How to Organize Your Purse

Three Parts:Clearing Out the ClutterOrganizing Your PurseKeeping Your Purse Organized

A purse is a girl's best friend. It is always by your side, and it helps keep all of the items you need on hand. Unfortunately, it can quickly become disorganized and cluttered, which can make it hard to find what you need quickly. Fortunately, all it takes is a little bit of time and creativity to organize your purse.

Part 1
Clearing Out the Clutter

  1. Image titled Organize Your Purse Step 1
    Take everything out of your purse. Be sure to go through all of the pockets, both interior and exterior, as well. Once you have everything out, you can use this chance to clean your purse as well. A quick and easy way to do this is to turn it upside down and shake it over a trashcan to empty out any debris.
  2. Image titled Organize Your Purse Step 2
    Sort everything into piles. How you do this will depend on what you had inside your purse and how you organize things; everyone is a little different. In either case, it might be a good idea to put similar items (or items with similar uses) together. Here are some samples of piles to get you started:[1]
    • Electronics
    • Feminine care products
    • Gift cards, coupons, and loyalty cards
    • Makeup
    • Medication
    • Wallet, money, and credit cards
    • Trash
  3. 3
    Throw out any trash or items that don't belong. If it's been a while since you last cleaned out your purse, you might have some items that don't belong, such as: candy wrappers, a pair of extra socks you brought because it was raining, expired coupons, or receipts for items you no longer have. Throw away the items that need to be thrown away (such as candy wrappers) and put away items that don't belong (such as that change of socks).
  4. 4
    Go through your piles and pull out the items that you seldom use. Take a careful look at your items. Do you really use that tablet or eReader each and every time you leave the house? Some seldom-used items are important in case of emergencies (such as feminine care products or medication) but other items (such as electronic or entertainment items) are not absolutely necessary.
    • This does not mean that you can never bring your electronic or entertainment items with you. Pack them in your purse only when you know that you will need them; otherwise, leave them at home.
    • Be selective about your makeup. Limit yourself to just one lipstick shade and one eye shadow palette. You can change them out weekly; the less you pack, the better.
  5. 5
    Consider getting a smaller purse. Since you are organizing your purse, you can take this time to switch it out for a new one. This will force you to be more selective about what you put into your purse. It will also prevent you from stuffing unnecessary items into it, which can lead to clutter.[2]
  6. Image titled Organize Your Purse Step 5
    Consider getting a purse with interior and/or exterior pockets. Pouches are a great way to keep your things organized, but they also take up space. If your purse already has pockets in it, then you can use those instead. Pockets are also great at keeping things like cell phones in one place (as opposed to rattling about loosely in your purse).[3]
    • Consider a purse that has a small, exterior pocket. This is great for keys, and makes them easy to grab.[4]

Part 2
Organizing Your Purse

  1. Image titled Organize Your Purse Step 6
    Pack the items you use the most first. This includes things like your wallet, sunglasses, keys, hand sanitizer, and lip balm. If you have any pockets in your purse, consider putting the smaller items (such as lip balm) into them. This will not only reduce clutter, but also make it easier to reach in and grab what you need; you won't have to rustle through your purse for five minutes to find that tiny tube of lip balm.
  2. 2
    Get travel-sized items. Instead of carrying a full-sized lint roller or bottle of lotion, opt for travel-sized ones instead. You will need to refill them more often, but they will save space and make your bag significantly lighter.[5] If you can't find any travel-sized versions of your favorite lotion, consider getting an empty, travel-sized shampoo container and filling it up instead.
    • Many items come in travel-size, including tissues, hair brushes, and lint rollers.
  3. 3
    Make use of pouches. A simple pouch will keep similar items together, and prevent you from having to rummage through your purse each and every time you need something.[6] It doesn't even have to be a fancy pouch; a plastic, zippered bag will also do in a pinch. Be sure to have a separate pouch for each set of items; you don't want to keep your coins with your makeup! Here are some items that you can put into pouches:[7]
    • Manicure sets
    • Medication
    • Feminine care products
    • Pens, pencils, post-its, and other stationary items
  4. 4
    Store gift cards, loyalty cards, and credit cards in your wallet or a card holder. Many wallets even have special slots for these types of cards. If you want to get super-organized, sort them alphabetically.[8]
    • See if your loyalty cards are available in app form. This can save you lots of space because everything will be stored on your phone.
    • Store the cards you use the most in your wallet, and the cards you use less often in a separate pouch.
  5. 5
    Keep your receipts in one place. You can keep them in your wallet or in a mini, accordion-style file holder.[9] You should also have a system in place for them, including how often you go through them and throw them away. The last thing you'd want is to hoard receipts that expired five years ago.
    • This step can also be used for coupons.
  6. 6
    Consider storing medications in a weekly pill box to save space. If you need to take a lot of medications for allergies, pain, headaches, and so forth, consider keeping a few pills in a weekly pill box. Label each compartment with what's inside, such as: pain medication, allergy medication, and so forth.[10] You will have to refill the pill box often, but at least you won't have to carry several bottles of medication in your purse, which can take up a lot of space.
    • Consider keeping this in a zippered pouch along with other care items, such as dental floss.
  7. 7
    Store your makeup in a pouch, and be selective about what you bring. Keeping all of your makeup together will not only make things easier to find, but it will also help keep the inside of your purse clean. You also want to carry the makeup you use the most often with you. This means that, instead of carrying five different eyeshadow shades, you only pack one pallet, and leave the rest at home. The less makeup you carry, the less bulk you will have.
    • Another option is to omit packing your makeup, and doing it at home. Pack items for touch-up only, such as lipstick, lip gloss, and powder.
  8. 8
    Keep miscellaneous items in their own pouch. Chances are, you may have a bunch of items that you need in your purse. Instead of letting these items rattle about loosely in your purse, consider putting all of them inside one, zippered ouch. This includes things like earbuds, batteries, notebooks, etc.[11]

Part 3
Keeping Your Purse Organized

  1. 1
    Put things away into their designated places as soon as you are done using them. All it takes is a few extra seconds, but it will keep your purse looking tidy longer. If you start just throwing everything into your purses instead, it will look like a war-zone in no time.[12]
    • This includes putting loose change into a coin purse or your wallet.
  2. 2
    Clear your purse out once a week, or alternate purses weekly. Both of these will help keep clutter at bay. Clearing your purse weekly will also help keep it both clean and clutter-free.[13][14]
  3. 3
    Avoid picking up free stuff and samples. This include items like lotion or perfume samples from sales people at the mall, or extra salt/sugar packets from the restaurant. These items usually end up at the bottom of purses, forgotten. Overtime, they accumulate and lead to clutter. Instead, politely decline these offers or use the products immediately.[15]
  4. 4
    Consider keeping a supply kit in your car or locket. Makeup kits, first aid kits, and feminine care kits can all take up lots of space. You can save that space by keeping them in your car or school/work locker. This way, you will still be able to do your makeup, take your medication, and so forth, but you won't be carrying those items with you all the time.[16]


  • Consider using a smaller purse. This way, you will be forced to be selective about what you bring.[17]
  • When shopping for purses, consider ones that have pockets or compartments—you can use these to store small items, such as lip gloss.
  • If you are making just a quick trip to the store, consider packing your keys, wallet, and phone into a small wrist pouch. This way, you won't have to bring your entire purse with you.[18]
  • Make copies of your ID and keep it in a safe place at home. This way, you wil be covered if your purse gets lost or stolen.[19]
  • Your purse should weigh less than 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms). If it is too heavy, your shoulder will ache.[20]
  • If your purse is heavy, switch it from shoulder to shoulder throughout the day. This will prevent you from putting too much weight on one shoulder to long periods of time.[21]
  • Leave the bags of heavy coins at home or in your car; keep only a few with you.[22]
  • Get pouches that contrast with the inside color of your purse. For example, if the inside of your purse is red, get a green pouch. This will make it easier to find.


  • Always look at receipts before you throw them away. There might be something important on them.
  • Everyone has their own system for organizing. What works for your friend might not work at you. Experiment with different methods before you find one that works for you.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Clutter Busting | Handbags and Purses