Purse Essentials and Organization

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias #shop #ad#shopI carry a big purse. A heavy, big purse. It’s more like a purse/brief case/tote bag combined. The thing is, I’m often out of the house for a whole day at a time, and I just never know what I might need during the day, and so I like to be prepared.

I want to show you my purse essentials, how I organize my bag… and how and why I don’t always take it everywhere. But before I do, since this is a sponsored post, we need to go shopping for a few little things. Wal-Mart has always been my go-to store for these kinds of little necessities, so it was very convenient for this particular shopping assignment. I had a specific 3-item shopping list from Pfizer, and lucky for you I took pictures of where I found these items, so when you go shopping you’ll know just where to look.


  • I found a 2-pack of  the handy Advil Travel Vial on the check-out aisle. These are the original round tablets providing safe, effective pain relief for over 25 years.
  • ChapStick Total Hydration was in a ChapStick-branded display at the end of the aisle with the Lip Care banner. ChapStick Total Hydration is 100% natural and instantly smooths and moisturizes.
  • New Centrum VitaMints were on the vitamin aisle. They are adult multivitamins with a refreshingly minty taste you can take/enjoy any time of day with or without food or water.

“What other items do you consider to be purse essentials?” you might ask. Well, just let me show you.

#shopOh, my. What a mess. And that’s after I tossed out the wadded tissues, unneeded receipts, and other bits of trash that tend to accumulate. Can you imagine having to plunder through all that any time you needed something? Neither can I.

One solution would be to just carry less. And I could do that. But then, what if I needed something I didn’t have with me? Is it the Boy Scouts or the Girl Scouts whose motto is Be Prepared? I think it’s the Boy Scouts. It’s my motto, too. If I’m going to be gone all day, I want my “stuff” with me. And so I organize all that little plunder into smaller cosmetic-size zipper bags.

#shopI have one little bag for items that I use frequently that includes…

  • ChapStick Total Hydration (It is very dry in Denver. ‘Nuff said?)
  • lotion (Ditto on the dryness.)
  • hand sanitizer
  • Advil Travel Vial (I wish this wasn’t a frequently used item, but unfortunately I get headaches a lot.)
  • contact lens case
  • dental floss

Another bag contains “emergency” type items, not needed frequently, but very handy to have when the need does arise…

  • sewing kit
  • tiny screwdriver set
  • small pocket knife
  • lighter (you never know)
  • spare contact lenses
  • feminine products
  • first-aid items

One year at back-to-school time I found a little cloth zippered pencil bag. This bag includes…

  • pens
  • pencils
  • a stylus
  • a funny little pair of reading glasses (for when I get somewhere without the pair that is usually perched on my head)
  • emery boards

One of my little bags has a strap across the top with a clip on the end which makes it handy to attach my keys. That’s the bag I grab when I’m going to the gym. It has…

  • my MP3 player loaded with audio books
  • ear buds
  • gym membership card
  • energy drink mix
  • this bag also has room for my cell phone when it’s the only bag I carry

And, last but not least, is the snack bag. I keep in it…

  • chewing gum
  • Centrum VitaMints
  • chocolate
  • hard candy
  • nuts
  • tea bags

#shopNow that all the small items are sorted into their respective bags I can tuck them down into my big bag, along with the larger items such as my wallet, my tablet, and an umbrella. Depending on my destination and the weather I might also add a water bottle, a notebook, a small crochet project, a light shawl… you name it.

But… what if I know I’m not going to need all that? Having everything organized into bags make it easy to just grab my wallet and the “everyday necessities” bag and tuck them into a smaller purse along with my keys and my cell phone.

#shopWhat about you? Do you tend to “travel light” when it comes to your purse? Or are you like me and haul a Mary Poppins bag with you? I’d love to know. Check out more ideas for “purse essentials.”


  • Nance Biswas: Leaning on Jesus

    This made me smile. My bag is like a small cabinet I carry around. I have different pouches for everything–one for my daughter’s hair clips, one for my make-up kit, one for pens and so on so when you open my purse, you will see a collection of pouches inside. 🙂

    • KarlaCook

      I never have. I should. I wouldn’t be surprised if it weighs in at close to 20 pounds sometimes when I include a water bottle, my tablet, my kindle, crocheting, a shawl… and who knows what all else. It’s rather insane!

  • Anonymous

    Remember when we played that purse game at your house? Remember how poorly I did? Probably not, because you either won or came close. I did horrible! I have a smaller than average purse and still consider it too big. =) My mom, though. She and you could go toe to toe on the purse contents.

    • KarlaCook

      Anonymous dear, you must be Farrah because you’re the only one I know who carries such a tiny purse. I take that back. I do know one other lady who carries a bag as small as yours, but she’s never been to my house so it must be you. I thought of your very small purse when I wrote this post, and wondered how you get by with so little!

  • Stephanie

    I try to to travel light, but with three little kids it never seems to happen! I have to be prepared for everything,but I recently started to carry one mini bag that I through in my diaper bag with items just for me – like ChapStick! {Client}

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