Most women carry one, and it usually contains far more items than they ever need.

We have all had those moments looking for our keys or phone in the bottom of our bags....out it all comes, piece by piece leaving a trail of embarrassment as onlookers see your bottomless pit of a handbag and allllll its contents.... a collection of useless items that have been accumulating for several years because you didn't even know they were even in there. 

I really can’t see the point of carrying a bag of litter with me everywhere I go, so now I have regular clear-outs. These are as fundamental to me as laundering my clothes.

What’s in Your bag?

Used to carry personal items when travelling from place to place. In the case of designer bags, they are a fashion statement too.

The problems start if you’re the kind of person who has a home filled with things you are keeping “just in case” you need them. You are likely to try to replicate this when you are out and about.

Items commonly found in a woman’s handbag are as follows. Take a deep breath if you’re reading this out loud:

Keys, cell phone, wallet, credit cards, store cards, other cards, cash, receipts, make-up, mirror, hairbrush, comb, hair accessories, nail file, tweezers. It might have perfume, deodorant, lip balm, jewelry, glasses, sunglasses, sunscreen, medicines, band-aids, dental floss, hand sanitizer, safety pins, sewing kit, tissues.

And don’t forget a notebook, pen, water bottle, flashlight, USB flash drive, laptop, headphones, mints, and various kinds of snacks

Extra items may be added according to need, such as an umbrella, magazine, book, eBook reader, hat, scarf or gloves. You can add your own favourites to this list.

Enter “purse dump” into Google images to see many examples of the contents of women’s bags. 

How to Have a Clear-out

“Everything in my bag is essential”, you may think. But if you actually turn out the contents and go through them one by one, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll find items you are needlessly carrying around. Here’s how to lighten your load.

First, create a place in your home where you can keep things you sometimes carry in your purse/handbag but don’t need to take every day. It can be a drawer, box, shelf, or whatever works for you, and preferably located near your front door.

This makes it much easier to change what you take with you from day to day, according to you need. This is instead of taking everything “just in case”.


Tip everything out of your bag. Shake out any remaining debris over a bin or, for a deeper clean, use a vacuum on a gentle setting. Keep a bin near you as you sort through your pile so that you can toss any rubbish as you find it.


They weigh a lot and quickly mount up. Keep a few, and put the rest in a money box to cash in at the bank when you’ve accumulated enough.


Carry only the ones you need every day. Leave any others at home.


Create a place in your bag where you put receipts whenever you make a purchase. Go through and discard any that you don’t need to keep, and file the rest in monthly folders so that you can easily check through your bank and credit card statements when they arrive.

Credit cards, store cards and other cards

Do you have too many? And do really need to carry them all with you?


Discard anything that’s been in there so long you wouldn’t feel right about offering it to a friend!

Seasonal items

Take out any items you’re not using in the current season, such as gloves in summer, or sunscreen in winter.



Remove any items you rarely use. You can always add them back in for the days when you’ll need them.

Hair accessories and jewelry

Carry essentials only. Keep the rest at home.


Get the smallest one you can for the purpose you use it for.


Things You Never Use

Take out anything you’ve been carrying around with you for over a year and haven’t used even once.

Put back in your bag the things you need for today. Place other items you need sometimes in your designated drawer or box. Return items you never or rarely need to where they belong in your home.

Does It Really Matter What’s In Your Bag?

Your purse or handbag is a microcosm that says so much about you. Consciously or unconsciously, you’ve selected every item that’s in there, and each one tells its own story. The way your bag is organized reflects how you live your life. If you find you’re always rummaging to find things, use small pouches to keep items of each type together.

Get yourself a bag that has more compartments like our CODE REPUBLIC bags. When the bag you carry with you everywhere is more organized, your life starts to become more organized too.

If you would be happy for anyone at any time to see what you are carrying in your bag, that’s fine. This article will only help you organize it better. If you would feel shame if someone were to take a look inside, it means there’s some part of you that is hiding from the world.

This will reflect on how open you can be in your relationships. Having regular clear-outs will boost your self-esteem and allow more of the real you to shine through.

The great thing about decluttering a purse or handbag is that it doesn’t take long to do. Get into the habit of a once-a-week clear-out and experience how much better it makes you feel. Not only that, but if you have a clutter-free bag, a natural progression is to want to have a clutter-free home. It begins in small and there’s no telling where it could end!

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