Purse & Handbag Packing Guide

Are you tired of digging through your purse to find what you need? Do you struggle to fit all your essentials in your handbag without it becoming a bottomless pit? Not anymore.

 After nearly 40 years as a family-owned handbag brand, we’re going to share our most valuable tips & tricks to help you pack your purse efficiently and effectively. No more digging around for your wallet when it’s time to pay – whether you're a busy professional, a social butterfly, a traveler, or a multitasking mom, we've got you covered.

 We’ll delve into the specific needs and considerations for different aged-women, 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.

essential everyday items

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

Handbag Must-Haves

  • Wallet: A wallet is a must-have item to keep your cash, credit cards, identification, and other important cards organized and secure. Need a new wallet? Check out our collection.

  • Cell Phone: This should go without saying, but your phone has to be on you at all times. And though many of us like to hold it, it’s safer in our handbag.

  • Keys: Don't forget your keys! Whether it's your house keys, car keys, or office keys, make sure they are easily accessible in your purse.

  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays with a stylish pair of sunglasses. 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’ hands) when soap and water aren't readily available.

  • Tissues: From wiping away tears to dealing with unexpected spills, having a pack of tissues in your purse can be a lifesaver.

personal hygiene

  • Lip Balm: Keep your lips moisturized and protected with a lip balm. Choose one with SPF for added sun protection.

  • Chewing Gum & Breath Mints: Freshen up your breath with some 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 so that you’re prepared at all times.

  • 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: For those moments when your hair needs to be tied up or fixed in a hurry, having a few hair ties and bobby pins on hand can be a lifesaver, whether it's for yourself, your daughter, or a friend.

  • Compact Makeup Mirror: A compact mirror is handy for quick touch-ups before meetings and ensuring you look your best throughout the day.

  • Pain Relievers: Headaches or minor aches and pains can strike at any time. Keep a small container of pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen in your purse for quick relief.

  • Band-Aids: Accidents happen, and having a few Band-Aids in your purse can help you address minor cuts or blisters when you're away from home. And if you have young kids, these will come in handy far more than you’d think.

With these in your purse or handbag, you’ll be prepared for whatever the days bring your way.

what to pack for certain occasions

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 all of that weight.

Day at Work

  • 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 ensure you stay connected even when you're on the go. If you have a long commute via car or public transportation, you may 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!”

night out with friends

  1. Wallet with ID and Cash: Ensure that you have your ID, some cash, and a debit or credit card for a night out on the town.

  2. Makeup: Pack a small makeup bag with your favorite lipstick, mascara, and any other touch-up items you may need 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 in between bars.

  4. Breath Mints: Keep your breath fresh and ready for conversations with friends by carrying some breath mints or gum.

  5. Compact Wallet or Cardholder: If you don't want to carry your entire wallet, consider using a compact wallet or cardholder to hold just the essentials like your ID, a credit card, and some cash.

  6. Keys: Make sure you have your house keys and any other necessary keys to ensure a smooth return home, even if you plan to use a ridesharing service like Uber or call a cab.

traveling & SIghtseeing

Seemingly, you always need to carry a few extra things on vacation: documents, toiletries, and other emergency items. Let’s take a look at the essentials:

  • Travel Documents: Depending on your destination, pack your passport, boarding passes, travel itineraries, vaccination documents, and any other necessary travel documents.

  • Travel-Sized Toiletries: Opt for travel-sized toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, face cleanser, and moisturizer to maintain your skincare routine while on the go. You won’t get held up by airport security and they’ll come in handy on layovers and long-haul flights.

  • Travel Adapter: If you're traveling to a different country, you’ll need to carry a power adapter to power up your phone, laptop, and other electronics.

  • Portable Charger: Keep a portable charger to ensure your phone stays powered up while exploring new places.

  • Snacks & Water: Stay nourished and hydrated by carrying snacks and a water bottle in your purse, especially during long journeys or sightseeing excursions.

busy day of errands

  • 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 your errands.

  • Hand Sanitizer & Wipes: Stay germ-free while running errands by carrying hand sanitizer and wipes to clean your hands and surfaces.

  • Snacks and 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 are tagging along for the busy day.

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

age considerations

Teens (14-18 years old)

  • Student ID

  • School supplies

  • Lip Balm

  • Hair ties & Bobby Pins

  • Personal Hygiene Products

  • Emergency Contact Information

Young Women (18-25 years old)

  • Driver’s License/ID

  • Makeup Essentials

  • Contraceptives & Personal Hygiene Products

  • Wallet, Cash, and Credit Cards

  • Portable Phone Charger

New Mothers

  • 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 on a daily basis. But no matter what you have, it’s only helpful if you can find it. These are our best handbag organization tips.

organization tips

Keeping your purse organized is essential for finding items quickly and efficiently. In this section, we will share some organization tips to help you maintain a neat and tidy purse. By implementing these tips, you'll be able to locate your essentials with ease. Let's explore the organization tips:

  1. Use a Purse Organizer: Invest in a purse organizer with multiple compartments and pockets. Or you can shop our collection of Latico Leathers’ handbags, each of which has built-in storage compartments for 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 small snacks. These containers will keep everything organized and prevent spills or leakage.

  4. Declutter Your Wallet: Keep your wallet clutter-free by regularly getting rid of unnecessary receipts, old cards, or expired coupons. Only carry the essential cards, cash, and identification you need for the day – this will limit the amount of space it takes up.

  5. Regularly Clean Out Your Purse: Set aside time one to two times per month to clean out your purse. Remove any trash, old receipts, or items you no longer need. This will prevent your purse 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 that you have all the necessary items and prevent any 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 truly need to carry with you. A lighter purse will be easier to organize and navigate.

By implementing these organization tips, you 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.