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Do you often forget your wallet at home? Are you constantly sifting through your purse for your keys? Is the inside of your handbag marred by pen marks or makeup stains?  If so, you may need to declutter your purse! In this post, I'll show you how to organize your purse with a purse organizer.

Before my blogging 'side gig,' I was into vintage purses. I would collect them, enjoy them, and resell them. I've since shifted slightly towards a more minimalist lifestyle, and am trying to establish a capsule-like wardrobe with a few versatile accessories. I’ve whittled my way down to just five purses, each of which serves a unique purpose (read: I can't get rid of any more of them)!

But, even with just a few bags, there's the conundrum of how to transfer your essentials from one purse to another without forgetting anything. The solution? A purse organizer! 

This is essentially a 'bag within a bag' that allows you to transfer your belongings en masse from one purse to another. A purse organizer solves the problem of forgetting something in your 'other' purse; it also keeps your purse organized, protects the inside of your purse from makeup stains, and can add structure to an otherwise floppy tote.

If you've been following along for a while, you're probably not shocked to learn that in addition to a tidy home, I like to keep a tidy purse! Purse organizers are the perfect way to do this!

There are many options available, and I've tried almost every type. 

So, which one do I think is best?  Believe-it-or-not, it's the least expensive one!

My go-to purse organizer is this nylon multi-pocketed one, that you can get on Amazon for under ten bucks.

In this post, I'll show you how to use a purse organizer to keep your bag organized and how to use it to lighten your load!

 Choosing the Right Purse Organizer

Through some trial and error, I've found the purse organizer that works best for me (the Vercord nylon 13-pocket organizer in 'medium'). It fits in each of my purses, except for my mini clutch, and it has two large, zippered compartments. 

Below, I'll show you how it fits in both my most casual tote and my fanciest handbag.

Here it is in my small Longchamps Le Pliage. This is the quintessential, care-free, casual tote---the one you take to the grocery store or to the park with your kids. It's lightweight, durable, and tolerates all of the abuses of your day-to-day. When my son was still in diapers, I used the 'large' one, but have since downsized. My purse mantra: use the smallest purse that will meet your needs. Why burden yourself with anything larger?

This same organizer fits snugly inside my Chanel Jumbo Single Flap. This is my 'holy grail' bag. If you're a fellow Chanel fan, you'll know that this model (with the single flap) is discontinued. (Ebay is probably your best bet for finding one 'preloved.') This is my 'drinks with girlfriends' and 'date night' bag.

Chanel Jumbo Single Flap Organizer

As you can see, my purse organizer can take me from daytime at the park to an evening out in seconds! 


 Depending on the shapes and sizes of your purses, different types of handbag inserts may better suit your lifestyle:

Structured Purse Organizers

Purse organizers made of rigid felt work well in large, floppy canvas totes, like the Louis Vuitton Neverfull and the Speedy, to which they add structure.

Felt Purse Organizer
Louis Vuitton Neverfull Organizer

Vercord Felt Organizer Shaper, 12 Pockets in S, M, L, XL ($16.88-$28.68). I used to own a Neverfull and this is the exact organizer I used!

Osotwbo Felt Handbag Organizer Shaper, 12 Pockets - S,M,L,XL ($18.28-$41.89). I use this type of organizer in my Speedy Bandouliere to help it maintain a boxy shape. However, I don't put anything in the pockets. I continue use my nylon organizer within this organizer.

Vertical Purse Organizers

If you're a fan of tall totes, you'll need a purse insert that is taller than it is wide.

Vercord Long Tote Felt Organizer Insert, 17 pockets ($23.99). Something about this organizer and all its pocketed glory makes me happy!


Purse Essentials:

What's In My Purse Organizer & How I Organize It

 Once you've chosen your organizer, it's important to arrange things strategically to get the most out of it.

One of my best purse organization tips is to be consistent about where you store things within your purse/purse organizer. If you always keep your keys in the same compartment, they'll be a lot easier to locate. After a while, you'll be able to retrieve things from your purse without actually looking inside. Before I got serious about doing this, I would rifle through my purse, searching frantically for my keys, each and every day, at my doorstep.

I also divide my purse organizer into sections, depending on function and frequency of use.

The 'front' side (the part of the organizer facing away from my body when I'm wearing the purse) is easier to access than the 'back' side, so this is where I keep frequently used items:

  • Tissue. 

  • Gum or mints (missing from the photo, as I'm currently all out).

  • My transit pass.

  • Hand sanitizer. I'm a fierce advocate of hand hygiene. Cleansing your hands frequently is the best way to avoid the common cold and other contagious illnesses!  The first thing I do when I pick up my son from daycare is slather his hands in this stuff in an effort to eradicate the cooties he's accumulated throughout the day.

The 'back' side of my purse insert (the part that faces towards me when wearing the purse) houses items I don't need to access as frequently:

  • Portable phone charger & charging cable. Okay, so these may not be purse essentials for everyone. But, as someone who's on her phone a lot (probably more than I should be, but that's a topic for another day...), these are lifesavers! I've had my share of paranoid fantasies about my phone dying during my commute home and missing an important call from my son's daycare.

Jackery Portable Charger Power Bank

If I didn't already own the power bank and charger cable above, I'd probably opt for a two-in-one to maximize efficiency. Jackery Bolt Portable Charger Power Bank with Built-In Lightning Cable ($30.99).

  • Pill box. Filled with Advil and Tylenol for unexpected headaches.

  • Hair elastics & bobby pins. For unexpected bad hair days.

I reserve the two zippered compartments in the centre of the organizer for valuables and my makeup. This way, if my eyeshadow powder crumbles or lipstick lid comes undone, the damage is limited to this one area. Since this compartment is deep inside of the organizer, there's a good buffer between the makeup and the purse (Advanced Purse Defense Tactics:101)!

  • Key pouch/wallet. I downsized from a full-sized wallet to a key pouch/card holder. I rarely use cash and with the advent of 'Apple Pay' and the Stocard app to store loyalty cards on my phone, I don't need a big wallet. This pouch is big enough for my bank card, one credit card, and few bills and coins. It also has a key chain, which I find very handy. It's a lot easier to locate my keys, within my purse, when they're tethered to something more substantial.

Looking for a more wallet-friendly wallet? Aladin Leather Change Purse Wallet with Key Ring ($11.99).

  • Phone. I usually keep this in the same compartment as my key pouch/wallet. Of course, it's not in the photo as I used it to take the photo. Meta, right?

  • Makeup. Instead of  using a separate makeup bag, I fit my touch up essentials into the second zippered compartment. You may recognize these items from the post on my capsule makeup kit.

Other than my sunglasses, the centre of the organizer is kept relatively empty. This is where I inevitably end up depositing things like receipts and the dirty tissues my son hands me (always me, and never Dad!), to be emptied out later. 

So, that's how I use a purse organizer to declutter my purse and avoid leaving essentials behind in my 'other' purse! Of course, weekly maintenance is required to redistribute items that didn't make it back to their designated compartments and to clear out the used tissues and other miscellaneous purse debris.


Do you have a purse organizer you love? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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