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Purse Organization 101

Oversized purses make a big style statement. But they can also make finding what you’re looking for a huge pain. So how can you minimize the clutter and make the most of that fab bag? Read on…

Tip 1: Start Off With a Clean Slate
Plop down on the floor and dump out the contents of your purse. In the debris of receipts, loose change, and to-do lists that somehow transformed themselves into intricate origami birds, you’ll be reunited with your favorite lip gloss or even a crumpled up $20. Nice! Then, make a trash pile (later, gum wrappers!) and toss coins in your wallet. Determine what to keep in your purse and figure out another place to put the non-essentials.

Tip 2: Designate Pocket Space
Chances are your purse has about 12 different little compartments that either A) look like a warzone or B) go completely ignored. Start using them in a productive way. There’s nothing worse than digging around for your keys when you desperately want to get in the front door. Always keep your keys and cell in a spot that’s easily accessible. And please, put the gum in a pocket where it can’t get loose! How many times have you had to peel melted, unwrapped gum off of your phone? Gross.

Tip 3: Rubber Band It
So, the 14 ponytail holders you found when you dumped out your purse? Put ‘em to work as a tie for loose pens. Keeping your pens fastened up also prevents them from going rogue and writing all over the lovely lining of your bag.

Tip 4: Store It
From dental floss to lip gloss, hand sanitizer to hand lotion, there are lots of little on-the-go-essentials us gals can’t live without. So, whether you want to invest in fancy cosmetic cases or use a plain old Ziploc bag, just use something to keep beauty and miscellaneous products organized and prevent leaks. This way, if you do switch bags often, it’s simple to transfer items from one to another. Clear or mesh mini-bags make it easier to spot your goods.

In the market for some super cute cases? Check out these Metallic Micro Mesh Cases from The Container Store. They’re only $6.99 each! You’ll adore this tribal print double zip clutch from Sonia Kashuk (just $12.99 at Target). And if you’re looking to seriously splurge, snatch up this funky, patterned style from Kate Spade.

Tip 5: Color Code It
You’re much too young to be carrying around a flashlight to read restaurant menus. (But wouldn’t that come in handy when you’re searching around in your dark, cavernous tote?) Instead of resorting to a headlamp to find the cash to pay for your morning coffee, buy a wallet that’s a bright color, rather than basic black. You’ll never have a hard time spotting it if it’s hot pink or bright yellow. You can even color code your little purse pouches!

Tip 6: Clean It
Okay, not to gross you out … but according to Everyday Health, our purses harbor some pretty nasty bacteria, both outside and inside. That’s not surprising when you think about all the places your beloved bag travels: floors, counters, office bathrooms, and public transportation just to name a few. Experts recommend wiping everything down regularly (even your phone) with a cloth or moist disposable towelette. Keep tissues and other items that come in direct contact with your body in their own tightly sealed containers or bags. Anyone else feel like bathing in hand sanitizer right about now?

Tip 7: Stick to One Purse
It might be hard to commit to just one bag for shopping-obsessed fashionistas. But let’s face it; life would be a lot easier if you had everything in one place. (And you’d have less organizing to do!) You’d never be at risk of not having your trusty tissues when allergies kick in. And your can’t-live-without lip balm? Don’t fret, because it’s always in there.

Jessica Solloway is a Washington, DC based writer and producer. From wedding planning to work, dating to dieting (and everything in between), she enjoys writing about lifestyle topics women want to know about. Jessica received her degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Check out her blog, The Savvy Mrs.