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Top 15 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Bag

by Richard Zakroff on February 15, 2017

We’ve all been there-you’re standing at the register paying for your groceries and a line is slowly forming behind you because your arm is buried elbow-deep in your handbag. You can’t find your wallet among the piles of old receipts and a half-used bottle of sun block that hasn’t seen the light of day since August. You make a mental note each time you sift through to organize and condense, but here you are again.

If this is an all too familiar scenario, then there are probably tons of unnecessary items you’ve been carrying around in your bag that you’re convinced will someday be relevant again. (Spoiler alert: they won’t be.) If you haven’t reached in your bag for that bottle of emergency nail glue in the past 3 months, it’s best to chuck it and make room for something you actually need. Parting with these items and organizing your bags can feel a lot like a good cleansing of the soul—and a long overdue one at that.

To make sure you’re keeping only the essentials and ditching the rest, we’ve compiled a list of the top fifteen things that every woman needs in her bag, and we promise you’ll never be stuck rummaging through month-old receipts at the store again.

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  1. Cash: We’ll start with the obvious—any bag you’ll be carrying around throughout the day should have at least a small amount of cash in addition to any cards in your wallet. Aim to keep at least $20 on hand for small purchases or tips, and you never know when you might need to pay in cash or make change.
  2. Hand sanitizer: This one isn’t just for the germaphobes. Handbags can get dirty, and unless you’re constantly washing your hands throughout the day, that dirt can transfer from your bag to you and everything you touch. Fight off cold and flu season by keeping your hands clean while on the go.
  3. Lip balm: This seems like a small thing, but it’s one of those must-have handbag staples that no woman should be caught without—especially in the colder winter months that are notorious for drying out skin. Fight the cold by keeping your lips moisturized with lip balm throughout the day. It’s a small thing that you only notice you’re missing when you need it the most!
  4. Travel-sized deodorant: We argue this is one of the most important on the list! Antiperspirant or deodorant can save the day (or night) wherever you are. If you’re in need of a quick refresh throughout the day, at the office, or before a night out, remembering to carry one of these in your bag can ease any hesitations about keeping moving on a busy day!
  5. Concealer/touch-up makeup: There’s nothing worse than being out and noticing that your makeup has faded or worn off! Keep a spare tube of concealer or lipstick to touch up throughout the day and you’ll never have to worry about another makeup mishap.
  6. Pain relievers: Don’t dread the next time you’re out and a headache hits—if you’ve got a small travel-sized container of pain relievers, you won’t have to wait to get home before feeling better. (Bonus: throw in some Midol for those days your cramps just won’t leave you alone.)
  7. Mints or gum: Avoid being in a situation where you feel uncomfortable talking closely with friends, family, or coworkers, and throw some breath mints or gum into your bag. We recommend keeping it in a zippered pouch or pocket in your bag (if it has one) and having it handy right next to your lip balm!
  8. Spare feminine products: This bag essential goes without saying and should never be overlooked. Avoid any embarrassing or panic-inducing moments out and make sure you’re prepared. (If not for you, then for another woman in need!)
  9. Oil blotting sheets: Yes, these exist. And once you use them, you’ll never be able to live without them. Remove the natural shine from your face at the end of the day, or throughout, and avoid having your makeup crease or run before going out later. These are a great little trick for touching up your makeup without actually using any, because gently tapping these on the skin can remove any excess oils and help keep your face looking fresh all day!
  10. Comb: Keep a comb in your bag and never be caught with a frustrating tangle again. It takes up less space than a brush, and is less damaging on your hair—that’s a win-win.
  11. Nail filer: There’s nothing worse than having a nail disaster ruin your morning. This time of year, nails are more fragile and breakable than ever, so it’s important to keep them filed to prevent breakage.
  12. Snack bar: The holy grail of the purse. The hero we all need. The only thing that truly helps fight off that “hangry” feeling we get in the around 3 in the afternoon. Refilling your handbag with one of these in the morning takes only a minute, but you’ll thank yourself later when you reach in your bag for one of these for a mid-day snack.
  13. Lint roller/Tide To-Go for fashion emergencies: Never again worry about spilling your coffee on your shirt or sporting black pants that are covered in dog hair—avoid fashion emergencies by carrying a stain remover pen or a lint roller to help sharpen your appearance and save your outfit no matter the malfunction.
  14. Tissues: Winter can be harsh not only on our skin, but on our sinuses as well. Having a small package of tissues on hand in your bag is a surprisingly versatile item that can help with runny noses, small spills, or other touchups.
  15. Phone charger: It may seem frivolous to carry this around at first, but keeping a spare charger for your phone can prevent being lost or stuck somewhere with no way to contact a friend of family member. It’s better to be safe than sorry and stock your purse with a practical bag must-have that may save you in case of an emergency.

Can you think of anything we missed? Let us know below!