I’m always curious about the contents of other women’s purses, so I thought I’d share what’s in my purse with you in this post! After all, there’s a lot you can glean from what’s inside someone’s handbag, whether you’re learning more about their lifestyle or encountering some really cool item you didn’t know about before.
While I try to limit the contents of my bag to a reasonable number, quite a few items have earned a spot in my EDC. (That stands for “everyday carry,” which is apparently modern slang referring to what you keep in your purse, work bag, or pockets. The more you know!)
Since I do like to keep a number of items in my bag, I now swear by using purse organizers — they make everything easy to find, and make it quick and easy to switch bags as often as I like! Without further ado, here’s a list of what’s in my bag, or the items that I consider my purse essentials.
Sometimes a simple tote is all you need! Find out how I store my totes so they keep their shape in the video at the end of this post.
24 Things I Keep In My Purse (AKA My Everyday Carry) In 2024
1. Magnetic Portable Charger
Nothing is worse than a dead phone, and it always seems to happen at the worst possible time! To avoid such calamities, this Anker magnetic portable charger is one of my purse must haves. It attaches magnetically to my phone (no tangled wires!) and has enough juice for a full charge, even when my phone battery is completely dead.
2. Small Adhesive Bandages
You never know when you’re going to get scratched or those new shoes are going to give you a blister. I like to keep a couple of adhesive bandages in my purse for those kinds of emergencies. They hardly take up any room at all — you can even put one in your wallet!
3. Lotion For Extremely Dry Skin
If you’ve read my blog post about using Atrac-Tain to heal seriously dry skin, you probably won’t be surprised to see that I keep it in my purse! I was so happy when I found a purse-sized bottle of Atrac-Tain — anyone who suffers from dry skin would benefit from having this lotion in their bag!
I’m an avid audiobook listener, because I find it a great way to entertain myself when I’m doing chores or working on something that doesn’t require all of my attention. Between listening to audiobooks, making calls, and making videos for people on Pinterest and Instagram, my AirPods are never out of my reach!
5. Healthy Snack
It’s all too easy for me to get so busy that I accidentally forget about lunch, so I like to keep a healthy snack in my purse for just such emergencies, whether it’s a small bag of trail mix, a granola bar, or some dried fruit. It’s something I started doing as a new mom, but you never know when you might need a snack — at any stage of life!
6. Pill Box
I had the hardest time finding a pill box that wasn’t obviously a pill box, but I eventually succeeded a few years ago when I found this pill box from Port and Polish at Nordstrom. It has a full week of compartments to keep things organized, plus it looks nice and neat from the outside.
7. Compact Mirror
A compact mirror always comes in handy, whether to check your teeth after a meal or for those quick beauty touchups. I like this compact mirror because it’s lightweight, the perfect size, and has a 10x magnifying mirror on one side that’s helpful for finding those eyelashes that get stuck in your eye.
8. Complete Relief Roll-On
I keep a Complete Relief essential oil roll-on in my bag to nip headaches in the bud. When I feel one coming on, I can just swipe some Complete Relief on my temples and the back of my neck for blissful relief. It has saved my day many times!
9. Pepper Spray
I started carrying pepper spray at my husband’s suggestion, and I must admit it does make me feel safer to have it with me. I found this small Mace brand pepper spray on Amazon, and they’re available in three different sizes. You might choose to carry a personal alarm instead.
Sunglasses can be a fun accessory, but they’re also essential eye protection, even in winter — the glare that comes off of snow is no joke! I make sure to keep a pair of sunglasses (in a hard plastic case so I don’t mess up the lenses) with me at all times to protect my eyes from UV rays, and to make a fashion statement when I need to! ;-)
11. Mini Notebooks
You never know when a great idea will strike, so I’ve learned to keep a mini notebook or two with me at all times. I use them to make lists, jot down important information, and make note of any ideas that come up that I don’t want to forget about.
12. My Favorite Pen
What good is a mini notebook if you don’t have anything to write with? These Zebra pens are my absolute favorite pens, no contest! They always write perfectly smoothly, and it’s gotten to the point where I resent having to use any other pen.
My long hair can get out of control fairly quickly, especially on windy days. A small comb with wide teeth is all I need to get my tresses back under control.
14. Stain Remover Wipes
I wouldn’t say that I frequently spill things, but I do it often enough that I’d rather be prepared for them to happen. These Tide stain wipes are definitely worth the space they take up, which isn’t very much at all. (Tide pens work just as well, but I find the wipes slightly easier to use.)
15. Compact Salt And Pepper Shaker
This one may sound strange, but finding a purse-friendly salt and pepper shaker has been a total game-changer for me! While I can’t seem to find the exact one I got online anymore, I’m sure any travel salt/pepper shaker would work just as well.
16. Small Multi-Tool
These tiny Swiss Army multi-tools can go on your key ring and you’ll have tweezers, a tooth pick, a small knife, a screw driver, and even a little pair of scissors all in one. I can’t tell you how many times those scissors have saved the day, and the small knife blade is ideal for jobs that would break your nails. They come in a lot of fun colors, too!
17. Lip Liner
I always keep a simple pink lip liner in my bag for quick touch-ups. Lip liner is great for those of us with fine lines around our lips because it acts as a barrier and helps prevent your lipstick from “feathering”.
18. Travel-Size Hairspray
My hair is so fine that it doesn’t take much to become out-of-control frizzy, so I like to carry my favorite hairspray to tame any wayward strands before meetings or lunch meetups. I like the Sexy Hair Spray & Play variety because it has great hold but doesn’t feel stiff.
19. Business Card Holder
I keep my business cards in this cute little leather wallet. Few things make me feel as professional as fishing out a business card from my business card holder to hand to someone I’ve met. (It’s a lot more suave than digging around my purse for a loose card, anyway!)
20. Magnetic Purse Holder
Ever been in a public restroom with nowhere to put your purse but the floor? Me too. Now I have a Bagnet magnetic purse holder that simply lets me hang my bag on any steel surface (like a stall door!)
Having a pack or two of travel tissues in my purse is an absolute must. From touchups to runny noses, having tissues in my purse comes in handy multiple times a day.
22. Leather Wallet
I absolutely love my Mark & Graham Soho wallet, but unfortunately, they don’t seem to make it anymore. However, there are plenty of similar-looking leather wallets available online, like this Itslife RFID blocking wallet.
23. Throat Lozenges Or Mints
I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but I find that my mouth and throat feel dry more often these days. These throat lozenges help eliminate that dry, parched feeling, and they leave my breath fresher as well. (Gum works too!)
24. Hand Sanitizer
The number of things you touch every day would astound you, and not all of those things are scrupulously clean. A small bottle of hand sanitizer is a lifesaver, especially when you want to eat that little snack you’ve been carrying around! I make a DIY non-drying hand sanitizer that works great without bothering my notoriously sensitive skin.
BONUS: The Purse Itself
As the container for all the items above, I thought my purse deserved an honorable mention in my EDC list. My Creagh Workbag was a HUGE splurge, but it has proven to be such a durable workhorse of a bag that I’ve never felt a drop of buyer’s remorse. (Looking for a similar bag at a more affordable price point? Check out this vegan leather bag from Etsy or the Mark & Graham Caroline leather bag.)
Not everyone likes or needs a large bag — in fact, when I asked my readers about their favorites, a variety of different types ended up in the list of 9 must-have bag styles I posted afterward. If caring for a nice leather bag seems daunting, rest assured that it’s not that difficult to clean a leather purse, so don’t let that put you off of getting one!
So, what’s in your purse?