Purse organization

January 5, 2012
I have heard that you can tell a lot about a person by the contents of their purse, the kind of purse they carry, and how organized or messy it is. I wonder what people would say about me?
I took a “purse” quiz online today. You can take it (here) if you are interested in knowing what your purse says about you.

This is what it said about me…

You are concerned with how you appear. Projecting your high status is important to you.

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You are open and comfortable with who you are. You don’t hide anything.

You are an outgoing and expressive person. You always speak your mind, and you’re very approachable.

You are a very unique and special person. 

There’s no one else who is anything like you.

 I used to carry a messy purse… for the longest time.  I figured out that the problem wasn’t necessarily me, it was the purse I was carrying. I couldn’t keep it organized because it was not a well made purse for organization. (Here) is a post I did last year on organizing my purse. It was a mess before. It never looks like that now.  Well, after trying tons of different purses, I finally found the perfect one. Its a Vera Bradley purse.   The  pattern is “folkloric” made in the “mandy” style. It fits my stuff perfectly. It is a “organizers” kind of purse for sure.



*One good tip to fit things better in your purse is to “stand” them vertically instead of laying them horizontally. Things fit much nicer.


I found this day timer from Office Max. I use my Erin Condren at home, but I needed a portable planner for my purse (to take to work) and this one fit perfect. Love it and use it all the time! Im a planner freak. I can share more about my day timer and how I organize & use it if you are all interested. Just let me know?



Gotta have my Amazon Kindle with me at all times. I never know when Im gonna have to “wait” on something or someone. So its a good time filler.


This wallet matches my VB purse. Its the “turn key” wallet.  Its the perfect wallet for an “organized” person like me. I have tried a lot of wallets and this one works best.


It has two separate openings, one for your cards. I do not have credit cards in here (thank you Dave Ramsey. Only bank cards, library cards, club cards, etc…
… and a zipper opening, which I use for my two check books (they fit perfectly). I also keep all of my insurance cards and AAA card inside here.  No more digging to find them.
My cash envelope system is below. More on that soon!



 Here is a good view of the inside compartments. Just awesome for organizing. I don’t ever have to dig to find anything with this purse.


I keep my collection of chap sticks in my origins bag. I have a “thing” for chap stick.


Must haves that I keep in my purse: 
Aveda hand relief (the best lotion ever & it lasts forever)
Hand sanitizer (BBW)
Starbucks coffee lid stick to keep my coffee from spilling in my car (not shown)


Gotta have a calculator to stay on budget at the grocery store! (From walmart)


I saw this idea on you tube.  I punched a hole in all my store cards and put them on a ring (from walmart). The BEST idea ever!! I dont keep them on my key chain. They stay in a pocket in my purse. Easy to get to.



My headphones stay put in this small Clinique pouch so they dont get tangled.


Thats my purse!  I hope you got some good ideas. I would LOVE to see whats in your purse too. I love getting ideas from others.  I am hosting a “Whats in my purse” link party today. How fun! Won’t you join me?



What’s in your purse? 

Link up and share the contents of your purse with us.  Organized or not, we don’t care. You can link up your blog pictures or a you tube video (url) to share. Or if you don’t have a blog, you can link up your pictures with ABFOL on facebook (here).

Grab a button & share the link party with others.


96 comments on “Purse organization

  1. Elsa says:

    Love that Vera Bradley pattern, I bought a case for my iPad in that pattern and was thinking of getting the same wallet. I definitely need to work on organizing my purse & wallet! I eliminated a bunch of cards by scanning them into my phone using an app that saves all of the info and then when at the store I pull it up and the cashier scans it right away…I love it!

    • Jay Leo says:

      Ooo what is the app that scans club cards. Those make me nuts!

      • I use Key Ring for iPhone – it’s great for scanning cards, sharing them with another user (I scan and share with my husband) and coupons/offers pop up, too. I have used some for Michael’s and Petco.

        • Suzanne Dias says:

          Michelle I used to use Key Ring but CVS could never scan. Here the way their scanners are when you walk in it would never take. I asked them about it and the management stated they have a lot of people complaining about that but the higher authority will not change it, so, i keep to my cards on a key ring.

  2. I am totally interested on how you organize your day timer/organizer! I need to get more organized over here! I love the organization of your purse! :]
    oh and I can’t wait for the post on your envelope budget system. Been wanting to get started with that for quite some time :] hugs!

  3. Jenni says:

    Very cute purse!! I love the organization!! I carry a large hobo and it is mostly just filled with other pouches to help me find thing and keep everything organized. I have also put all my club cards on one ring, I find this so much easier and my keys are so much easier to manage now. Thanks for sharing, love your blog!!

    • Caroline says:

      This question may sound a little silly, however I really don’t know how to poke a hole into my club cards to place them on a ring. Could a regular paper hole puncher work? I’m afraid to damage my puncher but just trying. Would you be so kind in letting me know what is the easiest way?

      thank you so much


      • Roxxy says:

        Hi Caroline,

        Hand-held hole punchers are surprisingly tough little things, and I’ve punched plastic cards (among other things) with relative ease. If you’re really worried about ruining the edge on your current one I suggest buying one from the dollar store and designating it as your “card punch”. There are other ways of knocking holes out, but they generally aren’t worth the effort and won’t give you such a clean finish.

  4. Great post! Love your purse…I should do a post someday on my purse organizing. I change purses nearly every few days and hardly put anything in them! I wonder what that says about me?

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  5. OMG I love you bag! I need one of those!

    I have linked up my cute bag and purse too 🙂

  6. Amanda says:

    I don’t even take a bag with me most times I leave the house, which is probably why I’m always in a flap over having forgotten something, think I shall have to sort myself out!

  7. Amy says:

    I took the purse quiz — it said I was relaxed during the day & at peace, but I’m also high maintenance and on high alert! Apparently I’m a contradiction!! Ha!
    Love your post — love the idea on the store cards! I can never find mine, and they always have to look me up by name, phone number, something. But I am a very messy, disorganized person — Step #1 is to admit it, right?? On to step #2…
    and I am very interested in learning about your cash envelope system! It’s on my list of stuff to research on creating budgets.

  8. Jessica says:

    Love it!! You HAVE to share about the cash envelope system! Is it fabric? Please oh please share soon!

  9. Christy says:

    I feel the exact way you do about your wallet. I have tried so many and hated them until I bought the Vera Bradley turn one. That ones a great one!

  10. Your purse makes me jealous. Or at least how well organized it is. And it makes me want to go buy a new one today. My purse is currently full of old receipts, used tissues (thank you sick 3 yr old!), and who knows what else. Time for an overhaul and I love some of the ideas you’ve listed here. And yes, please post about how you organize your planner; I use one also, but I doubt I use it to its full potential.

  11. Colleen says:

    I am jealous too! You would laugh if you saw my purse right now! it’s insanely messy with xmas receipts and what-not! But I have to say your idea with the ring and the reward cards is the best thing ever! I am totally going to borrow that idea!

  12. jessica says:

    I just got a new purse for my birthday. It has 13 pockets. 13! Which comes in handy because I have small children that go everywhere I go…and I’ve never carried a diaper bag. Tyler Rodan is the brand (mines from Macy’s) and they are built for organization!

  13. Simply Jen says:

    Girl…this is a great post! LOVE the ideas and I’m definitely going to do the hole-punch thing with all my cards. That’s genius.
    Have a great day!

  14. Clean Mama says:

    Love this post, Toni! I LOVE my Vera Bradley purse too 🙂

  15. Love the ideas! I love how organized your purse. Makes me want to go get a new purse and wallet.

  16. Happy Mama says:

    I would love to know how you use your planner! I love your purse. All of the compartments inside are great.

  17. misskp says:

    PLEASE share your planner and cash envelopes with us! I use the Dave Ramsey wallet with the envelopes in it, and it’s pretty good, but could use a few “tweaks!” Have used the card idea for almost a year. Put the ring on a self adhesive hook in my car. Cashiers always comment…and people in line want to see and copy! I love to feel organized! :0)

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I just re-organized and switched over my wallets last night. My actual purse is next on the list. I also just put together my 2012 planner and have the cash envelope system. Still need to get that calculator so I stay on track when using the cash.

    Thanks for the share! I will be sharing soon on my blog, so hopefully your link up will be up for a while.



  19. On Flickr there is an interesting group that people post the contents of their bag to. It can be fun to look at.


  20. Amy says:

    I think I’m in love…with your purse. 🙂

  21. Tracie OB says:

    That ring for your store cards – BEST idea ever!!! My wallet is cluttted with them or I don’t have it when I need it. THANK YOU THANK YOU
    I am anxiously awaiting the CASH PAYMENT ENVELOPE idea. So need that.

  22. Sandra says:

    Ha Ha, Last time I looked there was a crumbled up cookie that Jackson did not eat from the grocery store in the bottom of my purse!! I guess this post is perfect timing for me. Love your Vera bag…I love how she always has lots of pockets inside. The store card idea on a ring is genius! I am going to do that. They take up so much room in my wallet that I think this is going to be wonderful. No more searching, they’ll all be in one place. I think I’ll go and organize my pure now…you have inspired me. Have a great day!

  23. Tracie OB says:

    Hi Again, I was wondering if you have a list for keeping track of Birthdays or Anniversaries that can be downloaded? Thanks again for all your help. Relatively new to your blog and I love it.

  24. Dana says:

    I would love to hear more about your day timers!

  25. D'Arcy says:

    Thank you for letting me know you have posted a link button. 🙂 I just posted it to my blog, loved todays project!

  26. tripmom00 says:

    This is my favorite blog!

  27. Jayme Smith says:

    Love it!! I cannot wait to see the cash envelope system. =)

  28. You are inspiring! I love the store cards on a ring. What a great idea!

  29. The day timer I would love to know about yours im so looking to pick one up be for the end of the month to start my year off right Im trying my self to be more TOGETHER in the right ways.

  30. to add here is my link i linked you up on my blog cause your that awsome 🙂 heres my link http://onedayatat.blogspot.com/2012/01/to-be-more-organized.html to my purse

  31. Sonya says:

    This is the reason I LOVE Vera Bradley purses…the pockets! I just switched to a non-Vera purse for this month and I miss all the pockets!

  32. Love your purse post … I’m a little picky about keeping mine organized. I like the idea of your reward cards on that ring … BUT … if you have an iPhone then you can load CardStar … you load all of your cards to that app & they are all in one place. You scan your barcode with your camera & it pulls all your information so that you can just pull that up @ the store & the clerk can scan it from your phone. It helps when you have that 1 card on your keyring but you’re not driving your car when you need it. =)

  33. Unknown says:

    Your cash wallet looks so pretty, did you make it or purchase it? If you purchased can you share where? I’m in need of this and am looking for something pretty like yours. Thanks , Pamela

  34. I love your purse I really need to get one of those. I would love to hear more about how you organize your day time planner. I just bought a new planner( I used to be a planner freak) than I gave up but this is the year I want to get back into it. My Husband and I just finished the Financial peace university and have started to follow the Dave Ramsey plan. I would love to hear were you got your cute envelope system that would look nicer to carry than the one we have.

  35. Amy Blythe says:

    I love the card organizer on a ring. I’m defiantly going to do that today! Love, love, love the idea to store everything vertically. Why didn’t I think of that?

  36. Emily says:

    Would love to hear about your purse planner and how you work with 2 of them, one at home and one for on the go. Just an idea I’ve done…. I put all those key chain cards on one key chain and leave them in my car (ash tray under the radio)(the small key cards fit well) Do they still make ash trays? Ha tell you how old my car is.

  37. I love this!!! I am so unorganized, but wish I could say I was like this. Thank you for sharing!

  38. Libby says:

    LOVE your purse – so cute. And that idea for reward cards is just brilliant – thanks so much for sharing.

  39. Just found your site via pinterest and you DEFINITELY have a new follower!! I love your blog and look forward to exploring it more! 🙂

  40. CAS says:

    Adorable purse! The colors are so fresh. I’m still using the Pouchee that I purchases last year after reading your post on purse organizing. I still love that.

  41. Carla says:

    I love all your pictures and your VB purse…I am such a “purse” person…just recently purchased a sherpani bag that makes me happy! I am dying to know more about your evelope system, the picture that you posted….did you make it? Will you sell it or post a tutorial on how to make it? Please let us know! Loving your blog!!! Carla

  42. amanda says:

    I really enjoyed this! I keep checking back to see if there are any new purses to look at! Also, the pen in your day planner…I forgot how much I loved those! Went and bought one yesterday!!!

  43. RobbieKay says:

    I don’t have a blog and can’t get on Facebook right now, but here’s the last What’s In My Bag photo I did. However, I’m seeing it was over two years ago! Maybe I can take a new photo and upload it to the Facebook group when I am able. http://www.flickr.com/photos/28815907@N04/4073267177/in/photostream

    And, yes, I *love* to see how people use their planners, so I vote for a post on that.

  44. sunnymama says:

    Your bag is lovely and your idea for store cards is great! I’ve added my bag to your party. 🙂

  45. Whitney says:

    What a pretty purse, and I love all of the pockets! I’m a fan of the Vera Bradley hipster style, but now I’d like to try a Mandy. Do you have the Mandy or the Little Mandy?

  46. RobbieKay says:

    I’ve gone through now and looked at all the links that I could get to come up. What a fun time! And I have to say–your readers are very sensible–none of them had itsy bitsy little bags. 🙂 Now, having said that, it’s those itsy bitsy little bags that I am most curious how people fit everything they need into–especially when I see women carrying them on the train during rush hour. However does a woman fit everything she needs for the entire day into a little bag? For sure they don’t have reading material and if they are carrying their planner wherever they go, it must be a really small planner (which would be too small to be useful for me).

    In addition to the fun, thanks to the links I have also found a new handbag that I’m obsessed with (always on the look out for the perfect handbag–DH says it’s one of my hobbies [planning and organizing being the other two]). And now after reading the comments I am curious to head to Macy’s and try to find that purse that has 13 pockets!

  47. hrowe says:

    I also am wondering if your bag is the Mandy or the Little Mandy? Thanks for the great post!

  48. Toni says:

    Its the Mandy. 🙂

  49. Candy says:

    Would love to hear more about how you use your planners. I just purchased an Erin Condren planner and love it. Would love to see your ideas to please! 🙂

  50. Suzan says:

    I loved all your organization ideas. I have my store cards (the small versions) on a ring too, but attached to the ring is a small measuring tape, which comes in very handy.

  51. Cheryl says:

    Yes, would love to hear more about your Daytimer. id you ever do a post on this? I replaced my 5×8 Franklin with a smaller version Filofax which I love. But I haven’t set it up in any particular way yet. I thought about getting rid of the planner system altogether and just using my phone for everything but I like to write and I like to view my calendar on paper! But I don’t want to use it in the traditonal way; I want to vary it so it works for me. Curious to see how you use yours. And yes, aren’t the Vera Bradley purses great? I had to get over my obsession with designer bags and cute boutique bags and I’m still working on that. I’m not a huge fan of paisley prints and I always felt ‘dowdy’ using one when all the girls in my group had their gucci bags. Sounds pretentious I know and silly at my age. Thought I left peer pressure back in junior high. lolololol So for spring, I think I’m going to embrace the paisley and get a new fun spring color. I’m loving yours–orange is THE hot color this spring/summer. Love your blog!

  52. Cheryl says:

    Where did you get that beautiful cash system organizer? It’s gorgeous! I’m so happy to have found your blog and readers with so many great ideas. I’m an organizing junkie…its supposed to save time but truth be told I do spend alot of time organizing things…its a hobby and a passion!

  53. Kim says:

    One comment on your store loyalty cards, keeping one on your key ring is a good idea. If you find keys, put them in the mail box, the post office will send them to the store on the key ring who will in turn mail them back to the owner. Happened to my mom.

  54. Marcia says:

    Great post, I tend to be a “What’s in my bag” junky, I love to see what other people carry and how they organize it! Love your blog, great job 🙂

  55. Shelby says:

    I would love for you to share about your day timer 🙂 I like you love planners!! Love to see how you organize it.

  56. I love the idea for the membership cards on the ring. I might have to try that!

  57. jomomma says:

    Very tidy purse! I got rid of my planner, all my discount/club cards, calculator, and grocery list when I got my iPhone. There’s an app for keeping all your discount cards called Key Ring, I loaded in all my cards and my purse lost a pound and a half. I also have an awesome app called ShopperLite. You can customize it to your favorite stores and the items you purchase, you can even enter the price of the items you use and as you are ticking them off your list it tells you how much you are about to spend. If you’re like me, you need that extra space in your purse for your knitting.

  58. Robyn Mizell says:

    Toni, Have you shown how you organize your planner? Would love to get your input on that. Thanks, Robyn

  59. Cassie says:

    Hi have you had a chance to go over your cash envelope system? I would love to hear about it. I love bowl full of lemons:)

  60. Amy says:

    I would definitely LOVE to know how you organize your planner! I would love to use one of the five I own but don’t know where to start so I keep using it.

  61. wanda says:

    Please tell us about your planner.. I didn’t think anyone used a planner anymore with iphones and such…. I have to use a paper planner… so please share

  62. Kajo50 says:

    I have that purse in a different pattern and a knock off that is very similar and I love them both. I just wish they had a long strap so I could wear it cross body.

  63. Kristin Henry says:

    Love this post!! Took the quiz. This is what it said…

    You are concerned with how you appear. Projecting your high status is important to you.

    You tend to be relaxed but alert. You keep your eye out for anything unusual.

    You are open and comfortable with who you are. You don’t hide anything.

    You are an organized and together person. You are competent and successful.

    You are an outgoing and expressive person. You always speak your mind, and you’re very approachable.

    You are a very unique and special person. There’s no one else who is anything like you.

  64. Love your purse! LOL — our purses are very similar! Mine is a red, brown and yellow patterned Vera Bradley purse. I also keep my Kindle in it (in a green leather cover) and have a bottle of hand sanitizer hanging on my purse’s straps, too! I see that you have mini bags in your purse to help organize stuff. I have to do that, as finding things inside my Vera Bradley bag can be difficult!

  65. Love the idea of putting the cards on a keyring, this can get rid of the so many cards I have taking up room in my wallet. What type of hole punch did you use?

  66. Birdnscrap says:

    About half of what you carry in your purse could be stored in a smartphone. I use an app called Keyring to store all my shopping cards. Smartphones have calculators. They have calendars. I use a great list program called Simplenote. I have all kinds of lists and it automatically syncs to the cloud so I can access it through my desktop or iPad too. Even short bits of reading can be done on your smart phone by down loading the Kindle app. You can then access your Kindle files with your phone. I think you could carry a lot less by using a smartphone efficiently.

    • Steph says:

      I enjoyed your post and seeing your bag. I have a Betsy, very similar to the Mandy, and love it as well. However, like some others have commented, you could get rid of so many things by using an iPhone or smartphone efficiently. Definitely don’t need the calculator, store reward cards, and planner. In fact, I had to check the date of the post because those items in particular haven’t been needed for a few years now. I also think you could ditch the little pouch you have your earbuds in and simply keep them in the pocket since you don’t have anything else stored with them. I don’t have a Kindle so I don’t know about that.

      As for your planners………normally I would be all over wanting to know more about how you organize those, but since I have had an iPhone for the past 4 years, I haven’t used a paper planner. And having 2 planners really goes against the streamlined simplified organized lifestyle. You should really have only 1 planner (whatever planner you choose to have, smartphone or paper) that keeps and records everything. Writing, transferring, and updating 2 planners is actually a time drainer.

      Another big plus of using the smartphone as your planner is syncing and sharing it with other people. My kids keep track of their homework, parties, school events and deadlines, sports games, etc. on their iPhone/iPod calendar which they “share” with me and my husband. Whenever they add, delete, or change something, it alerts us with the updated info. My husband and I also “share” our calendar with them so they know what we have going on. Obviously, if you have younger kiddos, this wouldn’t be much of a help, but for my 4th, 6th, and 9th grade kids, it’s awesome! If for some reason you don’t have a smartphone, get one! My iPhone was and has been my favorite thing that I have ever owned!!! I LOVE it!!! LOVE it!!!

  67. Evelyn says:

    Where did you buy the notebook in the home management binder section? Thank you

  68. Dawn says:

    I really like this post and have looked at it several times. I have the Mandy from Vera Bradley too and love it. I saw in the master bedroom closet post that you have the Louis Vuitton Speedy. Would you like to share how you keep that purse organized. Thanks.

  69. Yvette says:

    Where’s the link to see the people in ur link party?

  70. JaninTucson says:

    LOVE your purse AND all the organization, but I have to say that if you owned an iPhone you could eliminate the Kindle, calculator and day timer. I also, use to LOVE to keep a day timer and write everything down. But now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my iPhone. Thanks for sharing all that you do. Happy New Year!

  71. Hannah says:

    Wow! You’re the best! I really really really love the way you organize your things! How can I start being someone like you! Thanks for sharing! :'<

  72. Maggie Branton says:

    Is this the Vera Bradley ‘Mandy” or “Little Mandy”?

  73. Brittini Austin says:

    I LOVE this purse! I have never had a Vera Bradley purse but I have been saving for one. I want the EXACT one you have. Can you tell me the style/name of the bag & the fabric pattern/name of the bag and wallet, please? Are there numbers I can match or something? I want thiiiiiiiiis!! thank you! Hopefully I made sense lol. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog, girl! I have to check it daily! 🙂

    • born2worship says:

      Not sure if you have already bought your Vera but she noted that the pattern is “folkloric” and the style is “mandy”. I am wanting to get the same one also and have found that they make a “full size mandy” and a “little mandy”. I can not tell which one she has and wanted to ask her that. Hope that helps a little.

  74. Ashley says:

    I have a Baggallini Luggage Everywhere Bag with Exterior Pocket that my husband got me for Christmas (I think he was embarrassed by that fact that I was using a Star Wars trick-or-treat tote.) I love it! It’s big enough to carry my iPad for work, my touch-up make up kit, bulky wallet/checkbook, breath mints, emergency sewing kit, cards, and even comes with a handy coin purse, pen holders, and the best part is that there’s a special pocket in the back with a zipper at the bottom so that it fits over a luggage handle and won’t fall off while travelling! I’m amazed at how much I can fit in the bag! It’s great for going to charity events or conventions! As a costumer I can fit my troop snacks, emergency repair kit, phone, and nearly everything in my purse without the need for an extra bag! I love it!

    It’s also really easy to wash!

  75. Hey there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!

  76. Dana says:

    Yet again I click on an interesting pin and end up on your blog! I love it! My purse story: I took some time to figure out what I wanted from a purse, looked at them everywhere I went, finally found “the one,” used it for maybe a month and the strap broke 🙁 I think I can fix it and maybe even make it a tad bit better.

  77. Laura says:

    Love all of your ideas. I’d like to hear more about the cash envelope and your day planner how its organized.

  78. kristi says:

    I love your purse! I’m new to your site and I love it! What kind of Vera Bradley design is that? Thanks

  79. kathy says:

    I am SO ADDICTED TO YOUR SITE!!! LOVE IT! It has really inspired me and just can’t get enough of your great ideas!! I have always wanted to start my own blog to share my own and compile all the great Ideas that I have found. I would love to see more on your little purse planner. I too am a planner organize freak! lol. Thank you again for shareing your wonderful site! Love anything Lemon! 😉 Beautifuly done site!

  80. Harini says:

    Love your ideas,,,,this is one my fav posts…I have a guide myself.. please go to my blog…Simply sorted…http://livingorgansied.blogspot.in/ ..Long time orhaniser…first time blogger…You inspire me..
    Love from India

  81. Barb says:

    If you put your credit/check cards on a key ring, can you use them at ATM’s and in the pay at the pump at gas stations where you have to slide the whole card in the slot? Or do you have to remove the card first from the key ring?

  82. Barb says:

    I just got an iphone and am still learning. I am curious about putting your credit/check cards in them. Would that work with an ATM? Could you pay at the pump? Or would you have to pay inside at the gas station? What about self check outs that are becoming so popular at stores?

  83. amy says:

    great organizing ideas. i also carry a spare ponytail holder (in case the wind picks up while i’m out) and a small flashlight

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