Yup, I admit it. I'm one of those girls who carries around the world and his wife in her handbag. I do, I really do, try to keep it down to a minimum with clear-outs and re-organisations but I always find myself loading my handbag up with "essentials". Essentials that consist of multiple shades of lipstick (who knows where the day may take me?), various forms of entertainment, and, of course, a first aid kit that would rival A&E.
With all of these floating around in my bag it's a wonder it only takes me 10 minutes to find my keys (longer if my badder decides it's going to burst). So, I've devised a strategy that takes away all of the faffing and public cursing. Organised compartments. Not exactly phrasing that'll get your heart rate up, but necessary none-the-less.
Key to good handbag organisation is a good, practical purse. Although old and battered, this one is small (well, comparatively), well formed, and has clearly been designed by a woman after my own heart. An easy zip closure that holds notes and recipes with another, smaller zipped pocket on the inside that holds coins (although I find this a little cumbersome and so don't use it) and a simple book-like buttoned opening that hold all of my cards in one place, it was made for me. I've had this bad boy for years and yet to find one that compares.
purse - Smith and Canova
I like to keep my coins separate so they don't weigh my purse down and it makes it easier when nipping to the local grocers. It also means I get rid of change a lot faster. Rather than reaching for notes in a hurry, I grab for my coin purse and see if I can lighten the load first. Sounds a tad silly but this really works.
coin purse - Dianne Tanner
Now what is the morning commute without a little entertainment to keep you lively? Earphones never worked for me and headphones are just not in sync with my de-cluttered revamp. These collapsable headphones are genius. I've had them for just about a decade and they're still going strong. Great sound, comfortable, and completely handbag-friendly.
headphones - Sennheiser
I love to squeeze in a read to and from work and it's never easier than when I have my kindle. Switch it on and it's already at the right page... goodbye spending half of the journey looking for where you left off. It also means saving space for any book you read that's thicker than a magazine and no more wondering whether you should bring a back-up incase you finish the first one before the end of the day. My train, much to my distain, very often stops for a thousand hours (or ten minutes) and delving into a good book really makes time speed up like nothing else... just don't miss your stop! The perfect purse companion. My love has been rekindled (I do not apologise for that joke).
This little purse is the best size to carry around the real essentials... lip balm, hand cream, hair bands, bobby pins, plasters, pain killers and, when need be, a tampon or two (always gotta carry an extra one incase a sister's in need). This is also discrete enough to grab and take with me to the loo during work as I'm in a predominantly male environment... I hope this post doesn't blow my cover!
purse - Osprey
hand cream - the Body Shop Hemp Handcream
lip balm - L'Occitane Ultra Rich Lip Balm
I always have a favourite nude and red shade handy incase I feel like switching it up or get caught off guard with a surprise date night. I throw in whatever I applied that morning and make sure to switch them out rather than chucking in another. I make it a rule not to have more than two lip colours at all times. This also means I'm not running around the house searching for my favourite lipstick and find it a week later loitering at the bottom of my bag feeling smug.
lipstick - MAC Russian Red
lip pencil - NARS Descanso (limited edition)
Just before Christmas I designed and had printed business cards for Soph's Choices. I often have people ask me about what I do and where to find me and instead of scrambling to find a piece of paper or have someone forget, handing them one of these is a lot easier and, if I do say so myself, more professional. It's also my 2015 mission to attend more meet-ups and have real-life relationships with more bloggers and so giving someone a reminder of yourself is never a bad idea.
business cards - Moo
card case - MUJI
My planner is a must-have, not only for work and everyday lists and reminders, but in order to plan and take notes for my blog and YouTube channel - you can see how I plan and make time to blog here.
diary - Moleskine
I like to keep my oyster card in it's own little pouch so it doesn't get lost or damaged and it's easier to find. It always seems to find it's way into the most impossible places of my bag or pocket. And let's be honest... it's pretty ugly, so I picked up this perfect oyster-card-sized purse to keep me from damning the designer.
purse - & Other Stories
Blogging is a full-time job (alongside my other job) and so I often find myself running low on phone battery after hours of social media updates, note-taking, post research, and emails. I now carry with me a portable plug, battery, and phone cable. Good luck dying on me now, phone!
pouch - & Other Stories (came with purchase)
plug - MU
battery - MUJI
cable - Apple
Pairing down the handbag also means pairing down the keys. Gone are the days when my keyring was full of naff holiday memorabilia and keys I no longer knew the uses of. I now keep home keys (pictured) and work keys separate. Home keys consist of my front door, bedroom, and bike keys, and three members cards. Simple. Effective.
What's your best method of keeping your handbag from becoming a jungle? Or do you carry around everything but the kitchen sink?