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. Its zip had been replaced at least twice.

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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