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They’re like a bottomless pit, but what would you expect to find in most women’s handbags? Well, a lot of things that probably shouldn’t be in there, especially given the clutter this creates within your bag, not to mention the damage some items can do.

In order to cope with our hectic lifestyles, women in most Western Countries carry along an expensive array of gadgets, accessories and other essentials as they conduct their beauty and work regimes on the go. I’m sure you’ve seen women applying make-up whilst waiting for the train.

Did you know that the average woman’s handbag, filled with all its contents, weighs about 2.5kgs? That’s a lot of weight to lug around all day – definitely not good for your back or your bag. And the value of these contents can be thousands – mobile phones, e-readers, make-up, brush, organiser, stationery, tablet, jewellery, the list goes on.

So what to do. First of all, empty out all your bags. No doubt you’ll find ticket stubs from two years ago, empty boxes of mints, a nail file, pens, tissues, out of date lipsticks… you name it, it’s probably in there.

Then, have an honest think about what you actually need in your bag each day. I’ve put together a bit of a check-list that should cover most of the essentials.

  • ID/Driver’s Licence
  • Always have some cash (even if it’s just a nominal amount)
  • Membership cards e.g. gym, library
  • Rewards cards/Frequent purchase cards e.g. Woolworths, Fly Buys
  • Keys (carry as few as possible – just the ones you need like house, office, car, mailbox; keep the rest on a separate key ring at home)
  • Phone
  • Keychain light of some description, or better still, make sure you have a flashlight app on your phone
  • Band Aids
  • Panadol
  • Prescription medicines
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lipstick/small mirror - just in case the lid comes off, make sure the lipstick is in a small separate make-up or bag organiser within your bag (more on this critical item later)

I really think those are the essentials, but if you must, you could also add:

  • Travel size breath mints/mouth wash
  • Travel size hair brush
  • Reading glasses (if required)
  • Travel size hand lotion
  • Travel size hand sanitiser
  • Travel size perfume (go for a cream version to avoid leakage)
  • E-reader

Thankfully, with the convergence of technology – gone are the days where you also would want your iPod, pen/notepad, organiser etc. in there – your phone does it all.

Now here’s what I think you definitely should not have in your handbag:

  • Crumpled up notes/receipts/used tissues
  • Nail polish (disaster waiting to happen)
  • Make-up thrown in loosely (death to your bag!)
  • The kitchen sink!

So once you’ve done this purge, the next best thing you can do is you get yourself a handy bag organiser. This simple item will save you hours of looking for everything to take with you from home, It’ll make it much easier to find all the items in your bag; and most importantly, at the end of the day when you get home, you can pull it out of your bag with everything you need still in it (and your bag will breathe a sigh of relief once the weight is removed). Just be sure to always keep your bag organiser in the same spot, so you never have to look for it. Then, the next day, you can choose a different bag to wear, and you can simply pop your organiser into it – ready to go.

Now I can hear you saying, all sounds easy, but the next problem is getting to that other bag to wear tomorrow… well, of course, you know what my answer to that is – get yourself a thh – the handbag hanger. No brainer. All your bags will be hung in a neat and orderly fashion, you'll be able to easily see them all, and you can just grab the one that takes your fancy – pop your bag organiser in, and off you go. (I actually hang my bag organiser on my handbag hanger, so it’s right there for me – huge time saver). Just always remember, never hang your bags with the organiser and other contents in it, this is torture for your bags.

It just takes a small amount of organisation, but not only will your back and shoulders thank you for lightening the load, your bags will love you for it too.

declutter handbags

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