How to Make the Most of Precious Purse Real Estate

What's in my bagWomen are often teased about the messiness of their purses. Do they really need all that stuff in there? Of course, many women will answer that question with a resounding, “Yes!” However, most could stand to consolidate a bit.

While it may be true that keeping one’s purse organized can be difficult, what is often overlooked is the importance of including multi-purpose items to help reduce clutter. The more functions each item in your purse has, the more space you can make for items that provide safety (such as an LED flashlight or multi-tool) or everyday value. Besides those precious family photos and good luck charms, anything else that is not necessary, or of immediate practical value, should be left out.

Here are some tips for getting maximum use out of your limited purse space:

Purse within a purse. First, consider putting all of your makeup into a separate smaller purse or carrying a kit within your purse. Next, store just the bare minimum of your favorite makeup products; go for your favorite core colors and glosses, and keep the rest at home for special occasions. Keep larger necessary items, like multi-tools or an LED flashlight, in the main compartment while maximizing the use of sub-compartments with smaller essential items.

Accessibility. Keep what’s used most often – like your wallet, camera, phone, multi-tool, led flashlight, etc. – secured snugly in a location that’s easily accessible. Try to mix and match items that fit together well. Whatever you do don’t keep things hanging loosely about here and there; this is a recipe for losing something valuable! Create more space by removing and storing away all receipts and loose paper items every few days or so.

Safety and emergency items. Every well-equipped purse should include items that can keep you safe, like a backup battery for your phone, mace, band-aids, tissue and so on. Consider the utility value of each item: You want small but powerful. For example, include a compact or keychain LED flashlight.

Multi-tools. A trusty multi-tool is an excellent item to keep in your purse; the real payoff is in the amount of utility it provides versus the space it requires. A good multi-tool for women will typically include a nail file, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, scissors, bottle opener and more, while taking up minimal space in your purse. You can even get multi-tools with LED flashlights built in

Compartmentalize the rest. Health products such as floss, vitamins, eye drops or sanitizer should all be stored in the same area; this will keep you from making a mess when you are rummaging through compartments. Keep things organized by use and category. Your multi-tool, wallet and smart phone would go in the main area, for example, because they have the most overall utility, whereas your lipstick and floss might go in a smaller inside pocket.

Of course, purse sizes and styles vary, so modify and adapt your setup as needed. Don’t be afraid to spend an hour or so organizing your purse; it’ll save you a lot of time later when you’re looking for things. Indeed, that LED flashlight might just come in handy during your next rummaging!

[ photo by: Valerie Reneé ]

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