How I Organize My Purse So I Can Find Stuff

Tips for Having an Organized Purse

I used to suffer from BHPS.

Black Hole Purse Syndrome.

I’d put something in my purse, never to be seen again.

And if I needed to find my keys or a ringing cell phone, stand back! I’d have to dump that baby out…. or fish hopelessly thru the black hole.

Then I read a tip that said to store things vertically in your purse — and the lightbulb went off.

I dumped everything out and culled the contents to keep just the most important – wallet, coupon binder, personal care items, and my cloth grocery bag. Keys and phone get added before I head out of the hosue.

I used a small jewelry pouch to organize all my really personal personal care items, as no one wants to see that stuff when I dump out my purse to find my keys (not that I have to dump out  my purse anymore!).

Then I found a clear sided zip pouch (left over by the kids at some point) to store a notepad, pen, hand lotion and lip balm. I also stick receipts and miscellaneous paper in here, as they come my way.

How to Organize Your Purse Contents

With everything containerized, I “filed” it back into my purse VERTICALLY and voila! It was perfect.

The most amazing thing is that I’ve been able to keep it like this for four months!

I think the key to staying organized, beyond going vertical, was to use a structured bag that fit my items well. Having a flat bottom for the purse helps, too.

Those sling-style bags were too big and too unstructured, and I ended up tempted to throw everything but the kitchen sink inside.

I once heard Suze Orman say that the state of your wallet – and by extension, your purse – reflects how you feel about your money. Well if that’s true, I’d say I’m finally feeling pretty good! 🙂

Do you struggle with a black hole of a bag? Try the vertical thing. And a smaller bag! What other tips do you have for organizing your purse?


  1. I love a perfectly organized wallet. I know exactly where everythign is stored and in one glance I can be certain my credit card was given back to me by the cashier. Once I had a waiter try to keep my credit card. Everyone at the table tried to convince me I “shoved” it in the wrong slot, but I knew that could not be. Sure enough when I questioned him, he found it in the pocket of his apron.

    I neat wallet can save you a lot of time, energy and money!

  2. Use baggallini bags they are awesome for organization!!!

  3. I got baggalini brand bags. I think it is the Metro style. It is fabulous. Keys and wallet are attached with a long fabric cord that detaches. There are pockets outside for phone, glasses, all kinds of things…I never lose my keys or anything anymore. Bags are washable and full of compartments. It was designed by airplane stewardesses. It isn’t so stylish but serves the purpose.

    • I love my baggalini purse. I feel so unorganized when I need to wash it or use something more formal. My sister came to the rescue with a kanga handbag organizer.

  4. Which receipts do you keep and for how long?

    • Mara Strom says

      I actually usually just keep receipts for work expenses. Sometimes, if I think there’s a high likelihood I’ll return something, I keep that receipt. Fortunately most of the stores I shop at can look up your purchase with the method of payment!

  5. I only buy purses with light-colored linings. I used to have a black purse with a black lining and could never find my black cellphone and dark green wallet in it. My current go-to bag has a pink lining, I’ve purchased a red case for the cellphone, and the wallet is, well, still dark green—-but, now I can find what I need.

  6. For work, I currently have a Mary Poppins, black-hole bag. I love it but things definitely get lost. For going out, I tend to gravitate towards smaller bags. Both my brown and black ones have seen better days though…the handles are starting to fray. I’ve been wanting to purchase a Coach bag for some time, but can’t bring myself to make the investment.

    • Mara Strom says

      Gail – Make sure you leaves these comments on the giveaway post to be entered to the win the Coach bag!

  7. Already a subscriber to your email. 🙂

  8. Michal Sherman says

    love this blog and would love to have a purse like this one. maybe i can organize my stuff and my brain at the same time.

  9. The best tip from this is for me to have a place to store the lose paper that comes my way.

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