7 Things You Can Declutter From Your Handbag in the Next 5 Minutes

Go ahead, ditch that pile of crumpled receipts.

Your handbag can be beautiful on the outside but a disorganized black hole on the inside. Have you ever reached into your purse for your keys and pulled out sunglasses? Dumped out all the contents of your bag at a coffee shop to find your headphones?

I've been there—it's time-consuming and frustrating. If you don't want to have to call a search party every time you reach for your wallet or keys, lose the items listed below to declutter your purse quickly. Before long, your favorite handbag will look beautiful, inside and out.

01 of 07


You may need to keep receipts for company expenses or returns, but they do pile up, don't they? If your company allows virtual expenses, use your phone to take a picture of each receipt so you won't have to hold onto the paper copy. If not, purchase a small pouch to keep the receipts organized until you're home.

02 of 07

Gum Wrappers and Other Packaging

Whether it's gum wrappers, protein bar packaging, dirty tissues, or clothing tags, many of us tend to collect (and then carry around) some type of garbage in our purses or handbags.

If you can't find a trash can, Sharon Lowenheim from Organizing Goddess recommends reserving an outside pocket of your purse to stash wrappers and other refuse. This will keep crumbs out of the main part of your bag and give you easy access when you pass a trash can. (And good for you for not littering!)

03 of 07


Whether you didn't have time to apply makeup, or you want to keep some products on hand for touchups, make sure only to bring necessary items and keep them in a small plastic bag or makeup case. Cosmetics can be heavy, so bring just one of each item, or consider investing in a set of mini-size products.

04 of 07

Business Cards

Business cards aren't as common as they once were, but many people still use them for networking. If you receive one, take a picture or create a new contact in your phone to store the information. This will not only free up space in your wallet, but it will also make it easier to access the information when you need it.

05 of 07

Period Products

It can be scary to realize you don't have a tampon when you need one, and this fear can lead to overfilling your bag with period products. Instead, keep what you need for one day in a small bag and refill it at night. This will take up less space and alleviate the worry of running out.

06 of 07


Too much loose change can make it tough to close your wallet. Instead, designate a pocket for coins and empty them into a cute container at home. If your purse doesn't have pockets, invest in a small coin purse.

07 of 07

Toiletries and Medications

Rather than tote around an entire bottle of body lotion, buy a travel-sized version. And switch out small packets of pain medication for that big bottle of pills.

How to keep your purse and wallet organized:

Find your basics.

"Carefully consider your needs and think about your purse as something that should only be used for necessities, not a carry-all," recommends Ann Lightfoot, co-founder of Done and Done Home. Put items such as your keys, headphones, or wallet in a bright pouch to ensure you have everything you need when switching bags.

Take to 1 to 2 minutes to clean out your handbag every day.

Marissa Hagmeyer, co-founder of NEAT Method, says, "If you take just one minute to clean out your purse and wallet at the end of each day, you will never feel like things are out of control and your handbag will be as tidy as can be." Your future self will thank you.

Visit the travel-sized product aisle at the grocery store.

When you think about the biggest items in your bag, do medicine, mouthwash, or gum packets come to mind? Buy trial-sized version to save space in your bag.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles