Every woman who carries a purse knows that—no matter how hard you try—keeping it immaculate is, well, a feat. Obviously, we never purposely intend to make it a disaster area, but the scrum of old receipts, notes, loose change, lipstick, tags and pretty much anything else you carry always tends to make their way onto the bottom of your bag, making it impossible to actually find what you need.
It’s obviously pretty irritating to carry around a gigantic bag filled with nonsense but it also can take a toll on your body, too: Lugging around too-heavy purses can cause muscle imbalances and a slew of alignment issues, not to mention a some serious neck and shoulder pain.
Overstuffed bag hinder you from finding what you need quickly, such as Metrocards (which can cause missed-train stress), key cards to get into your office or your car keys (resulting in being late), or that $5 bill to buy that latte (which holds up lines, inherently creating stress.) The good news: Organizing your bag is way easier than you think. Read on for a 8 foolproof ways to cut unnecessary clutter right now.
1. Separate your non-essential belongings by category.
Separating all the junk you carry around might sound like a waste of time, but it really works. Take non-essential things things like makeup and hair ties, chargers, and whatever else you carry into separate small pouches or compartments. The essentials go in your wallet, which we’ll get to later.
2. Put your coupons, receipts and gift cards in a tabbed envelope.
The best way to keep all the paper goods (i.e. coupons, rewards cards, receipts, gift cards, etc) in order is to have them organized in a specific place. Whether you choose to organize them in alphabetical order, by category (clothing, grocery, beauty) or by what they are (coupon, receipt, gift card), it’ll be easier to find what exactly you’re looking for when the time comes. This also works well for cards you don’t carry in your bag, but keep at home, too.
3. Find the items you use most frequently and don’t pack those away.
Sunglasses, your cell phone, and your keys are all items you’re obviously taking in and out of your purse frequently. Instead of stressing trying to find your cell phone while it’s ringing or digging for your sunglasses when the sun is blinding you, leave these pieces out. If everything else is separated, these will always be in plain sight.
4. Put your headphones and chargers in a sunglasses case.
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to untangle headphones and charging cords in the middle of your already disastrous purse. Keeping them in a sunglasses case will make your life so much easier.
5. Take advantage of technology.
Yes, there’s nothing like the feeling of an actual book in your hands, but when it comes to reading on your commute to work or on your break, download the book on your iPhone or tablet so you won’t have the extra weight and clutter in your purse. This also goes for planners and notebooks!
6. Put cards in a mint tin.
Instead of overstuffing your wallet, try keeping necessary business cards, rewards cards, or gift cards in mint (pun intended) condition by storing them in a mint tin like an Altoids case.
7. Go crazy with compartmentalized wallets.
Instead of having to weed through your purse to find out where the heck you left your license and debit card, organize them in a wallet with a clear, simple and easy-to-view organizing system. This is save you time and energy because when you’re searching for a specific card, you can just look for the color or logo since the wallet will show you previews of all your cards as soon as you open it.
8. Clean out the junk at the end of every day.
The hardest part of having an organized purse is keeping it that way. Commit to tossing any stray receipts, trash or wrappers that may have made it’s way into your bag throughout the day, and remove loose change. Do this every night, and your bag will always be organized.