8 Things Every Woman Needs in Her Handbag

Even if you carry a briefcase or a computer backpack, keeping specific gear in your purse will make your life easier. The items below aren’t expensive or hard to find, but having them at hand will make staying organized much simpler.

1) Pens, Pencils, and Notebook

Find a notebook that has an elastic band built into the cover so you can tuck a pen inside it and wrap it uptight. A larger notebook may have a loop for a pen handle, but a larger notebook may not fit inside your purse. These small notebooks can often be found in museum gift shops and serve as a nice reminder of your recent travels. Make sure your pen and pencil are both mechanical and retractable so you don’t have sharp, pointy things creating a hazard in your purse.

2) A Flash Drive

If you travel with a briefcase, toss an empty flash drive in your purse just in case you need to move data. Keeping your laptop data-free can be very useful should you be targeted by thieves; your laptop may need to be replaced, but the data will be secure in your purse. It’s also possible to forget your backpack or briefcase if you’re out running personal errands and need to stop by the office, but you will always have your purse with you.

3) Skincare Products

We’ve all got hand sanitizer with us. Make sure you also carry a lotion you like and lanolin lip balms and treatments to protect your skin no matter the season. Hot weather dehydrates your body, which dries out your lips. Cold weather means low humidity, which dries out your skin. Carry products that feel and smell nice so you will use them. Take care to buy lotion with a screwcap rather than a flip top to avoid a messy spill.

4) Band-Aids

Even if you never get paper cuts or scrapes, carrying band-aids can protect you from new shoe blisters and torn nail pain. If you have a nail care kit bundled in your purse already, adding just a couple of medium-sized band-aids to your purse will be easy.

5) Post-Its

In addition to your notebook, carry a small pad of post-its in your purse. If you need to run an errand before work, put a note on your steering wheel when you get out of your car. If you’re carrying a book and want to note or review a passage, stick a post-it in the book.

6) Credit Cards

Glitches happen; one card may not work and if you need to gas up or grab a meal, you can save hassle and embarrassment with a second card drawn on a different bank. Two cards are also ideal for anyone looking to increase their credit rating. Pay them both off each month.

7) Cash and Coins

Carrying cash is a great budgeting trick. If you want to stop for a treat or a coffee with a friend, pay for it with cash and avoid using your card. Keep coins in your wallet as well so you can easily make exact change and save shopkeepers the hassle of running low on coins. If you enjoy international travel, consider keeping coins from another country in your wallet as a reminder of a fun trip or a treat for a child in the checkout line near you.

8) A Collapsible Water Bottle

Toss an empty collapsible silicone water bottle in your purse. If you’re hungry and need to go to the grocery store, fill up your water bottle when you enter the store and drink as you shop so you can skip the junk food aisle. You may be trying to cut down on your soda intake or be concerned about your budget. A water bottle in your purse means you can get free, cool water anywhere there’s a water fountain.

You don’t need a huge purse to carry what you need. However, keeping it in order can be a challenge when things get busy. Try to schedule 15 minutes a week to go through your purse, toss unhelpful receipts, store the ones you need and reduce the stress on your shoulder and neck.