It has taken me many years to figure out how to find the best handbag for organization.
A purse that makes you feel disorganized and very frustrated isn't working for you!
So, what makes the perfect handbag, you ask? Well, there really is a secret sauce – a formula to follow when you buy a new purse, bag, or tote.
Personally I always look for the following features before I buy:
- It has to have a single large main compartment.
- The perfect handbag should zip closed.
- There should be a small outer pocket on one side only.
- A useful purse should be about as tall as a standard iPad is wide.
- The bag should be more rigid than floppy.
- Two handles, long enough to carry on the shoulder, are better than one.
- It helps if the inner lining is a light, solid color – no patterns.
- The handbag should be lightweight when it is empty.
- If the handbag is actually attractive, that is a bonus. (I'm being sarcastic here.)
While it is hard to find a bag that ticks all the boxes – I try to make sure that any purse I purchase has at least a few of the above features. This is why each one is so important.
BAGS YOU MIGHT LIKE
1. The Best Purse Has a Single, Large, Main Compartment
Over the years I have bought many different styles of purses and I have found that I stay better organized when the purse I choose has one, large, central main compartment.
I am sure you have seen or used bags with two identical, main compartments side by side. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea – but in fact, this style can cause a lot of frustration.
Think about it, if both zippered compartments look the same when the purse is closed, then you end up guessing which compartment your wallet, phone, or whatever it is you are looking for is actually in.
You open one, and the thing isn't there. So you have to open the other and you end up wasting time.
If the purse has a single large pocket, then you only have one place to look for that thing you need.
2. An Organized Handbag Has a Zip Closure
A handbag with a zip closure is much more practical than one with a snap closure or open top.
It keeps you more organized and it's safer.
Have you ever had your purse on the passenger seat while you are driving and hit the brakes kind of hard?
Your purse flies off the seat and onto the floor. If it's not zipped shut, the entire contents of your bag spills out everywhere.
Also, it is harder for someone to pilfer your wallet, phone, or other valuables if your purse is zipped shut.
3. A Useful Handbag Should Have a Single Outside Pocket (On One Side Only)
The perfect handbag, for me, has a single, small outside pocket that zippers shut.
I use this outside pocket to store my keys and a keychain with my store rewards cards or membership cards.
This way I always know where my keys are and when I checkout at a store, I always have easy access to my rewards cards so I get all the discounts.
This simple organization tip has saved me a lot of stress.
How many times have you thrown your keys in your handbag – and then had to dig into the abyss to find them again?
You know the momentary panic that sets in when you can't find them. It's horrible – and completely unnecessary.
Just like having a single main compartment – the same logic applies here. There should only be one outside pocket on your purse – not two or more. With multiple outside pockets you will end up zipping and unzipping all of them to find what you are looking for.
You should also reserve this pocket for your keys or other item of your choice only. Don't put anything else in there to clutter it up!
If all the purses that you own have this little, single, outside pocket – then you switch handbags easily and still know exactly where to find your keys.
4. Ideally Your Bag Should Be Wider Than Deep
If your bag is wider than it is deep, it should be shallow enough for you to see everything that is inside.
Right now, a standard iPad is about 10 inches high and seven inches wide – and I think something just a bit wider and deeper is a perfect size for a purse.
This is roomy enough to carry lots of stuff and if you need to take your tablet on the go, it should fit inside your handbag comfortably and you should still be able to zip your purse shut.
5. A Perfect Handbag Will Have Structure
My perfect handbag will have some structure to it and ideally will stand upright on its own.
This means that it won't flop over when you put it down and things should stay in order inside.
Because of this, I like a rigid tote bag style better than a hobo since it's not as functional.
If you love the slouchy look of a hobo bag, don't worry – here are some tips to keep your hobo style bag organized.
6. A Purse With Two Handles Is Better Than One
I, personally, like bags with two handles because when you need to look inside your purse, the handles separate and stay out of the way.
Tote style bags typically have two handles.
It is nice if these handles are long enough to sling the bag over your shoulder so you can have your hands free if need be.
Another way to keep your hands free is to choose a true cross body style bag – which I prefer when traveling.
7. Your Purse Should Have A Light Colored Lining
When your purse is lined with a light color fabric, it makes it easier to see everything inside.
Darker linings or linings with busy patterns are not as practical.
If your favorite bag has dark interior you might consider using something like this motion activated purse light.
8. The Perfect Purse is Lightweight When Empty
A lightweight purse will put less strain on your shoulder than a heavy one.
Let's face it – we all carry around too much stuff. When you add that weight to an already heavy bag, it becomes uncomfortable to carry.
Try to choose a handbag that doesn't weigh too much when it is empty.
9. Your Purse Should Look Nice
Finally, you want a purse that reflects your style.
You want to feel confident when carrying it.
Tell Me About Your Perfect Handbag
With so many requirements, it is not surprising that I have not yet found my perfect handbag.
There aren't many purses that fit my style that also are lightweight with a zippered single, main compartment and one outside pocket with two handles and are longer than they are wide.
But I keep looking.
You probably own a few favorite handbags – what is it that you like about them the most?
Obviously, the features that I think are ideal may not resonate with you. So, I'd love to hear what you look for when buying a purse.
Let me know in the comments below.