Purse & Handbag Packing Guide

A well-packed purse or handbag can make you feel prepared for anything. With decades of experience selling beautiful and versatile leather handbags, we want to share our most valuable tips for packing your purse efficiently and effectively. Whether you're a busy professional, a social butterfly, a traveler, or a multitasking mom, we're here to help.

We’ll cover what to pack for different occasions and share the best organization tips. Plus, we’ll delve into different age groups' specific needs and considerations, providing tailored advice for teens, young women, and new mothers. Because let's face it, what you need in your purse at 15 is very different from what you need as a mom. Let’s get started!

what you need in your purse at 15 is very different from what you need as a mom.


Let’s start with the essentials, the everyday items every woman should have.


  • Wallet: A must-have item for holding cash, credit cards, identification, and other important cards, a high-quality leather wallet looks good and keeps your belongings organized and secure.
  • Cell Phone: This should go without saying, but your phone must always be on you. And though many of us like to hold it, it’s safer in our handbag.
  • Keys: Remember your keys! Whether it's your house, car, or office keys, make sure they are easily accessible in your purse.
  • Sunglasses: Styleful sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. Opt for a sturdy case to keep them safe when not in use.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse to clean your hands (and your kids) when soap and water aren't readily available.
  • Tissues: Keeping a pack of tissues in your purse can be a lifesaver when wiping away tears or dealing with unexpected spills.


  • Lip Balm: Keep your lips moisturized and protected with a lip balm. Choose one with SPF for added sun protection.
  • Chewing Gum and Breath Mints: Freshen your breath with breath mints or gum. Opt for sugar-free options for better oral health.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products: Carry a few tampons or pads in a discreet pouch or case to always be prepared.
  • Hand Lotion: Keep your hands soft and moisturized with a small tube of hand lotion. Look for travel-sized options to save space in your purse; plus, they’ll be ready to pack for last-minute weekend getaways.
  • Hair Ties & Bobby Pins: When you need to tie up your hair or fix it quickly, having a few hair ties and bobby pins on hand can be clutch, whether for yourself, your child, or a friend.
  • Compact Makeup Mirror: A compact mirror is handy for quick touch-ups before meetings and will help ensure you look your best throughout the day.
  • Pain Relievers: Headaches or minor aches can strike at any time. Keep a small container of pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, in your purse for quick relief.
  • Band-Aids/First Aid Kit: Accidents happen, and having a few Band-Aids in your purse can help you address minor cuts or blisters while away from home. And if you have young kids, these will come in handy far more than you’d think.


Carrying items related to personal security and emergency preparedness is a wise practice. Here are some items you might consider carrying in your purse for such purposes:

  • Personal Alarm: This tiny device emits a loud sound when you activate it to attract attention and deter attackers.
  • Pepper Spray or Mace: This non-lethal self-defense tool can incapacitate attackers by irritating their eyes and respiratory system.
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-tool: These are useful for various tasks, including self-defense, cutting through obstacles, and even emergencies.
  • Flashlight: A tiny flashlight can be handy during power outages or when navigating dark areas.
  • Emergency Whistle: Loud whistles can effectively draw attention during emergencies or when needing help.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Include a card or note with essential contact numbers, such as for family members, friends, doctors, and emergency services.

Remember to periodically check and update these items, ensuring they remain functional and relevant to your security and emergency preparedness needs. With these in your purse or handbag, you’ll be prepared for whatever the days bring your way.


You lead a busy life. Between work, nights out, international adventures, and day-to-day errands, it’s impossible to pack everything you’ll need all the time. And if you did, your shoulders would be sore from carrying that weight. Instead, consider the specific activity or occasion.


  • Notebook & Pen: A small notebook and pen are essential for jotting down important notes, ideas, or tasks throughout the workday.
  • Business Cards: Keep a stack of your business cards in a cardholder or a designated compartment in your purse for networking opportunities.
  • Phone Charger: Long workdays can drain your phone's battery. Carry a phone charger to stay connected even on the go. If you have a long commute via car or public transportation, consider packing a portable charger, too.
  • Snacks: Keep some healthy snacks like granola bars or nuts in your purse to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, especially if it’s “Take Your Child to Work Day!”


  1. Wallet With ID and Cash: For a night out in town, ensure you have your ID, some cash, and a debit or credit card.
  2. Makeup: Pack a small makeup bag with your favorite lipstick, mascara, and other touch-up items to freshen up your look during the evening.
  3. Travel-Size Perfume: A travel-sized perfume or a sample vial can be handy for a quick fragrance refresh before hitting the town or between bars.
  4. Breath Mints: Carry breath mints or gum to keep your breath fresh and ready for conversations with friends.
  5. Compact Wallet or Cardholder: If you want to carry only part of your wallet, consider using a compact wallet or cardholder to hold essentials like your ID, a credit card, and some cash.
  6. Keys: Ensure you have your house and any other necessary keys to ensure a smooth return home, even if you plan to use a ridesharing service or call a cab.


  • Travel Documents: Depending on your destination, pack your passport, boarding passes, travel itineraries, vaccination documents, and any other necessary documents.
  • Travel-Sized Toiletries: Opt for travel-sized toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, face cleansers, and moisturizers to maintain your skincare routine while on the go. You won’t get held up by airport security; they’ll come in handy on layovers and long-haul flights.
  • Travel Adapter: If you're traveling to a different country, you must carry a power adapter to power up your phone, laptop, and other electronics.
  • Portable Charger: Keep a portable charger to keep your phone powered up while exploring new places.
  • Snacks & Water: Carry snacks and a water bottle in your purse to stay nourished and hydrated, especially during long journeys or sightseeing excursions.


  • Shopping List: Make a list of the items you need to purchase and keep it in your purse to stay organized while running errands.
  • Reusable Shopping Bags: Carry collapsible, reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste while shopping for groceries or other items. They’re also sturdier than traditional plastic bags, so you won’t have to worry about them ripping and spilling your groceries.
  • Coupons or Loyalty Cards: Keep your coupons or loyalty cards in a designated compartment or a small cardholder for easy access during errands.
  • Hand Sanitizer & Wipes: Stay germ-free while running errands by carrying hand sanitizer and wipes to clean your hands and surfaces.
  • Snacks & Water: Sustain your energy levels by packing some healthy snacks and a water bottle to stay hydrated during your busy day. This is even more important if your young children tag along for the busy day.

By packing the essentials for specific occasions, you'll be well-prepared to handle your daily activities quickly. Now, let’s discuss age-specific essentials.



  • Student ID
  • School supplies
  • Lip Balm
  • Hair ties & Bobby Pins
  • Personal Hygiene Products
  • Emergency Contact Information


  • Driver’s License/ID
  • Makeup Essentials
  • Contraceptives & Personal Hygiene Products
  • Wallet, Cash, and Credit Cards
  • Portable Phone Charger


  • Baby Essentials (diapers, baby wipes, changing pad, etc.)
  • Nursing Pads & Nipple Cream
  • Snacks for You & Your Baby
  • Spare Change of Clothes
  • Baby Blanket

Every woman’s purse will contain different essentials. You know best what you’ll need daily. But no matter what you have, it’s only helpful if you can find it. Next, check out our best handbag organization tips.


Keeping your purse organized is essential for finding items quickly and efficiently. This section will share some organization tips to help you maintain a neat and tidy purse. 

  1. Use a Purse Organizer: Invest in a purse organizer with multiple compartments and pockets. Or shop for purses or handbags with various pockets that provide easy access.
  2. Pack Items by Use: Group similar items together in small pouches. For example, have a pouch for makeup, one for personal hygiene products, and another for electronic accessories. This will prevent items from getting lost in the depths of your purse and make them easier to find.
  3. Utilize Small Containers: Use small containers, such as pill organizers or mini Tupperware, to hold items like medication, vitamins, or snacks. These containers will keep everything organized and prevent spills or leakage.
  4. Declutter Your Wallet: Keep your wallet clutter-free by regularly removing unnecessary receipts, old cards, or expired coupons. Only carry the essential cards, cash, and identification you need for the day.
  5. Regularly Clean Out Your Purse: Clean out your purse once to twice a month. Remove any trash, old receipts, or items you no longer need. This will prevent your wallet from becoming a dumping ground for unnecessary items and help it last longer.
  6. Regularly Inventory Your Bag: Take a few minutes to inventory the contents, especially if you're switching purses or traveling. This will ensure you have all the necessary items and prevent surprises or missing essentials. Add whatever you need to restock to the grocery list for the week.
  7. Maintain a Minimalist Approach: Avoid overpacking your purse with unnecessary items. Stick to the essentials, and periodically evaluate what you need to carry. A lighter purse will be easier to organize and navigate.

Implementing these organization tips will transform your purse into a well-organized and functional accessory. Say goodbye to rummaging through a cluttered mess, and hello to a handbag that helps you stay organized and prepared!