What To Carry In Your Handbag
There can be few things in life which have been the subject of more jokes than the contents of a woman's handbag! Handbags are like black holes, which a variety of items enter never to be seen again, mainly because so many of us don't stop to think about what we put into our bags or how to organise our possessions sensibly.
Having said that, a handbag is also one of our most precious friends, the most useful of accessories and quite possibly an absolute life saver if you plan carefully. If you think ahead and organise your bag's contents well you can be that person that is ready for anything. Your bag, however, is not a Tardis, you cannot carry your entire life with you and a heavy bag is bad for your back, shoulders and neck so what should go into your bag and how do you arrange things so that you can always find them?
There are certain things that you should never leave the house without because there is always going to be that moment when you will regret your omission. These are the things that just have to find a place in your handbag:
- Your mobile phone which should always be in your bag and not in your pocket from where it can easily be stolen
- Your mobile charger because you never know how long you will be out and your phone is your time keeper, your camera, your safety net and your entertainment system
- Your Keys obvious but hey!
- Cash & cards or a purse containing both so all eventualities are covered
- Travel card because you are not going to get very far without it!
- Your driving license as this is a valuable form of ID and if you do get stopped by the police whilst driving, keeping your license with you will save you a trip to the police station to present your documents.
- Glasses or reading glasses if you wear them, otherwise you are never going find anything else in that handbag!
- Medication if you need to take it and even if you don't, include it anyway! Painkillers are always worth carrying too
- Your cigarettes and lighter or e-cigarettes if you are a smoker or vaper
- Deodorant to keep you fresh no matter how long you are out and about
- Perfume or perfume spray to keep you smelling sweet
- Cosmetics so you can always look your best. You don't need everything, just the absolute essentials
- Hair accessories including a brush or comb and hairspray if you use it
- A Mirror because the cosmetics and hair brush aren't going to be a lot of use without one!
- Tissues are always useful and they don't weigh anything so put them in!
- Feminine Hygiene essentials because if they are always with you there will be no oops! moments
- Breath mints because you wouldn't want to scare anybody off
- First aid kit or at least a few plasters because accidents can happen anywhere
- Hand sanitizer or wipes because you don't realise how useful these things are until you have them with you
- A Pen as even in the technological age it is surprising how often you need one
There are, of course, any number of other items which might find their way into your bag from time to time and depending on where you are going and what you are doing, some of these might be considered essentials. Other accessories to consider are:
- Sunscreen if it is hot and you don't want to look like a tomato
- A sewing kit for quick repairs on the move if you are prone to the odd rip and lost button
- Lip balm is very useful on cold and windy days
- A torch which is especially useful for finding other things in your bag when it is dark!
- Ear phones to save the rest of the world from your music
- Coupons If you love to shop and are an expert bargain hunter
- Insect repellent if you happen to find yourself in tropical climes or trekking up the Amazon
- Your tablet which is not life or death (or is it?) but can certainly come in handy
- Jewellery in case your evening gets up-scaled to a night on the town
- Spare tights if you wear them because accidents really do happen anywhere!
- Kitchen sink only joking!
Ok so we have identified the most important items to carry with you. How is it possible to get all that into one bag without carrying a suitcase with you or risking a permanent neck injury? You may also be asking yourself how you would ever find what you are looking for if your bag is so well stocked.
Here are some neat ideas on how to organise your bag:
1. Choose Your Bag
You will probably use different bags depending on where you are going and the nature of the occasion. After all you could hardly turn up to a ball in a sequined gown and carrying a rucksack! If a small bag is your only alternative then you will have to severely restrict what goes in it and carry only the essentials.
For everyday use a medium sized bag will be sufficient to carry everything apart from that kitchen sink as long as you follow our tips for minimising the volume of your essentials.
If you think that a new handbag is in order then we have many funky and stylish options for you at The Rainbow's End.
2. The Clean Slate
Unless you are stocking up a new handbag you will need to clear out your bag before you can organise it efficiently. Lay out an old cloth on a flat surface and tip out everything that is in your bag. You need the cloth because you are probably going to discharge a fair amount of crumbs, hair and assorted rubbish. Throw out what you don't need and take stock of what you have left.
3. Stocking Up
Go in search of the essentials which you are missing so you have everything that you want to carry in front of you.
Take a good look inside your bag to see what compartments are at your disposal and think about what items are best suited to which pockets. It is best to keep anything you might need to take out regularly in the main compartment. This will include your phone, your purse and your keys.
4. Honey I Shrunk My Contents!
Now for the clever stuff! Clearly a full sized version of everything you need is not going to fit into your bag so you will have to do some shrinking. Invest in mini versions of things like hairspray, deodorant, perfume, hand sanitizer etc or get hold of some small plastic bottles and fashion your own sample sized products.
Don't try to carry a whole box of plasters or an entire pack of wipes, just take a couple of each. This way you will use up very little space at all.
Form groups of items which can be stored together from your assembled essentials. Put all cosmetics in one group, lotions and potions in another and so on. To keep everything tidy and to make even the smallest item easy to find, put your smaller pieces into bags or pouches. We have some wonderful little cosmetic bags and cases at The Rainbow's End which would be ideal. We really adore the cute accessories in the Caroline Gardner range.
6. Good to Go
Now all you have to do is put all of your essentials into your handbag and you are good to go. By getting rid of the clutter you didn't need and by downsizing some of your pieces you have indeed created a miracle!