One handbag shall bind them all

I have friends who have different colour handbags for different outfits. It appears that they transfer the contents of their bags on an almost daily basis. And that they must have a shelf of handbags somewhere in their houses.

I also know people who change handbags every few months, buying new ones just because they feel like it.

And almost everyone I know spends an inordinate amount of time rummaging in their handbags because they can’t find something. Or misses phone calls because their phone was “somewhere in their bag”.

I used to be a serial buyer of cheap, large handbags – and also spent lots of time looking for things in bags.

Then, many years ago, one of those cheap handbags was stolen. I put the insurance payout towards buying a proper leather bag.

And I have used that same handbag ever since, no matter the season or what I am wearing, or where I am going.

It is small, black and a bit battered. It’s zip had been replaced at least twice.

my trusty handbag

My trusty handbag, complete with keys.

But it has given me freedom from  the tyranny of the handbag.

From it I have learned the following:

  • The bigger the bag, the more useless stuff it will have in it. A small bag imposes discipline.
  • If you keep things in the same place in the same handbag, you will always be able to find them.
  • A side pocket without a zip is the best place for a cellphone.
  • It doesn’t matter if your bag doesn’t match your clothes – no one really notices anyway.

I have also refined the contents of my bag to the following essentials:

    • Purse
    • Phone
    • Power supply
    • Notebook (small, just one)
    • Comb
    • Glasses
    • Plasters (I am the mother of a boy – these were essential for years and I can’ t get out of the habit. Also when a work colleague needs plasters for her feet because her new shoes hurt, you will be prepared. This is a true story.)
    • A bottle opener (do I need to explain this?)
    • A tape measure (I sew, and you never know when you might want to measure a piece of fabric. Also, when a very technical colleague wants to measure desks because an office move is being contemplated, he will be astounded when you produce a tape measure. This is a true story.)

My bag has metal links for the handles, and onto one of these I attach my keys with a larger carabiner.

Thus, my small trusty bag keeps me sane and saves me time. The secret is keeping things simple: one bag, minimal objects. Organisation heaven.

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Photo by Alexander Kovacs on Unsplash

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