10 Essential Purse Items

Raise your hand if you carry around a huge purse all the time that hurts your shoulders, your neck, and your back? That has been me for years.  I “needed” a big bag to carry all of the things that I thought were essential. I was constantly just throwing stuff in there when I had no where else to put it at the time.  I would have to dig in my purse forever to find whatever I needed because it was a huge jumbled mess.  My purse felt like it weighed 20 pounds or more, and my shoulders always hurt.  I have finally gotten smart in my old age and have been carrying a much smaller purse for the past year or so.  I am all about crossbody purses now.  They seem to put less strain on my shoulders and neck, which is great.  The best part, though, is that I can’t stuff them full of junk because there is no room.  Another plus is that I have no room to carry around the junk that my kids hand me while we are out because they are tired of carrying it. My purse is so lightweight now and I love it! The switch to a smaller purse actually came out of necessity. We were doing a lot of traveling with gymnastics, and I needed something smaller to carry around.  We went to New York for a meet last January, and I just happened to grab a little crossbody from Old Navy for the trip.  I knew that we were going to be walking around the city a lot over the 4 days that we were there, and I didn’t want to lug a heavy purse everywhere we went.  I used that purse for the whole trip and it worked great.  When we got home, I just kept using it.  It was so much easier and light.  I think I have only carried a big purse maybe a handful of times since then, and I have acquired a couple of other crossbody purses as well. I will share some of my favorites with you at another time.

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My new favorite cross body (Belk) that I got Black Friday. (currently on sale)

I am sure that you are wondering how I managed to scale back so easily.  Well, I basically realized that I didn’t really need all of the junk that I was lugging around, and because it was so much smaller, I couldn’t just throw everything in the world in there.  I clean it out more frequently, and it has just been a shoulder saver! I also stopped carrying around a big heavy wallet.  The wallet I had been using was so thick and heavy and jammed with unnecessary stuff that it would take up the entire purse if I continued to use it.  It was probably 3-4 inches thick. Most of the time I use a small Vera Bradley ID coin wallet. I keep my license in the clear ID pouch, all of our insurance cards and two credit cards in the zipper pouch, and money in the snap pouch. I keep only the essentials. Now, I know that all of you with small children may need a larger purse because, well, little ones require more stuff.  However, I encourage you all to really look at what you are lugging around.  Do you really NEED it? Most of the time, the answer will be no, so get rid of it. Save your neck, shoulders, and back! You will thank me in the long run, I promise!

What do I keep in my purse now? Here is a list of the 10 things that are in my purse right now. They are the only things in there except for a couple of receipts.


1. Small Wallet (Vera Bradley):

Mine includes my license, insurance cards, two credit cards, and money. I also try to empty out all of the coins frequently because they can add unnecessary weight.

Notebook & Pen

2. Small Notebook (Walmart) and One Pen (Walmart):

I used to carry around a little pouch of numerous pens, but I have come to realize that I don’t need all of those. Now I just keep one of my favorite kinds of pens. I use this notebook to keep a list all of my daughter’s medications, our doctors, and other important information. I also use it to jot notes or phone numbers when I get an important call while away from home. Many of you may not need this because you keep it all in your phone which is totally fine and does climate some weight in your purse.  As I have said before, I am a visual learner and I prefer things written down.

3. Travel Nail Kit (Amazon):

As you can see, mine is very old and worn and desperately needs to be replaced.  I have my eye on the one linked above. It never fails that a nail will break when I am out somewhere, and I will need to cut or file it.  Another handy item in there is the little scissors.  I can’t tell you how many times someone in my family has used them to cut a tag or string, open yogurt or popsicle pouches, and many other various things.

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4. Hand Sanitizer (Bath + Body Works):

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  The germ-a-phobe in me is always making my kids clean their hands.


5. Brush (Walmart):

I always keep this small round brush in my purse because one of my kids inevitably will need it either because they forgot to brush their hair before we left the house, or they need it to put their hair up for practice.

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6. Lip Stick (Walmart) and Chapstick (Walmart):

I am sure I have mentioned before that I have an addiction to Carmex.  Although that addiction has greatly improved, I still cannot leave the house without my Carmex. Plus, my husband requests it from my purse about as much as I do. I also make sure that I always have my favorite shade of Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink on hand as well.

Migraine Rollerball

7. Migraine Essential Oils Roller:

I am a long time migraine suffer, and I try all the things possible to get rid of them. This magic potion really helps.  Sometimes I throw in my allergy one or my immune boost one as well.

Pill Bottle

8. Small Pill Bottle (Walmart):

With migraines for my youngest and me, a gymnast who is always sore, and just everyday life, I have to keep migraine meds, Tylenol, Excedrin, and Motrin on hand. I just keep it all together in the same bottle so I don’t have to lug around multiple bottles.


9. Tissues (Walmart):

I have a major issue with sniffling.  It sends me over the edge.  My kids would rather sniffle than blow their nose.  It really makes me crazy, so I am always handing one of them a tissue. These are essential for sure!

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10. Business Cards (Vistaprint):

I keep a few of my business cards handy at all times in this cute little zipper pouch so that I can pass them out whenever needed.

I am certainly not saying that everyone needs to carry a crossbody purse with only these 10 things in it.  I am encouraging you to look at your current purse.  Does it need to be that big? Do you really need everything that is in it right now? If the answer is yes, then, by all means, you do you.  If the answer to either is no, let’s downsize.  Trust me, your back, neck, and shoulders will thank you!

Anchored and Organized,


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