Monday, November 9, 2009

Organize Your Handbag in 5 Minutes

Do you struggle to find your cell phone in your handbag when it rings? Do you have a hard time finding important items when you need them the most? It may be time to do a little de-cluttering. Here is a concise little guide to keep your most important stuff within reach and will save you precious time.


1. Empty the contents of your purse onto a table

2. Sort in 4 piles: garbage, reallocation, keep in purse, to be filed. Start with obvious trash items like candy wrappers, tissues, old business cards and papers.. Take it straight to the garbage when you are done cleaning out your bag. Once all trash is cleared out, move onto to what you know you will keep in your purse.

3.  Items to Keep: These should include keys, wallet, sunglasses in case, cell phone, PDA device, one working pen, one package of gum (or mints) , floss if you like and a toothbrush. You might also require a small tissue packet and a lip balm/gloss or lipstick and one hairclip or tie. If you plan to keep makeup in your bag,  place it in a small Ziploc bag so you don't have to rifle through your whole bag for it. You may also want either a brush or comb. In a smaller side pocket you might keep a small pack of medication or feminine hygiene products.

Items to reallocate would be things like kids toys, lint rollers, extra pens, pads of paper, CD's, extra hairclips, combs, brushes, travel size hairspray.

4. File any receipts, documents, appointment cards etc. right away as to avoid losing them altogether.

5. Open up your wallet and remove any expired coupons, old receipts, papers, and toss them, leaving only your country's currency, a couple of your own business cards, and your checkbook.

6. Find any appointment cards business cards that need to be filed and do so now. Find a home for foreign coins and bills.

7. Keep all relevant cards, stamps, and credit cards, eliminiating all rewards points cards that you rarely use. Instead take this with you only when you know you'll be heading to that particular store. Make photocopies of all important credit cards and documentation and put it in a safe place, in case you lose something.

Keep your purse and wallet organized by weekly going through it and removing receipts, trash, papers and cards that don't belong. Remove all the pens you collect and see if you can't make your purse lighter by dumping out the change and trading for bills at the bank or local coin changer. Store all baby and kids items in a separate diaper bag or knapsack as to not turn your handbag into a dumping ground.

I wrote this article a couple years ago and it was inspired by a friend that could never seem to find what she needed in her bag; particularly while in checkout lines, which seemed to be frustrating for her and everyone else behind her in line.  I hope it will help you stay organized!

Do you make it a habit to organize your handbag and wallet? Do you have other organizing habits that you keep up with to make your life easier? Share them with us!


  1. Excellent advice and, for me needs to be followed on a weekly basis or when I switch from one bag to another. It's amazing how fast receipts and other miscellaneous stuff can accumulate in your bag.

  2. Thanks Sam! Stuff can start to accumulate quickly, for this reason I also go through my wallet weekly too to get rid of papers I no longer need.

  3. Great (and timely) advice, Karla. I just embarrassed myself, and frustrated others, while I went "fishing" in my bag for my mis-placed debit card. I am off to organize. Thank-you!


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