13 Great Handbag Essentials Ideas That You Can Use Everyday
“A woman’s mind is as complex as the contents of her handbag; even when you get to the bottom of it; there is ALWAYS something at the bottom to surprise you”…Billy Connelly. While I will not deny this, over the years I have realised that the contents of your handbag are more often than not responsible for your peace of mind.
During my younger days, I used to go for large handbags as I liked to carry my world around with me and never paid attention to the weight of the bag itself. However, as I grew older ( especially now in my forties) I prefer lighter and smaller purses as they are easy on my shoulders. Therefore the contents of my bag also underwent a change over time.
This does not mean I have reduced my number of bags. On the contrary, I feel each handbag is necessary as it serves a specific purpose. You can read more about this in my blog on wardrobe essentials
Anyways coming back to the contents of the handbag, irrespective of the size of the handbag there are some essentials that I always like to carry along with me. Here is my list of things to keep in my purse at all times. Let’s see if it matches yours.
13 Useful Things You Should Always Carry in Your Handbag
1. Hand Sanitiser:
I think this is given thanks to the pandemic. No one steps out without a hand sanitiser these days and this will continue for some time at least. While I used to carry one even before the pandemic but I am more conscious now.
2. Wet Wipes
This is a must for me. I got into this habit when my first daughter was born ie 17 years ago and have not since moved out of the house without wet wipes. These are really handy when you have small kids to keep them and the surroundings clean. Even when I am not with kids, I prefer to use these along with the sanitiser to sanitise my hands. Not to forget, they act as makeup removers if the need arises.
How many of you walk out of the house without lipstick in your purse. I am sure not many.
Good, this means I don’t have to get into details. By the way, I prefer to carry the lip liner too in case I use that with the Lipstick.
4. Lip Balm
I am sure you are wondering why I am suggesting to carry a lip balm if you are carrying lipstick. I prefer to carry both because if you are out for long, the lips tend to dry out and adding a little lip balm before touching up the lipstick helps. Moreover, sometimes I prefer to take out my lipstick ( and that’s when the wet wipes come in handy) and just use the tinted lip balm.
5. House Card/Key
I never move out without my house card/keys even if I know that someone will always be in the house. I used to carry the main door keys while in India as I used to return from work in the afternoon which was the nap time for my elderly parents, hence did not want to disturb them. In Singapore, I cannot operate the lift without the house card due to security reasons. Hence this is a must.
6. Important Numbers Card
This is by far the most important thing that needs to be in your purse. In this digital age, we have all our important contact numbers saved on our phones. I honestly don’t even remember some of these by heart and am so dependent on my phone. What if your phone gets misplaced or the battery dies. What will you do if you have to contact your near and dear ones? We have an ICE on the phone, what about ICE when there is no phone.
Let’s look at another scenario- what if you lose your purse and someone else finds it. They may attempt to go through your purse for some identification and this list can come in handy.
Therefore it’s important to have that list of numbers in your handbag tucked in a place where it is easily accessible to you and someone else if the need arises.
7. Safety Pins
Do you know safety pins can be used in multiple ways, especially in case of emergencies? Let me share some examples with you :
- They can replace broken zippers – can be your clothes or handbag
- Replace broken buttons
- Bra Strap holder
- A scarf holder
- Help to zip your dress ( I have tried this myself)
- Alter the length of your necklace
- Use as a Keychain
- Use for self-defence
With all these benefits, why won’t the humble safety pin find a place in your bag no matter how small your bag is.
8. Essential Medicines
There might be some essential medicines that you need to take at periodic intervals. Please don’t forget to carry them in your purse. While I don’t have any essential medicines, I do like to carry a couple of tablets of Panadol/ indigestion and maybe a band-aid.
9. Allergy Card
This is something that most of us ignore and can be a life-saving step. If you are allergic to any medicine, please specify this on a card and carry it along with you. In case of an emergency, the health officials would know what not to administer to you. Never leave your house without this.
For today’s generation earphones are like another pair of ears, I don’t see their ears without them. But for my generation, I only use headsets for my calls and I don’t prefer to have them in my ears for a longer period of time. As a result, I have to take an extra effort to carry them with me when I am moving out of the house. I feel it’s a must because you may need to multitask especially when shopping and holding an additional thing (like a phone) in your hand may not exactly be convenient.
But as I said, not being used to them, many times I have to come back from the main door to put them in my purse, praying they have enough charge.
11. Money Apart From the Wallet
A simple piece of advice that is shared with us when we travel out for the first time, is never keep all your money in one place. Well, the same holds when you are stepping out for an errand or just for pleasure. We, women, have a habit of carrying a small wallet in our handbags which holds cash and our cards. Don’t put all your money and cards in the same wallet. It’s always advisable to carry some money in a separate pouch/zipper, especially loose cash.
12. Tampons/Sanitary Pads
I always carry these as a habit, especially at my age when the cycles are erratic. I don’t want to be caught unprepared in the middle of a movie or a lunch date.
13. A Pouch To Carry All These Things
Imagine trying to rummage through your bag in case of a requirement for any of the above. It can take ages and a lot of frustrating moments. My last piece of advice put all these (except the extra money/important numbers card) in a small pouch so that you can reach out for them easily. It also comes in handy when you change bags as we women do often to match our outfits. The extra money and the number card can be in the bag zipper.
I am sure by now you must be wondering how to fit so many things in a small handbag. Honestly, you don’t need to carry a bunch of medicines or a bunch of safety pins. A couple of strips is enough. Carry a small pack of hand sanitiser/ wet wipes which can easily fit in your purse.
I have not included a few other things which you may want to include. Take your pick from the list below:
- A Battery Pack
- A Charging chord
- An umbrella – is a must for me as I cannot imagine walking in Singapore Sun without one.
- A small water bottle – again a must for Singapore weather.
However, if I am carrying these then I prefer to carry a tote bag which by itself is very light so that it does not add on to the weight.
So here are my bag essentials. Please do share with me your list and if we have some things in common.
Hope you found this blog helpful. If yes, please do share with your family and friends these purse essentials.
A big thanks to my sister Dr Minni Chadha for the artwork on the blog header.
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