How To Organize Your Handbag

Handbag Organizing Tips

How to Organize Your Handbag
How to Organize Your Handbag. Photo / Getty

Organizing your handbag is a small project worth the effort. Think about these 3 benefits:

  1. Money Savings: Once you have the right tools in your bag to get through the day, you no longer have to pick up items at the last minute, potentially over-spending for convenience.
  2. Stress Reduction: An organized handbag assists in keeping track of your wallet, keys and cell phone at all times.
  3. Spare Your Back: Organizing you bag will cut down on the amount of heft (and possibly tonnage in some cases) you're lugging around all day.

    Goal: The key is to have only the times you need with you. Your doctor and back will thank you.

    1. Declutter.

    Go through your bag and take everything out. You'll likely be looking at a lot of "junk" or items you just don't know what to with. Toss the junk and put the not-sure-what-to-do-with-these aside for now.

    2. Assess and organize.

    Think about the bag you carry for everyday use. Is it big enough? Is it too big? Do you like the way it looks? Are the straps digging into your shoulders uncomfortably? Re-asses to make sure you're carrying a properly-sized, functional and cute bag that you love everyday.

    3. Decide what to store in your handbag.

    Next, stock your bag with these handbag basics:

    • Wallet
    • Cell Phone
    • Keys
    • Writing utensil and small notebook
    • Small pack of tissues
    • Neosporin (Hey, you never know!)
    • Lip balm

    4. Declutter your handbag.

    Now, take those items you're not sure about and decide to keep or toss them (Here's a Guide to Toss or Keep if you're having problems deciding and/or letting go).

    Separate the remaining items into an "All The Time" pile (read: the items you need to have in your bag daily) and a"Sometimes" for the items you use less often.

    5. Create a launch pad.

    Create a Launch Pad in your entry way to cut down on the amount you have to carry everywhere. This was originally suggested to me by Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers.

    A launch pad is a home for the items you need to carry sometimes but not all the time. All-the-time items can stay in your bag, but sometimes items need a place to sit while they're not in use.

    I would categorize the following as 'sometimes' items: work folder, notebooks, checkbook.

    TIP: My launch pad is a storage box near my front door full of lip glosses, tissue packets, my gym lock, digital camera and spare keys. A launch pad is a great place to store keys, cell phones, mail, umbrellas and newspapers. I use several different bags a week, so I dump everything out into my storage box when I walk in, this means:

    • Handbag essentials are always in the same place.
    • I can customize what I want to carry on my way out the door depending on what I'm doing.

    6. Maintain your handbag organization.

    Edit and clean your bag frequently. You want to carry as little as possible to spare your back and make things in your bag easier to find. If you repeatedly find you need an item on-the-go (your coupon folder, or your cell-phone charger) then by all means make room for those items you need all the time. On the other hand, do you need to carry your gym lock with you everyday? Probably not. Store that in your launch pad.

    Go through your bag weekly to clean it out. Have a garbage can and recycling bin nearby to quickly toss the clutter!

    TIP: Look for a bag with separate pockets for your cell phone and keys so you're not rooting around for your phone mid-ring in the middle of quiet movie theater or locked out of your home with a bag full of perishable groceries. It's important to always put your keys and cell phone in the same spots! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be amazed at the amount of people I know who habitually can't find these items in their bags.

    Next: How to organize your collection of handbags, purses, backpacks and more.