Purse. Handbag. Satchel. Bag. Whatever name you give this essential of female life, what’s inside isn’t always essential…and, I know mine has become so laden with superfluous junk that I can’t even FIND the essentials.

Where did I put my phone? Where are my keys? Where are my sunglasses? Oh, they’re on my head…ugh, pregnancy brain!

If you aspire to be able to change your bag as easily as you can change your mood or your outfit, read on…

Handbag Organization JustHave #1: A Loyalty Card App. Is your current wallet huge and filled with every loyalty card under the sun? Is that a Blockbuster card? Did you know there are apps for your smartphone that allow you to keep all of your loyalty and membership cards together – without the purse clutter? I like the Key Ring app – it’s available for both Android and iPhone. It even helps you find sales and coupons for your favorite stores (plus, it’s free!).

Handbag Organization JustHave #2: A Compact, RFID Blocking Wallet.

Identity thieves have become exceedingly savvy – they have ways to steal your info right through your purse and your wallet! This is why every wallet should have RFID-blocking tech. (The acronym stands for Radio Frequency Identification – and it’s a way of using radio waves to read and steal info stored on your cards, IDs, etc. – scary!)

And, if your current wallet holds a checkbook that you rarely (if ever) use, a pile of those aforementioned loyalty cards, your license, your passport (are you planning to flee the country?), a day planner (you can’t be serious), myriad business cards (enter the info into your phone and toss), receipts, loose change, wads of cash…now is the perfect time to simplify with a cute, compact RFID blocking wallet. Almost every retailer carries them.

Handbag Organization JustHave #3: Pretty pouches! Here’s where you can make switching handbags a simple, stress-free process.

Most handbags have at least a few pockets for the obvious things like pens, your phone and sunglasses — but good luck finding everything else in the main compartment! That’s where pretty, patterned pouches of various shapes and sizes come in. Instead of looking down into a black hole (side note: why are most handbags lined with dark material?) – you’ll be looking for an identifiable color or patterned pouch you’ve associated with an essential organizational function!

Frankly, you can designate a pouch for just about any need – so think about what suits your lifestyle and pouch on! You’ll obviously want a small cosmetics pouch for on-the-go touch-ups. Notice I said “touch-ups”…be real about what is absolutely essential! I also like to have a “First Aid” pouch with a travel pack each of tissues and antibacterial wipes, a couple of bandages, an AM/PM pill pouch with my go-to emergency OTC medications (ie: Advil) and an extra day’s worth of any prescription medication (just in case). You can corral device clutter with a cord and small electronics pouch for things like chargers, earbuds and flash drives. A feminine hygiene pouch can be useful during that time of the month – and set aside when not needed. Travel-sized lotion, a travel hairspray, a hairbrush and even a travel dry shampoo are great to have in a pouch if you’re anticipating a long day away from home. If you’re traveling, you can even get a see-through travel documents pouch. And, if you’re going from work to an event, a small jewelry pouch with some extra bling might be just the thing.

And, when it’s time to switch to a new handbag? Just transfer the pouches you’ll need for that day and move on. So easy!

What are your handbag organization #JustHaves? Do you have any questions about organizing your life? Find me on Facebook.com/SantanielloJustine, @JustineSantaniello on Instagram and @JNSantaniello on Twitter and tell me more!



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