If you’ve been reading my Organizing Tip of the Week for a while, you’ll know that an organized handbag is one of my obsessions. Living in New York City means that I have to carry everything with me in my travels about town, which will be on foot or via public transportation — no glove compartment, back seat, or trunk! So I appreciate being able to stay organized on the go.
I’ve been using a Butler Bag for more than a year. The Butler Bag has built-in compartments at the bottom that keep all my things organized. Whenever my handbag gets inspected (such as at Disney World), I always get an appreciative comment on how organized my bag is! I guess those folks see a lot of messy bags.
But I don’t always want to carry my large Butler Bag, so I’ve been experimenting with other solutions that will work in my smaller Sportsac shoulder bag, which has no structure at all.
Purse Pleaser is a handy plastic insert that is adjustable to fit different size handbags. I loved using this because of its rigidity. It kept everything in its place, and it was really easy to reach inside my purse and pull something out without everything else shifting.
The Chameleon is a “removable purse liner with pockets”. It is made out of fabric and it is reversible, so you can have the pockets on the inside or the outside of the liner. It even has a built-in wallet replacement – a long open pocket for dollar bills, next to a zippered pocket for credit cards. The Chameleon comes in six different sizes and in nine colors. Because the pockets are around the edges and the center section is open, the Chameleon offers flexibility in arranging your stuff (although the pockets were a little wide for some of my stuff).
I saw the Purse Perfector at the NAPO conference last month. Like the Chameleon, it is made out of fabric, but with an interesting twist: it consists of two sections that are attached by a zipper. This allows you to unzip one side and put the Purse Perfector into the wide, flat section of a computer bag or briefcase, or even to unzip it completely and use just one half in a small purse. The Purse Perfector comes in six different colors.
My cousin Cary, another Manhattanite who lives car-free, recently tried out the Microfiber Bag Organizer by Lori Greiner. Here is what she had to say: “In my large leather bag, the insert tilted over quite a bit, even though I have a soft divider along the middle of the bag. I could not fit in my wallet so I put my wallet, hair brush, and other larger things on the other side of the divider. It does seem to make my bag a little more bulky, but I’m glad to be able to easily find my pen, keys, cell phone, glasses, business cards, etc. Will I use it in a smaller bag should I need to switch? I do not have problems finding things in my smaller bags so probably not.”
So there you have it. Four different options for organizing your favorite bag. Try one out and let me know how it works for you.