What’s In My Bag?

I love reading other people’s “what’s in my bag?” posts. We treat our purses and wallets as so private and unique, but we all carry the same stuff, really, with some slight variations.

I usually carry a big bag that my family (affectionately? disdainfully?) calls my suitcase. They make fun of it until they need something from it or want me to carry something for them. Because my bags are so big, I use a lot of little zippered pouches inside to keep things organized and easy to find.

Here’s what’s in my bag:

Wallet. My wallet has a wrist strap and a pocket inside for my phone, so I can grab it and go when I don’t want or need my whole suitcase of a purse. My wallet has the usual suspects inside–driver’s license, bank cards, and insurance cards.

Nice pen. You always need a pen, or someone else always needs to borrow a pen. In my experience, a borrowed pen is more likely to get returned to you if it’s a nice pen…And I’m less likely to walk away without it. I usually keep a ballpoint pen in my bag, not a gel or liquid ink pen, because a ballpoint pen seems less likely to leak much if it gets hot, cold, or broken.

Koozie. I don’t know how or why I started carrying a can koozie, but it comes in handy all the time (like when running errands/shopping, at parties, at outdoor events). Mine is bright and lightweight and covered in pictures of alligators. Bonus: It matches my nice pen. Double bonus: I use it as a protective sleeve for my office ID badges when I’m not wearing them.

Lip balm. I swap this out depending on my mood and the season.  Right now I’ve got a Crazy Rumors lip balm (vegan & cruelty free!) in Spiced Chai flavor.  It smells like cardamom and cinnamon and ginger and it’s perfect for fall.

Medicine pouch. This pouch contains my two (yes, two) pill cases. One pill case holds my daily vitamins and prescriptions in divided sections, and one case holds my “as needed” medicine like ibuprofen and allergy tablets. #notaginggracefully

Health & beauty pouch. This is like my little emergency and grooming kit. I have tissues, individually packaged moist wipes, inhaler, hair ties, bobby pins, contact-friendly eye drops, and lip gloss in here.

Lady parts pouch. You know what’s in here. It’s an opaque wristlet so I can grab it and go.

Cords ‘n’ cables pouch. I keep my iPhone earbuds and a charging cable in here.

Coin pouch. I don’t often carry cash, but I try to keep a few quarters and dollar bills in my purse for vending machines, parking fees, etc.

Coupon pouch. I’m not an avid couponer, but I use the occasional high value coupon I might get in the mail, online, or from a store.


Emergency snack. You do not want to be around me when I’m hangry. I try to keep some kind of snack bar on hand to minimize damage to my personal relationships. Chewy granola bars in thick wrappers work the best for purse life. Chewy bars can take a lot of abuse and don’t crumble into messy dust like crunchy granola bars.

Keys. I carry the minimum number of keys I need and a tiny Swiss Army knife on my key ring. I keep a plastic lanyard on my key ring, too–it’s long and bright and easy to spot in my cavernous bag. My two keychains–a sparkly turtle and a sparkly alligator–probably offset any weight I might have saved by carrying only two keys. Also, instead of carrying a huge key ring full of customer loyalty cards, I use a free phone app called CardStar to scan and save all my card numbers.

Sunglasses & pouch. Glare gives me headaches.

Notebook.  I keep a running “to do” list in here.  I like to look back at what I’ve already marked off.  Makes me feel accomplished.

Hmm. I know I could probably pare down quite a bit, but I like having this stuff on hand most days for work, errands, etc. The trick is to remember what I have and use it when I need it…and then make time to replenish everything occasionally. I like to clean out, organize, and restock my purse when I sit down to pay bills, which is twice a month or more.

What’s in YOUR bag?

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