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How to Organize Your Handbag or Purse in 10 Minutes or Less

disorganized handbag

Is your handbag, purse, tote or whatever you are using to carry around your stuff like a deep, dark cavern? You know, a place where anything and everything can hide? It’s hard to find what you’re looking for in a bag that’s full of everything. Do you sometimes feel like your keys, phone, wallet, credit cards, checkbook, or sunglasses are lost because they are hard to find quickly in your bag?

My mother used to call my handbag, my suitcase, because it was big and could hold just about anything. The point is that if just about anything can fit in your bag, you probably want to empty it out from time to time and organize the contents.

I don’t know about you, but I am often asked to hold things for my husband and in days gone by my children. I like to keep my hands free so when I’m asked to hold onto to something it invariably gets put in my handbag. If I keep putting things in without taking them out, I get into trouble. Does this happen to you? Does your bag become so full you can’t find the things you want and need? It can be embarrassing to empty your handbag in front of others so you can find the missing credit card that was haphazardly tossed in your handbag or the ringing phone lurking at the bottom of the bag.

What is in my handbag?

My handbag holds everything I need for the day with room for extras. It has lots of pockets and sections to keep most everything organized.  I always know where my keys, phone, wallet, and glasses are because there is a specific place to put them. Almost every bag I own has pockets and organizing sections.

Since I am a professional organizer my clients will often ask me which handbag is the best to buy. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite brand. I tell them to look for a bag which has some, but not too many, pockets and zippered sections. This way there is a specific place to put things you regularly need to find quickly.

I tell my clients that your handbag is just like your home. When you have a place to put things, you are confident that you know where to find them.

I recently moved out of my house. On the last day of my move, all sorts of things were tossed in my handbag. I put the bag of picture hooks, a candle that was left in a closet, a couple of small rubber duckies (don’t ask), a water bottle (have to stay hydrated), along with all the regular items. My bag was so full that it hurt my shoulder to carry it. Time to clean it out.

Follow these 6 steps to organize your handbag or purse in 10 minutes or less

I got out my Organize Your Home 10 Minutes at a Time card deck, found the Wild Card titled Handbag/Tote bag/ Backpack and set my timer.

  1. Dump everything out of your handbag or purse. Shake your bag in case something is hiding in a deep pocket.
  2. Wipe or vacuum out the bag. There may be crumbs lurking in the bottom of the bag.
  3. Sort the contents of your bag.
  4. Put the trash in the garbage.
  5. File any receipts.
  6. Put other things where they belong in your bag.

One of the things I love about this bag is that it has all sorts of organizing pockets. My sunglasses belong in one of those pockets. There’s a zip pocket for the little RFD case I use to hold my driver’s license and credit cards.

The timer dinged just as I put my cosmetic bag back in my handbag.


organized handbag

Job accomplished! My handbag is no longer a heavy weight. I removed the excess and put back the things I need and use regularly where they belong.

Is your handbag or purse full of extra stuff? Is it too heavy for your shoulder? Take 10 minutes and organize your handbag. It feels good to know that everything you need is there and easy to access.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact Diane for a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation.

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