8 Ways to Keep Your Purse Organized

The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.

8 Ways to Keep Your Purse Organized

It is the first week back to work from Christmas vacation for me. So, I am in the process of getting everything organized again. And, my purse is no exception. On Monday, when I was heading back to work, I realized my purse was rather heavy. I looked inside and determined that my purse went on Christmas vacation as well, meaning it was a complete mess. It had piles of junk in it from traveling to my hometown for Christmas and not taking the time to clean it out when I got back.

Before Christmas break, I had a nice system going on with my purse and it rarely got messy. So, I had to jump back on my regular purse organizing routine that includes the following rules to help keep your purse organized.

1. Clean it out once a week.

It doesn’t matter how hard I try on a daily basis, by the end of the week, something in my purse is unorganized. The daily hustle and bustle of life can definitely be seen in my purse and that is ok. I just have to make sure I maintain the clutter at least once a week.

purse organization 2

2. Containerize.

This is one of the best things I have learned about organizing my purse. Placing items in separate bags or cases inside your purse keeps things a lot more orderly. For instance, I keep all of my planner accessories in one pouch, all of my cosmetics in a different pouch, and my money, debit, and credit cards in a separate pouch. This helps when I am looking for something particular, like a pen. I don’t have to stick my hand in the bottom of my purse and hope for the best. I know where the pens are located and can go directly to that pouch. This saves time and frustration.

purse organization 3

3. Have a system for receipts.

Receipts are the number one thing that create clutter in my purse. It is a never ending battle that I have to face daily. I now have a system for receipts, though, that has helped with this issue. I have a specific compartment in my purse where I place receipts. Once I get home from an outting or when I clean out my purse once a week, I take all of the receipts out of the compartment and place them in my receipt file.

Having a compartment in my purse specifically for receipts helps keep the rest of my purse tidy.

purse organization 4

4. Resist the urge.

This one is hard for me, but I try my best to resist the urge to collect things as I shop or eat. You know, when you are shopping and a nice sales associate is standing in the fragrance section and he/she politely asks if you would like a sample? Yeah! I have a hard time saying, “no” because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I am sure the individual doesn’t care if I take the sample or not, but I am a people pleaser.

Then, you know, when you go to the drive-through and they offer you extra napkins and salt packets? I would take them and cram them in my purse as well.

So, by the end of the week, my purse would look like a walking souvenir.

I had to tell myself to stop taking these things when I don’t need them. So, now, when I am approached about taking a free sample or free napkin, I stop and ask myself if I really need it.

purse organization 6

5. Store loose change immediately.

How many times do you go to pay for something in a store, get change, and just drop it in your purse? I know I am extremely guilty of it. It is almost like I don’t want to stop, breathe, and spend a few minutes putting it in a safe place.

Then, when I am doing my weekly purse cleaning out, I have to spend extra time collecting the change and putting it away.

So, now, I have designated a spot for all of my change in my purse. I made sure the spot was easy to access as well. If it takes 5 minutes to find my special change compartment, then I am more apt to shove it in the bottom of my purse.

If I know where all of my change is located, I know how much money I have and don’t have to play shake-the-purse to find out.

6. Have a car supply kit.

When I was growing up, my poor mom was a walking medicine cabinet. She had every type of bandaid, toothpick, and medication we might need when we were on the road. I know her back had to kill her everyday after lugging her purse from place to place.

Now, I get to stand in my mom’s shoes. I have kids that I have to take to and from different places and my purse could easily look the way hers did. But, keeping a car supply kit helps with some of these purse issues.

Instead of carrying the whole kitchen sink in my purse, I keep a nice stash of emergency items in my car. Things like:

  • bandaids
  • extra hairbrush & hairties
  • stain remover
  • tweezers
  • small scissors
  • any other item that my family may use

Medication is something I carry in my purse (in a small pill container) because it can be sensitive to changes in the weather.

Just removing a few of those items and creating a car kit saves my purse and possibly my back in the long run.

7. Beware of toys.

Can anyone relate to this one? I swear my two kiddos are sneaky little humans. Somehow, by the end of the week, I will have random markers, balls, and toy figurines floating around in my purse. I guess they want to make sure their favorite (which changes daily) toys go with us in case they want to break out a toy session in the middle of Wal-Mart.

I try to have my daughter take a separate small bag or purse with us for her belongings. I already have enough stuff hanging out in my purse without all of her necessities. And, my little man always has a small cinch bag that we carry with diapers, wipes, and a spare change of clothes. So, we try to make sure his goodies go in that bag.

purse organization 5

8. Carry a smaller purse.

When all else fails, carry a smaller purse! If I carry a smaller purse, I carry less in it. The bigger my purse, the more I think I can cram in it. But, this always requires thought. Just because I carry a smaller purse doesn’t mean I need to have it overflowing with items I think are essential.

To end, I wanted to share the before and after pictures from my weekly purse clean-out session.

purse organization 1

purse organization 7

kristin profile pic new

My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!


Filed under: Containerizing, Guest Bloggers, Kristin, Organizing Basics


32 Responses to 8 Ways to Keep Your Purse Organized

  1. 1
    Sarah says

    Would love to know what kind of purse you are using? Looks like a great size & style!

  2. 2
    Lynne says

    Do you mind sharing where you got the little pouches? Thanks!

  3. 3
    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says

    Great tips! I use the pouch system as well…but I would do better if I implemented your once a week clean-out. I will try that!

  4. 4
    Sara Beth says

    The best tip was #4… its like you know me! I always get ketchup packets and random things thinking they’ll come in handy later and then a MONTH later I have to throw them out! Ew!

  5. 5
    Suzanne says

    These tips are perfect, and definitely needed for me! I have been meaning to clean out and organize my purse, but it always overwhelms me. Thank you for sharing these tips! I’m going to pin them to my organizing pinterest board to look back at.

  6. 6
    Granmama says

    I received (from myself) a nice new pocketbook and was inspired to do as you have done! Oh what a wonderful difference zipped containers make and I didn’t have to purchase a single one. Amazing how you can find just what you need sometimes without buying a thing. My favorite is clear . Love being able to see exactly what I have.

  7. 7
    Becky says

    Love the once a week tip! What brand is your purse? It’s very pretty!

  8. 8
    Kelly says

    Where did you purchase your “containers” for inside your purse?

  9. 9
    CTY says

    I too use the pouch system. It makes it easy to find things as well as easy to identify strays that have migrated to the bag.
    I have a new favorite bag which offers 4 zippered compartments. Two compartments are tiered. One zippered compartment also has 2 pockets. There is an external pocket as well. It is called the Triple Zip Hipster by Vera Bradley.
    This bags organizes very easily and yet holds bottled water, a camera, iPad, hard eyeglass case & various other things when I travel. It has an adjustable strap that allows for cross body wearing or not.

    • 9.1
      Kristin @ The Gold Project says

      I am a huge Vera Bradley fan. I own a lot of their pieces and have owned several hipsters, but haven’t seen the triple zip hipster. I will have to check it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. 10
    Havok says

    I’ve only recently gotten on the “keep my purse organized” bandwagon, but it’s a great place to be! I do have to go through just about once a week and remove receipts that I used cash on, but since I am logging my receipts in my planner, they have to come out once I get home anyway!
    Also, I got a purse for Christmas that has a pocket for everything. No more digging in the bottom for keys, pens, or anything! Everything has a place, and it has made my life so much easier while out and about!

    • 10.1
      Kristin @ The Gold Project says

      My purse in the pictures above has tons of pockets too and you are exactly right. Those extra pockets make a world of difference. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 11
    Cheryl says

    I use the “pouch approach” for my diaper bag! I keep a drawstring bag just for diapers and wipes, a clutch for my keys, phone, wallet etc and a medical bag for my essential oils, bandaides and the like! If so much easier than digging for what I need and trying to find it fast. Extra clothes and diapers are in the car too ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 12
    Kelly says

    HI Kristin, where did you purchase the pouches you have pictured in your posting?

  13. 13
    Sally Pell says

    I too use the “purse as a filing cabinet design”. I have two large zipper compartments at the top with interior pockets in both, one with a interior zipper pocket, On the exterior there is a zipper pocket ideal for keys and cell phone. One big pocket is for stuff I use all the time, wallet, engagement calendar, checkbook, aspirin etc. The other is my trip-around-the-world pocket: brush, lipstick, candy, nail file and even my Kindle. I have several filing-cabinet-purses – one from WalMart and others from catalogs. GREAT article.

  14. 14
    Marei says

    I always love to hear that I am not alone in this. Found myself nodding at every single point you made ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for this post! Love it and all of the tips!

  15. 16
    Rollande says



  16. 17
    Consuelo says

    #7 beware of toys
    You know me!
    As a Mom of 2 under 3, this definitely applies and I have found the odd sock too!
    I already follow all the tips but thank you for the cinch bag idea and the car kit! Thank you!!!


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