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Heavy handbag? Learn how to lighten your load

Jenny Sucov from Real Simple magazine shares some tips for organizing your purse's contents with the latest satchels, totes and pouches.
/ Source: Weekend Today

Feel like you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Jenny Sucov from Real Simple magazine offers simple tips for prioritizing your needs and organizing your bag.

General tips:

  • Resist the temptation to carry everything under the kitchen sink around with you all day. Take a week and pay attention to the things you often use. If you realize you never take your hairbrush out of your bag, consider leaving it home.
  • If you're not a morning person, organize your bag the night before. Think about what you have coming up the next day and decide whether you should add or take away any particular products.
  • If you switch bags regularly, consider storing products in zipper pouches so you can easily transfer contents from one bag to another.
  • Look for bags with a multitude of compartments, both on the inside and the outside. Compartmentalized bags compel you to be organized. Once you give everything a place, you'll always know where to find things and it will keep you organized and on time.
  • Many bags today have implemented organizing principles and include aspects like a cell phone holder and a key hook.
  • Exterior pockets are great for easy access and things you need to grab easily. Outer pockets are ideal for a work ID, pens or a small umbrella.
  • A clear ID pouch is ideal for storing your office ID because it's still scannable.
  • If you are looking for a bag for work, chose one with deep pockets that provides ample space for folders and magazines.

If you want to be organized, but love a bag without many components, there are products you can buy to keep a bag more organized.

Pursekets are fabric organizers that come in different sizes and have built-in pockets for bags that don't have them already. They shape to the sides of your bag and open up space in the middle, separating your delicate items like sunglasses from bulkier ones like your day planner.

Meshed zippered pouches
Meshed zippered pouches are great for holding essentials. When you switch bags, simply transfer the mesh bag from one to the other.


  • Choose bright colors, which are easier to find quickly.
  • Assign a certain color to the type of product. For example, keep all cosmetics in a red pouch and keys in a blue pouch.
  • Use a small keychain flashlight. Makes finding glasses or lip gloss in a dark car or theater easier.
  • Try the Brookstone Microbeam Flashlight. A coin-size flashlight that doubles as a key chain and runs on two lithium batteries.

Banana Republic: Bedford Large Satchel, $248

  • Two large magnetic pockets with magnetic closure — easy to reach things without opening the main compartment. Good for MetroCards, your iPod, office ID, chapstick and pens.
  • Large inner zip pocket with an additional pocket. Provides easy access to small wallets, makeup bags, organizers, combs, BlackBerry, nail files and extra change.
  • Includes a cell phone holder/pocket.
  • Versatile for both work and leisure
  • Available in white, mocha brown and light brown; waterproof and crafted with pebbled leather.

Dooney & Bourke: Annalisa Leather, $275

  • Large outside pocket that provides easy access to iPod, pens, a pack of gum and nail file.
  • Includes a cell phone and zippered pocket.
  • Has an inside key hook.
  • Available in black, brown, camel, marine blue and red.

Stone Mountain: Ultra Double Handle, $120

  • Three-tiered zip closure compartments provide easy access to all your personal items. Great for organizing.
  • Center pocket with magnetic closure for your MetroCard, office ID or iPod
  • Detachable key fob with a snap — no more digging through your bag when you get home!
  • Cell phone pocket for easy access
  • Available in black, wine, brown, bone, taupe, navy, red and white.
  • Leather remains soft and supple, even in cold weather.

Baggallini: Hampton Bag, $70

  • Company was founded in 1995 by two veteran flight attendants who recognized a need for more fashionable and functional tote bags, handbags and travel accessories.
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Versatile — can be used as a travel bag, briefcase, diaper bag or for your everyday needs.
  • This bag has a colorful lining, which makes it easier to find things than in a dark bag.
  • Large outside compartment to hold file folders, diapers or towels for the beach.
  • Center compartment includes a mesh water bottle holder, detachable ID holder, additional zippered pocket, lipstick holders and two organizational pockets.
  • Made of crinkle nylon, with 10 single colors or color combos to choose from