Bare Necessities


I am constantly astounded by the size of the handbags which many women carry.  On one hand, I read about travelling overseas with only carry-on luggage, yet in real life I see handbags that look as though they could be used to travel  – at least for a weekend.

I often ponder about what they carry in those huge bags.  Have we been conned by yet another bizarre fashion trend which dictates that we carry these bags?  What is so important that it has to go everywhere with us?

My bag bucks the general trend entirely.  I bought it recently in an attempt to consciously downsize what I carry.  I even went so far as to buy a smaller purse/wallet that would take up less space in the bag.

My bag
The bag has a single strap which I have at its longest length so that I can wear it across my body.  Everything that is in the bag has a purpose and is used regularly and mostly every day.


Main compartment – wallet, eco shopping bag, sunglasses in case, pen, handkerchief

Main compartment contents
Secondary compartment – small notebook, extra loyalty cards

Secondary compartment contents
Inside pocket 1 – car keys
Inside pocket 2 – mobile phone, railpass and access pass (work)
Inside compartment (zippered) – internet stick, USB drive, other essential keys, lipstick, migraine medication

Contents of inner pockets
Outside compartment (zippered) – iPod and USB charger, USB phone charger

Outside zippered compartment contents
That is it.  I have made a conscious decision to only carry exactly what I need.   Each item has a specific place so I easily know that I have everything that I need.

This is the bag I use every day.  The only exception is a small evening bag which I use a couple of times per year.

What is in your bag?  Do you have a large bag?

6 thoughts on “Bare Necessities

  1. Mine is a little larger than yours, but still not a large bag. I don’t like the way that large bags end up jumbled and full of garbage, so I try to keep it organized. I always carry my wallet, a notebook (I have a 3 minute memory, so I write everything from grocery lists, to do lists to phone calls that I need to make in it), a small day planner, keys, work ID, powder and lipstick, thumb drive, pens and medications. Oh yeah, and a bag of Jolly Rancher candies to share at hockey games. Every thing else I weed out as it tries to take over my bag.

    • I understand you on trying to weed out those things that try to take over. It is no different to the constant vigilance required to maintain decluttered spaces at home. 🙂

  2. Great post Fairy, I am always trying to get my bag size smaller. I don’t actually carry a lot around with me and my bag is quite small but I am thinking the next one needs to be bigger because I like to carry a water bottle all the time and it just doesn’t fit easily in my current bag. I love pockets or compartments so everything can be organised and not just shoved anywhere.

  3. I often take a drink bottle with me, depending on the planned activity but it is separate to my handbag. I guess that I have tried to pare down the contents and size of my bag to those things that I always carry with me.

  4. I do have a large bag. For two reasons – one, it fits A4 paperwork, making it easy to take out and about with work files, but also get paperwork home or to work as needed. Second, it’s large enough that incidental shopping (clothing, hardware, groceries) can often fit in the bag, meaning I avoid plastic.

    In reality the contents can and do fit in smaller bags, and when I am walking a distance, I transfer most of it into a cross body satchel. I carry keys (car; house; scooter sometimes; work sometimes, wallet, phones (work and personal), entry pass for work, clear pouch full of meds, lip balms, mascara, sewing kit, eye drops etc etc <- probably not all necessities, but means I feel confident to handle anything!, sunglasses, tin of mints, small notebook (or two, the second has grocery prices in a tiny address book, the other is for general lists etc), pen/s. That's about it. I did a post on it here: No longer have the camera, just use my phone, nor the separate sunscreen, I found a multitasker now.

  5. It sounds as though you have it all planned out, Sarah. I understand having it to fit work and shopping into the one bag. Some of the bags I see just look like an enormous jumble of detritus which is not necessary to lug around all day.

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