7 steps to an organized purse (that you can swap out!)

How to keep your purses organized. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Arcadia Bag, Jamdani Scarf, Rustic Leather Wallet, and Drifter Makeup Bag.

I use affiliate link programs. For some brands and products I feature, I may receive a commission from the sale at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog that helps to support my family!

It became a running joke at my trunk shows last year. When talking about Noonday Collection’s leather tote bags and how much they can hold, I shared how my passenger seat often beeped at me to buckle up, because its sensor thought the purse sitting next to me was a human being.

Has that ever happened to you?

While my self-deprecating story speaks to the durability of these bags, it was a bit embarrassing that my purses frequently included things like excess water bottles and changes of the kids' clothes that had been riding around in them for weeks, not to mention a smattering of receipts, snack wrappers, and redundant pens, which I could never find at home because they were all in my purse. I couldn’t easily find what I needed. My shoulders and back weren't loving it either.

But in 2019 I've turned over a new leaf: I committed to keeping my purse from becoming a catch-all, which has made it so much easier to use, while making it far easier to switch between purses to enjoy more styles.

If your purses become a mess within days of cleaning them out, there is hope for you - I promise. Here are my 7 easy steps to an organized purse that’s ready to be swapped out at a moment’s notice.

#1: Assess what you always want to have with you and what you don’t.

For me, I always carry my wallet, keys, phone, and several small things that can be corralled (see step 3). Other things that I don’t always carry but often do, include my laptop, water bottle, Kindle or book, or snacks. The Modern Leather Tote below is a great size for when I need to pack several bulky extras. So take a look at what you always need and what you don’t.

How to keep your purse organized. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Modern Leather Tote, Drifter Makeup Bag, and Rustic Leather Wallet.

Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Modern Leather Tote, Rustic Leather Wallet, and Drifter Makeup Bag, plus our founder’s book to inspire you as a world changer: Imperfect Courage. (Read my review of Imperfect Courage here.)

#2: Put your keys on a clip.

I use a Thirty-One keychain with a clip but Amazon has some good options as well, like the one shown here; browse and find one you’ll love.

#3: Use a good pouch, with a loop on it, to corral the small essentials.

I fill mine with things like my earbuds, lip gloss, pens, a small tube of hand lotion, a spare hair tie or two, and hand sanitizer. I also pop in a purse hook, just like the ones I use to display purses at my trunk shows, so that when I’m out I can hang my purse from a table instead of putting it on the floor. Digging through my little pouch for these little items is far easier than digging in the bottom of a large purse where they’re rattling around. Plus, keeping these items in their pouch - rather than in side pockets of my purse - makes it easy to swap out for another purse on a whim. So think about what those little daily essentials are for you, and group them together. Need inspiration? The Drifter Makeup Bag from Noonday Collection, pictured above, is perfect for this - it has a lovely color palette, it’s under $30, it’s hand-woven by women in Guatemala (read about their leader, Ana, here), and it’s the perfect size. In fact, in a pinch I can even use it as a little wristlet bag itself.

#4: Use your pouch’s loop to hook your keys.

I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted digging around for my keys under other purse contents, often on cold Wisconsin winter nights. I used to clip them to the outside of my purse, but that looks tacky, so clipping them to a consistent spot inside is far better. (Or, when I’m using my Modern Leather Tote, I can attach them to the inside clip.)

 
Here’s what my essentials look like lately: the Arcadia Bag accented by the Jamdani Bandana, plus the Rustic LEather Wallet. my phone can go inside the wallet, but I usually tuck it in the inside side pocket of the bag for quick access.

Here’s what my essentials look like lately: the Arcadia Bag accented by the Jamdani Bandana, plus the Rustic LEather Wallet. my phone can go inside the wallet, but I usually tuck it in the inside side pocket of the bag for quick access.

The outside of Noonday's Arcadia Bag has brass detailing to elevate the look. Also pictured: the Azamad Cuff.

The outside of Noonday's Arcadia Bag has brass detailing to elevate the look. Also pictured: the Azamad Cuff.

#5: Lighten your wallet by putting your loyalty, discount, and punch cards on a separate key ring or binder ring.

Now my Rustic Leather Wallet holds just the essentials - credit cards, business cards, cash, and insurance cards - while my library card, random little gift cards, punch cards, and more hang out on their own ring for easy access. I throw the whole ring into my pouch so it’s available when needed.

Keep going for bag inspiration and for my last two tips!

Noonday's fair trade, ethically sourced Rustic Leather Wallet has a removable strap to convert it into a crossbody or a belt bag.

Noonday's fair trade, ethically sourced Rustic Leather Wallet has a removable strap to convert it into a crossbody or a belt bag.

Noonday Collection’s Drifter Makeup Bag is the perfect size for either an in-purse pouch to contain the little essentials, or a standalone clutch.

Noonday Collection’s Drifter Makeup Bag is the perfect size for either an in-purse pouch to contain the little essentials, or a standalone clutch.

How to keep your purse organized. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Rustic Leather Wallet has a removable strap to convert it into a crossbody or a belt bag.
How to keep your purse organized. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Rustic Leather Wallet has a removable strap to convert it into a crossbody or a belt bag.

#6: Never put random stuff in your wallet or pouch.

Don’t stuff your receipts in your wallet. Don’t tuck that piece of trash or new stamps from the post office into the pouch. Protect those spaces and when you need to carry something that doesn’t belong there long-term, put it in your purse loose - so that…

#7: When you get home, empty out what doesn’t belong to keep your purse organized.

The beauty of an organized purse is that you can easily spot what doesn’t belong. (Now, if only I could truly implement that in my whole house….) Move those random receipts, bits of trash, kid mittens that she insisted you carry, and more to where they need to go in your home. When you do that, you’re always ready to swap out your few purse essentials - the pouch, the wallet, the phone, and if needed, the water bottle, etc. - to another bag.

I hope these tips help you have an effortlessly neat purse, and swap it out to easily switch up your bag for a new day!

The Essentials

This post was inspired by a two-word prompt in our Ambassador Style Challenge as we launch the spring line. The prompt: Everyday Essentials. It got me thinking about the essentials I use every day, and which pieces help me do it in style.

But it also got me thinking about the essentials of life that our artisan partners now have access to because of entrepreneurs like Ana, who leads women in traditional weaving of the Drifter Makeup Bag. Because of leaders who are using their businesses as a force for social good…partnership with Noonday and its Ambassadors’ businesses as social entrepreneurs to bring their products to you…and people like you choosing to purchase fair trade, people are stepping out of vulnerable circumstances and into flourishing. Their excellent wages mean they are able to pay for the essentials like food and shelter, and school fees for their children. They are even able to go beyond that and purchase birthday gifts and go on dates and improve their homes and give back to their communities, because our business model isn’t just about helping people barely survive; it’s based in the belief that business can and should truly transform lives and elevate families.

When you purchase a bag or a wallet from Noonday that holds your essentials for the day, you’re also helping provide the essentials - and the extras - for artisans around the globe who have struggled, not through any lack of talent or drive on their part, but through a lack of opportunity. Your order can provide that opportunity as you vote against fast fashion and “put your wallet to work” - including your spending money, not just your donating money - for a better world. Click here to provide opportunity - and do it in style.

Did you love this post? Pin an image below and comment below: what tips will you implement today?

7 tips to keep your purse organized. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Arcadia Bag, Rustic Leather Wallet, Jamdani Bandana, and Drifter Makeup Bag.
7 steps to an organized purse that you can easily swap out every day. Pictured: Noonday Collection's fair trade Modern Leather Tote, Rustic Leather Wallet, and Drifter Makeup Bag.