How to Organize Your Purse in 6 Easy Steps

Does your back hurt from the weight of your purse? Let's organize it.

Organize Your Purse in 5 Steps
Getty Images/Tim Hall

You think your purse is filled with random things?  Listen to this story.  During the 1960's, there was a television show called Let's Make a Deal. The host would offer cash to audience members who could produce specific items from their purses.  They pulled out the weirdest items from their purse like kitchen utensils to children's toys to miscellaneous food items. You wouldn't believe the things that these people pulled from their purses!

What about your purse? Do you have trouble finding what you're looking for in yours? Do you have small items that have found a permanent home at the bottom of your purse? Are you embarrassed when someone next to you looks into your open purse while it's sitting on the floor?

Let's Make a Deal is no longer televised. The possibility of a cash award for a messy purse is not likely. It's time to organize your messy purse.  Take one hour this weekend and get organized. Use this step-by-step solution to organize your purse and keep it organized.  You'll need various sized zippered pouches and a small 3" x 5" expandable file.  

Step One: Empty Your Purse

Take everything out of your purse and spread it out on the table.  Then give your purse a real good shake over the trash barrel to empty out all the crumbs.  

Next, look for items to be thrown away like receipts you no longer need, notes or pieces of paper you no longer need, empty snack wrappers, gum or candy wrappers, and of course used tissues or napkins.

Step Two: Sort and Group

Sort the remaining items into category such as: 

  • Cosmetics, hand lotion, nail files
  • Brush, comb, hairspray
  • Medicines, aspirin, bandages
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, notepads, pocket calendar
  • Coupons, store loyalty cards, gift cards
  • Wallet, change purse, checkbook
  • Keys
  • Cell phone, business cards
  • Children's toys, pacifiers, books

Review the above items and ask yourself what you truly use on a daily basis. If you are carrying a lot of things in your purse "just in case," consider leaving them out. Think about how heavy your purse is and if you really need to be carrying these items or not.

Step Three: Make Your Purse a Kid-Free Zone  

As a mom, the reality is that you have very few things that are yours alone. Your purse should be one of them.

Consider keeping a smaller zippered bag in the car to store kid's items that frequently find their way into your purse, like matchbox cars, rattles, pacifiers, toys and books.

Step Four: Organize Your Wallet

While this step could be an organizational challenge all by itself, you need to clean out your wallet before you put it back into your newly organized purse.  First, take everything out of your wallet.  Throw away any receipts or papers you no longer need.  Next, sort cards by category like Driver's License, insurance, debit and credit, rewards cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards. 

Would you consider keeping only your Driver's License, insurance and debit and credit cards in your wallet?  If so, use the 3" x 5" expandable file to store rewards cards, loyalty cards and gift cards for easy access.


Last, sort your money by denomination and put it back into your wallet. Consider using a separate change purse for coins and put your checkbook in the appropriate part of your wallet, if applicable.  

Make a promise to yourself that only dollar bills will go into your wallet to train your brain for abundance.  No more receipts in your wallet!  It only reminds you of money spent.  Create a designated spot in your purse for receipts so that your wallet is not overflowing with them.

Step Five: The Zippered Pouch

If your purse does not already have a few zippered pouches, take the following items by category and put them in appropriate-sized zippered pouches:

  • Cosmetics, etc.
  • Medicines, gum, mints
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, etc.

The goal of the zippered pouch is to avoid having multiple loose items that are destined to fall to the bottom of your purse to be forgotten or dug for.

Step Six: Put Your Purse Back Together and Keep It Organized

Put all remaining items and pouches back in your purse. The ideal purse has two outside pockets - one for your cell phone and one for your keys.

Keeping your purse organized isn't hard; it just requires some discipline. Make it a habit to go through your purse at the end of each week.  Throw away any receipts or papers that have accumulated throughout the week.  Oftentimes, items that are supposed to be in pouches will be loose in your purse. Collect them and put them back in the appropriate pouch.  If any bills or coins are floating in your purse, put them in your wallet or change purse. It's a good habit to take good care of your money, no matter what form it comes in.

Over time, putting items back in the appropriate spot in your purse will become a habit and your purse will stay neat, organized and hopefully lighter.

Updated by Elizabeth McGrory