put it back. Never easy, ha. I have a feeling we will soon be seeing 3 glass cabinets in your hallway! The good news is that you are now a pro with the assembling of them since you practiced on the dish cabinets in the garage. These should be a snap!

  32. Susan, strange how we all hear those two voices. Think it only happens to women ? One day I heard myself blurting out “I can justify anything” Shame. It’s a long hallway and I love those cabinets. One for purses and the rest for collectibles until you add to your handbag collection. How deep are they vs the width of the hallway ?
    I had to give up going to the thrift store because my house is full and not enough cabinets. Too many pretties. It’s like the day you find too many dresses while shopping and go “Thank goodness it didn’t fit. Now I can go home not thinking about it” Not that it ever happens to anyone else. LOL

  33. cleo headley says

    Oh, aren’t we a funny bunch!!! JTV is my downfall and I am always grateful when the item is not in my size!! One cannot have too many cabinets or bookcases……

  34. I just read this post! I just did the same thing…over a Ronaldo bracelet. Do I neeed another one? No…but it is a special VIP price….but you could put that money towards fabric to recover that chair…but I know I am doing that, this price expires today and they look pretty stacked…. I love wearing them cuz they are light…but I really don’t need another one.
    Irrational won out.

  35. Kansas Kay says

    You can get a hole cut in the back of the cabinet to access/show the light switch and also the outlet. Then just reach into cabinet if you want to switch on the light or use the outlet.

  36. This post was hilarious, fun to read and so relatable!! We all have these inner arguments. Your situation is not really complicated from an outsider’s point of view: your issue of “to get cabinets or not to get cabinets” shouldn’t be that difficult. You’re talking about storage pieces that can be used for so many other uses. Even if you stop collecting handbags (which will probably never happen LOL), there are MANY uses for that type of storage…….even in a basement area if you ever decide you want them out of the hall for some reason. Storage items are also re-sold very easily: once you’re done with them someone else would be happy to buy them from you for THEIR storage needs. I say buy them. I really don’t think you’ll regret your decision.

  37. Peggy Nodine says

    Yes Susan I agree with most of the other girls. Go ahead and get 3 cabinets, and as one suggested cut a small.opening so you can access your light switch in case you need to use it and hide the opening with a purse in front of it. Use one cabinet for purses, one for really cute and dressy shoes, and one for very special jewelry, get a few jewelry displays for necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc. You probably already have some of those display items and put jewelry in one cabinet. Pretty pins, and even your prettiest scarves on a display, or hats on small hat displays, I think any of those items would be very pretty in the cabinets until your purse collection grows larger. You have do many pretty pieces of jewelry and scarves, with the displays they would show off very nicely. Go for it!! And please show us pictures when you get it finished. When you study long you study wrong, ha ha. Just do it!. Peggy

  38. Lol, Susan, I guess I am the odd man out on this one. I don’t ‘get’ any of it. Shoes, handbags — I just don’t get it. Sorry I can’t help. 🙁

  39. Rather than get three of the 2-door units, have you thought about one 2-door unit and one 1-door unit, as shown here?
    This would still give you the look and handbag storage you’re going for, and depending on how you arrange your bags (and their sizes), you can probably fit 26+ handbags, clutches, etc. in the space, to allow your collection to grow. This would also have the added benefit of taking up less space on the wall – 47 1/4″ in width – if you’re concerned about making that area feel smaller. Finally, if the asymmetrical cabinet feet bother you (it would make me crazy, lol!), you could simply add some white molding around the base of the three cabinets.

    And yes – I have these conversations with myself ALL. THE. TIME!

  40. What a great post! I was chuckling all the way through it.

    That internal argument goes on in my head all of the time. I just had the kitchen painted and I really wanted new counters and backsplash, but I knew if I ripped those out, I would want a new sink, range hood and cooktop.

    Well, I told myself, at least see what the counter options and price are before you make your final decision. Luckily for my wallet, the counter guy cancelled three times, the last time without notice and the painters wanted to start right away which swept away any shopping/researching/decision-making time. So, now I have a freshly painted kitchen and granite worktops that I hate, BUT it was the right financial decision. Sometimes, circumstances make a decision on your behalf, I guess. (Darn circumstances!!!)

  41. Just get them!!! I have three sets of them in my house …total of 9 pieces.Plus you can get additional extra shelves and extenders up to the ceiling

  42. When you decide where to put your collection, the Container Store has purse storage bags in different sizes. Think about taking a picture of each purse, getting a transfer made to be and fused to the storage bag, then each purse would be on display by the picture while the purse stays nice and clean and protected. Another thought is take a picture of each purse, put in a small inexpensive frame to indicate which one is in the storage bag.
    Good luck with your decision.

  43. Haha, great post. For me it’s not handbags it’s dishes. Do I really need more? Of course not but I can’t help myself! So where to display them all?


  44. Jill from Southern NH says

    For me, it’s a chestnut-colored suede Elizabetta slouch bag from Mark & Graham, monogrammed in gold. I got the leather version in a gorgeous kelly green Florentine leather this summer, and even with a 20% off discount code and saving up my credit card points for the amount of the purchase to justify it so it was pretty much “free”, that green bag is still the most expensive accessory or clothing item I’ve ever purchased. I would only buy the suede bag if it were on sale and I could use an additional coupon or if it were on another special promotion with it, like free shipping. The holidays came and went and I didn’t buy it, but I still do peek at it every week or so. Part of my hesitation, other than the price, is that it is a chestnut, almost rust suede and I’m more of a saddle tan/cognac leather person (though I don’t like the bag as much in tan), but mostly because it is a want vs need. And, something I will probably wear only in fall because I’m so specific about the seasons and color palettes, and wouldn’t want to ruin it in the winter snow or sleet. For your cabinets, I think you should get two – they would look natural side by side, and put something else decorative, like clutches, or pretty folded silk or warm scarves on the shelves – interspersed with mini framed artwork or little books!

  45. Rachel Wolters says

    Why not store your purses, shoes, and hats in those cabinets? Perhaps even some of your darling small suitcases. It would open up your closet for other things that perhaps you don’t want anyone else to see. Eventually if you get a lot more handbags, you can move some things back to the closet (perhaps necetating a closet cleanout at that time, which we all need from time to time. You could also use some of the room in the cabinets to intersperse family pictures on the some of the shelves, inbetween the purses, etc. There are a lot of things you could do with two or three of the cabinets. You could also just get a really beautiful old china cabinet that you love and paint it pale pink (or blue, or whatever color you want) and use that to store your purses in in the hallway there. Whatever you do, have fun!

  46. Bobbi Duncan says

    You’re a hoot. I can so relate to this–just had this same discussion with myself last week-end while checking out a beautiful antique wall light to replace a mirror I love, too–rational self lost! Now, where to move the mirror? It is frigid here–bracing myself for the many errands I need to run today. Hugs!

  47. You truly made me laugh out loud!!!…I do think that those bookcases with the doors are truly wonderful as they can be used in so many ways and the price is right. Most of mine are in their boxes and protective bags and because of that I forget what I have…terrible I know…I say go for it..sometimes you have to listen to your irrational self….now if I won the lotto I would head to the nearest Chanel store and buy purse and a jacket!

  48. Wanda Bradey says

    Susan, do what you can to wait. I have started my new year with following Marie Kondo. I have TRULY cleaned out my closet. When one sends 162 pieces of clothing….19 pairs of shoes…22 scarves….8 purses, etc…one realizes she has a buying obsession! I then moved on to my garage. I was amazed how many chargers, dishes and glasses I no longer use. Add to that luggage, travel bags….the list goes on. 3 truck loads later….It’s sad. BUT the good thing is the center for abused women will get to use the money for items sold. Anyway, I say wait. I have decided if an item does not bring me joy it’s gone. I have decided that if I see something I am pondering purchasing then I must love-love-love it to bring it home. We had moved after 26.5 years two years ago to our current home. I just thought I cleaned out then. Now…on to the bonus room to go through my holiday items……glory! When will it end?

  49. I too like handbags and change them frequently – same with clothes. And don’t get me started on my weakness for make-up (I don’t know why – switching brands doesn’t make me look any younger) BUT sometimes when I am tempted to buy something I don’t need, I remember these words:

    You spend the first 40 years of your life acquiring stuff and the next 40 years trying to get rid of stuff!

  50. Just a practical comment:

    I have two white IKEA cabinets with glass doors in my breakfast area, to hold/display china. I hesitated when I installed them, years ago, because they cover an outlet and a light switch, exactly as yours would.

    My husband wired the receiver component into the wall switch; this was not a complex task–similar to wiring in a light fixture, e.g, which I’ve done many times, just being careful with shutting off power first.

    The control switch looks almost exactly like any light switch, and is battery-0perated. It can go anywhere in the room, within range. Ours is across the room, next the switch for overhead lighting. Very unobtrusive and convenient.

    The battery in that remote has lasted for probably 20 years, but even when it needs replacing, I don’t have to get behind the bookcase.

  51. Make sure your new cabinets have glass doors to protect your bags or you’ll have to keep in dust bags not pretty. I think you should try to find one of the bedrooms that’s next to your master bedroom and make it into the whole room into your personal closet and put cabinets in there with glass doors to keep beautiful shoes and handbags in

  52. We bought 2 of the side tables like yours as end tables for master bedroom and we bought the Tully bed to go with them…we didn’t buy any other pieces because I was still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted.
    Meanwhile now months later I figured out exactly what I wanted and decided to get the matching armoire… So I stopped at Pier 1 a few days ago and found out that the Ashworth set was discontinued and on clearance!
    So I took advantage of the sale and bought the armoire and another of the side tables in a different color for our guest bedroom.
    So if anyone is interested in a side table or any of the pieces go get them now before they’re gone. 🙂

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