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As larger handbags are trending, the need for more organization is imperative. Overstuffed bags make things harder to find and hold up lines, which can be stressful. Not to mention, The American Chiropractic Association warns that carrying a bag that is too heavy can cause pain in your back, shoulders and neck. To lessen your load and make items easier to find, let's organize your pocketbook!

Empty Your Pocketbook

The first step to getting organized is to empty your handbag of its contents. This will give you a clean slate to work with. Empty the contents and repair any ripped lining to prepare for a fresh start.

Organizing Your Pocketbook

It is best to carry a bag with a variety of compartments to separate and hold your items, however, you can purchase a variety of pouches to store your items inside your purse. Clear or mesh pouches allow you to see what's inside the pouch, which makes items easier to locate, while bright colorful pouches offer more privacy and allow you to identify items by color. Now that you have your organizers, it's time to fill your bag!

What Should I Have in My Pocketbook?

  • ID, Credit Cards, Cash and Keys - You should always have a wallet or small pouch to carry your identification, credit cards and money. A slender key-chain wallet is great, because it doubles as a place to secure your keys as well as important documents. To keep your wallet from getting lost inside your purse, use an inexpensive key chain flip to snap it onto the strap of your bag, so it is easy to locate.

  • A planner is another good device for storing your items, because it doubles as a way to secure your daily schedule as well as important documents.

  • Sunglasses, Cell Phone, Make-Up and First Aid Supplies - You will also need a place to store your sunglasses and/or reading glasses and your cell phone. An outside pocket is generally a good place. Be sure to store your sunglasses and/or reading glasses in a sturdy sunglasses case to keep them from getting damaged or scratched in your purse.

  • Supplies such as Band-Aids, tissues, medication and antibacterial products are also good to have on hand. Some women also prefer to carry a minute stash of make up for touch ups on the go.

  • Coupons, Rewards Cards, Gift Cards and Receipts - Store your coupons, rewards cards, gift cards and receipts in a tabbed envelope. This way, they're organized in a specific place for when you need them. Organize them by type, alphabetical order or category, etc. to make them easier to locate.

  • Business Cards - Store your business cards in a mint tin, like an Altoids tin, or in your sunglasses case to keep them in crisp condition and make them easier to locate.

  • Chargers and Headphones - To keep your charging and headphone cords from becoming tangled, store them in a sunglass case.

  • Books and Notebooks - To lighten your load and de-clutter your bag, download your favorite book on your tablet or smart phone. This is also a great idea for notebooks and planners.

  • Recyclable Totes - For eco-friendly errand runners, a collapsible tote is great to have in your bag to carry your groceries. Some brands carry as much as two small size shopping bags.

What Should I Not Have in My Pocketbook?

  • Full-Sized Products - Full size products and large hair brushes take up a lot of space in your handbag. Omit these items altogether, or opt for small travel-size products and maybe a folding hair brush, instead.

  • Excess Change - Excess change can also weigh your bag down. Empty your purse of excess change, which can be stored in a jar and converted into dollars later, and marvel at how light your load becomes.

Staying Organized

  • To keep your pocketbook organized, commit yourself to ridding your purse of accumulated trash, wrappers, receipts and coins at the end of each day.
  • Another way to avoid a cluttered purse is to steer clear of "just in case items." These are items such as umbrellas, etc. that you carry in your bag just in case, but never really actually use.

  • When possible, store items such as your keys, cell phone, lip balm, lip gloss or lipstick, hand lotion, candy, gum or mints etc. in its own separate compartment to make them easier to find when you need them.

  • Keep an eye on expiration dates. Items such as aspirin, cough drops, cold medicine and even make up all have expiration dates. To ensure the products you are using are safe, check expiration dates regularly and replace items accordingly. According to experts, mascara has a 3 month expiration date, lipstick and lip gloss 3-6 months, blush/bronzer 1 year, eyeshadow 2 years and makeup brushes 3-6 months. For all other products, check the manufacturer's expiration date.

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This page was last updated: June 25, 2016
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