Disclaimer: My bag was in such bad shape that even the blogger in me could not click a “before” picture of the actual bag spill. That opening image above is a fictional stylized mess with only select articles, in reality poly-bags, loom bands, hair strands, candy wrappers and crumbs were the less glamorous co-inhabitants, purposely left out for sanitary and sanity reasons.
This tote makeover was a long overdue task that required a meagre investment but made the biggest difference. I am sharing with you today, tips to keep your bag from turning into a portable trashcan and to stop you from becoming that lady who spills out her bag in desperation at billing counters after holding up the line (speaking from experience).
1. De-clutter! ASAP & AO(often)AP
Do not carry your world in your bag, literally. Be practical and give what you need or do not, a thought before you step out of the house. If it is night, eliminate the sunglasses from the cargo, unless you are a celebrity. Take it from someone who is guilty of carrying that massive sunglass case all around, even to movie theaters…ahem…at night shows.
You need to allot your prime bag real-estate to the big players depending on the number of zips and pockets and stick to it. A pocket for your phone, one for your keys, one for wallet or anything you most frequently access. Designating the bosses their cabins in the office and not letting them lurk around the cubicles will make things easier, for everyone.
3. Carry Cash and say no to Plastic
I use this strategy as a reverse psychology experiment on myself to curb impulsive shopping, DO NOT carry plastic money (credit/debit) to the mall. I scope, ogle, lust from a distance, sometimes go say hi, but I never buy the drink. Decoding the analogy, I window shop but I never purchase the first time (even if I suffer from that post trial room guilt/urge), simply because I can not as I DO NOT have the money on me. If I can not get something, say a dress, out my head for the next week or two then I indulge (online after availing some cashback/discounts) else I just saved money for my yet unborn kid’s future science project. It is a win-win, no plastic = no wallet clutter = no impulse buys (= no new clothes 😦 ) .
4. Do not carry (messy) food
I am no bag snob, this bag was a one time expense as a late wedding gift from the then “new husband” (he still is my husband…). He probably hesitated in saying “no” and I definitely milked it. There are so many self imposed restrictions on an expensive (for me) bag. But I feel not carrying any snack or candies have really helped keep this baby clean of late. No more crumbs lying at the bottom and no ants biting you as you disturb their food (true story) . If I must carry snacks, then I use a cute tin box that I got with peanuts in a flight one time. I appreciate the box and the double entendre it comes with (as is obvious, I am a proud nutcase).
5. Carry the Quill and the Parchment
I carry my planner and a pen with me especially when I am commuting. It is a great time to exercise that idle mind (translation for gawking at everybody’s outfits) and plan my day ahead or next day if it is an evening commute. I jot down my goals/tasks for the day, what I am gonna eat or exercise or just any random thoughts, even grocery items (though, not since this printable). This can be achieved with your phone too, I just prefer the old school pen and paper. Just carry sticky notes, if you are short on space.
Here comes the reveal part, lets look at the tools of the trade. Below you see the staples I use to organize my bag.
1.Nourish Daily Planner 2. Snacks Case 3. Bazaar Pirates Credit Card Holder 4. Sunglasses Case 5 . Cilver Silicone Coin Purse/Earphones Pouch – SOLD OUT (Option) 6. Kanvas Katha Feminine Care Pouch 7. The Crazy Me Vintage Pouch 8. Scoop street Cosmetic Pouch
Sometimes, I also carry my household card organizer (below right). I usually find the time to take out the cards I need from here and transfer to my card holder. But, if I need to rush to the bank or ATM, it fits perfectly inside and since it’s all labeled there is never any confusion. However, I advise against carrying all the plastic money together, unless it is an emergency.
See everything is so snug and there is still so much room left. If I switch bags all I need to do is take out and transfer the 8 staples (I actually count every time) and I am done. Let’s check out these goodies, one at a time.
I would always recommend investing in pretty pouches (for carrying as clutch on occasion) in varied sizes for organizing your handbag. I use this floral pouch as a cosmetic case and it carries my basic touch up products. To transform this into a handheld clutch, I just toss in my phone and card holder and we are good to go. If I need to carry more products or when I am travelling, I sneak in my other makeup organizer (see it here with other travel tips).
This vintage print pouch (below) with the furry pom pom tassel carries any utility/emergency products like a sanitizer, a pair of safety pins (must carry backup for popped off buttons), band aid, wet tissues (do not be mislead by the packaging…..it is not what you think 😉 ) and an analgesic.
I love my little patterned cardholder, so chic and tiny yet functional, it has tremendously helped curb my card carrying mania. A low balance debit card, metro card, driving license and some cash is all that I carry mostly, it has room for more though. The opening mechanism will take some adjusting to, other than that it is a worthwhile investment.
I am obsessed with this little baldy pouch for keeping coins sorted and they also make less sound in there because of the silicone cushioning. I hastily corral headphones in it sometimes to take the cord clutter out of sight too.
These little changes have helped me a ton and the cost was insignificant in comparison to how sorted my handbag looks on a daily basis. I hope it helps you.
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