Can’t Find Anything in Your Handbag? Experts Share How to Best Pack and Organise Your Handbag

If it’s starting to feel like your handbag is a black hole and you can’t find anything when you need it, you’re not alone. Trying to always be prepared can lead to carrying an array of items with you, however, this can actually result in feeling unorganised!

To avoid constantly rummaging around in your handbag, efficiently packing, and organising it can save you a lot of time and effort. Handbag and accessory brand Fiorelli have spoken to organisation expert Nicola Rodriguez (@essexhousedolly), alongside their Design Manager, Nia Davis to share how to best pack and organise your handbag.

Nia from Fiorelli explains that “the style of bag you use can have a significant impact on how easy it is to keep the mess away. Whilst different bags may be better suited for different occasions, I find that compact crossbody’s or shoulder bags are handy for staying organised as their smaller size means there’s no space for clutter. On the other hand, roomy tote bags or backpacks can be the worst culprits as not only do they offer plenty of space for all your essential items, but they welcome lots of non-essential ones too.”

Clear Out Your Handbag

The first step in organising your current handbag is to clear it out. Empty the contents of it and put them to one side, throwing out any receipts, gum wrappers or other rubbish. Once cleared, Nia advises to “unzip any pockets or compartments and shake your bag over a bin, turning the lining inside out, if possible, to get rid of any crumbs or fluff. A lint roller can also help remove any last bits of dirt.”

Decide What to Keep

Once you’ve cleaned your bag, it’s time to decide what stays and goes. Organisation expert Nicola Rodriguez explains that “you should only carry things in your handbag that you need daily and anything you are keeping just in case has to go.”

Carrying all your personal, important, or expensive belongings should also be avoided as it means you could potentially lose them all at once should the worst happen, and your bag is stolen or lost. Nicola shares how her bag was stolen which “had everything in it – Chanel sunglasses, makeup, perfume and passport so it was a lot of expense and effort to replace it all” so it’s advisable to keep expensive items to a minimum.

Make Use of Compartments and Side Pockets

Now that you’ve purged your bag of all those extra items, prepare to reassemble your bag. Nicola advises that “when you are placing things in your handbag, utilise the space and find where you can easily fit things. Make use of compartments which can help store things in separate places such as flat items like laptops and notepads in one pocket, larger items like a water bottle or umbrella in another and smaller items such as lip balms or pens in internal zipped compartments.”

If your handbag doesn’t come with separate compartments, there are handbag dividers you can buy to put inside of a handbag instead.

Items that you use all the time are also important to store separately so they’re easy to grab, as Nia explains that “it’s helpful to pack these items in separate side pockets so you know they’ll be the only thing in there.”

Compartmentalize with Pouches

One of the best ways to keep your handbag organised is to separate the items you carry into smaller bags or perhaps organisational pouches which you may likely already have around the house to create a system. For example, you could have similar items such as headphones and a charging cable in one, while another could hold items such as bobbles and makeup. Nicola shares that “pouches make life so much quicker and saves you rooting around to find things, re-enacting the famous Mary Poppins scene to find something.” It also makes it easy to switch handbags as you can simply move the pouches.

Minimize Your Beauty Products  

Whether you didn’t have time to apply makeup, or you want to keep some products on hand for touch-ups, make sure to only bring necessary items. There’s no need to carry around giant bottles or your full makeup bag as Nicola advises to “use mini versions or travel bottles instead. If you can’t find travel-sized versions of your favourites, you can get little containers to store lotions in.”

She adds, “when it comes to carrying perfume, pour some of your favourite into a travel spray bottle. It makes such a difference with the weight of your bag and also fits inside better.”

Clean Out Your Bag Once a Week

A bag will inevitably get filled over time so instead of making it a once-a-year cleaning, set a time to clean and re-organise your bag each week, as Nia explains that “this will make the whole process more manageable and take about five minutes if it’s already mostly clean and organised. Check your pouches to ensure every item is in the right place and remove any excess change, receipts or other items that don’t belong.”

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.