How to Organize Your Handbag

How to Organize Your Handbag

I feel better about myself when my handbag is tidy. You know the drill: the old receipts and expired coupons have been dealt with, used tissues and wrappers tossed, bills in order (small to large) with the heads all facing the same direction. Even though I practice periodic handbag organization, there is, apparently, some rules we can apply to the activity.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, our handbags should weigh less than 3 pounds. This means for many of us, we'll need to purge. Good Housekeeping suggests we start the paring down process by dumping everything out of our handbags and take the opportunity to fix any rips or tears in the lining.

(Mary Kate's Chanel handbag looks like it weighs more than she does!)

mary kate bags1 Mary Kate Olsen with her luxury handbags

Next we need to lose that extra weight. We'll start by emptying our coins into a 'coin jar' etc. now and then weekly hereafter.

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Now we'll access our makeup take-alongs. Are they the full size stuff? If so, let's swap them with travel-size. It'll not only lighten the load, but it'll make tons of room in our bags.

Handbag Heaven suggests we carry an envelope to stash those receipts until we can find a home for them outside our handbags. (I keep mine in a basket in my office, which I then go through when the Visa bill comes. I tick them off the bill and then shred them.)


If our handbags lack pockets and such, a zipper pouch or two will do the trick. Especially for those makeup products mentioned above. The internet is loaded with tutorials for cute little zippered pouches. (Here's a darling one from Skip to My Lou.) 

For maximum organization, a purse organizer is the way to go. Here's a great pattern to make your own from Fresh Crush. (Via.) What's fabulous about this kind of item is it makes switching handbags a snap. 


If sewing isn't your thing, here's something called the Purseket ($19-$23). Available in various sizes, the pouches drop into your handbag and line the interior. Again, completely DIYable. Here's a tute to prove it. (Via.)

Purseket - Purse Organizer Insert - Large

For more handbag organization tips, head on over to Good Housekeeping.

(The makeover below was achieved with the help of a Joey Junior Purse Organizer.)

created at: 03/04/2011

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Melissa A. on Mar 06, 2011:

I bet there's nothing even in that giant bag that Mary Kate has. :P I don't use stylish handbags, just a more sporty purse that has lots of pockets and I don't care much to begin with. But if I ever decide to get a large hand bag then these tips would come in handy.

DesigningMom on Mar 06, 2011:

Yes they would be. Is that the kind of bag you carry? I've been buying up a few wool sweaters to try my hand at felting, but haven't found the "thing" I want to make with it yet.

I suppose if I made myself one of these organizers I would have a much easier time of finding a purse. As it is it  used to take me months to find something. Because of that the purses I carry are old! I have two black, only because my first black purse is old enough that it doesn't have the best place for a cell phone, one brown purse, one ivory and one putty. All leather with fabric linings. That's how they last so long. I buy them all on sale for at at least 75% off since even though I use them for years and years I just can't see spending over a hundred dollars on a purse. Much prefer the $25.00 range. Does that show my age or what? LOL

I should add that our daughter pays about ten times that much for purse and usually tosses them after one season if that long! Crazy single girl. Oh and I think her purses are mostly super ugly! Gaudy at times.

DIY Maven on Mar 06, 2011:

Hey DM...I'm thinking they'd be perfect for hand-knit felted bags, which always lack cubbies. 

DesigningMom on Mar 05, 2011:

I might have to make one of these for our daughter. I always buy bags that have loads of compartments, but our daughter loves the huge wide open bags that these ideas would work well for. Thanks Maven!

~Becky <><

DIY Maven on Mar 05, 2011:

You are very welcome, Scarlett!

Scarlett on Mar 05, 2011:

oh my gosh - you have just saved my style woes forever. I was having to forego my favourite bags, because it took me half an hour to find my card at the supermarket checkout, and was frequently a victim of checkout-rage.

THANK YOU OH SO MUCH! I cannot wait to organize the begeeberz out of my bag.

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