You’ve got a million things on your mind. Wondering if you’ve got everything you need while rushing out the door shouldn’t be one of them.
You have a lot going on. The beauty appointments. The meet and greets. Exercise. The crazy busy schedule. What you have in your handbag should be the least of your worries. In fact, the way you pack your daily handbag sets you up for success in two ways: it can have a big impact on your budget, and it can give you more time throughout the day.
A handbag isn’t just a handbag – it’s a powerful tool. It’s an extension of our personal style and a key accessory. Keeping your handbag clean and well organized will alleviate stress and take you through each day with confidence, knowing you have exactly what you need within reach.
Keep in mind this post is for your daily handbag. My checklist for my date handbag is a bit different!
Why it’s important to pack your handbag properly
It’s the small things that add up over time that will make you or break you.
When you’re out and realize you don’t have something you need, you have the option to stop and buy whatever it may be. However, those small purchases for items you don’t have with you can really add up over time, especially if you’re buying the same things frequently.
Consider this scenario: you’re out running errands and suddenly realize you’re starving. You only have one more errand to run, but hangry starts to kick in. Knowing that consistently consuming healthy food will keep your fitness goals on track, you skip the value picks menu at McDonalds and purchase a $15 Oaxaca Bowl from Freshii instead (one of my favourite on-the-go restaurants).
If you stop for food once a week while you’re out, that’s $60 per month. In a year, this habit will cost you $720. In reality, you probably stop for food more than that while running errands and going to and from appointments.
If you keep a protein bar in your handbag to tide you over until you get home, you could save hundreds of dollars a year. I buy protein bars by the box and always make sure I have a bar with me at all times.
The convivence factor of stopping for food adds up to a lot. Everything in life weights on your daily choices, and I choose to put that money towards building wealth instead of unnecessarily eating out.
The bigger downside to this approach is the time you waste by stopping. In a big city, just parking your car can take up to 15 minutes or longer. This valuable time could be much better spent leveling up your game.
Don’t underestimate how much your time is worth – we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so spend them wisely.
The no-fail system to pack your handbag properly
Let’s face it – we all own multiple bags. The problem is they’re all different shapes and sizes, and handbags are a great place to accumulate stuff and a million receipts.
How many times have you realized you’re missing something because you switched handbags? The formula for success is to set up a system that works for every handbag. This is accomplished by using multiple accessory bags you can easily swap into whatever bag matches your outfit of the day or night. The goal is to never have loose items in the bottom of your bag – everything should have a place.
Handbag changes should take under 60 seconds – grab your wallet and the accessory bags and go.
I love clear accessory bags because they allow me to quickly see what I’m looking for. I also prefer using clear accessory bags because they are easy to clean and any leaks won’t ruin the interior of an expensive bag.
Handbags can get heavy quickly, so overall weight is an important factor. Stock up on travel sized items, or transfer products to travel sized bottles.
For your small handbags, keep separate small accessory bags packed and ready to go. This does mean purchasing duplicate items, but it saves priceless time and the headache of forgetting critical items.
With the exception of evening/going out bags, I sold all my handbags that were that awkward in-between size: not quite big enough to hold everything I need, but too big for evening dates.
Once you have everything organized, spend a few minutes each night replenishing any essential items, and wipe down bags every 2 weeks. Professional cleaning once a year (non-negotiable for designer bags) will help your handbag last for years, and one of the worst things you can do is show up on a date with a ratty bag!
The complete list of items to always pack in your handbag
How many times do you go into your handbag only to realize you have forgotten lip balm, Kleenex or hand cream? Or these days, its more like your mask and hand sanitizer.
It helps to pack your handbag by categories so you don’t miss anything. Follow the categories below and swap/add any items to personalize your needs.
I’m a big fan of checklists. I have one for every reoccurring event that takes place in my life. Create a handbag packing checklist so you don’t have to think when re-stocking your bag.
This list may look like a lot to carry every day, but everything is pretty compact when packed properly.
Go for a lighter wallet instead of a bulky one. I don’t like my bills to crease, so I opt for a wallet with flat bill storage. The Michael Kors Large Leather Card Case has been my go-to for years. It has multiple bill pockets, making it ideal to hold multiple currencies when traveling between different countries.
- $300 cash in assorted bills – $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Good for tipping if required.
- $5 cash in coins – $0.25, $1 and $2. It’s extremely annoying when shopping in a store that requires a $1 deposit for a cart and you don’t have it on you.
- Identification, including a student card (if you have one) and your health card.
- Credit cards.
- Debit cards.
- Rewards cards you can’t store electronically in Apple Wallet or on the company’s app.
- Library cards.
- A dedicated receipt bag. I like the clear ones, but go for a solid design for added privacy. You can also use one of your wallet compartments if you have space. Don’t just throw receipts in your bag – take the extra few seconds to put each one in a dedicated spot. This makes it much easier when it comes time to add these purchases to your budget. Also great for those shopping spree days!
Snacks & water
The most important category after wallet, packing snacks and water saves me hundreds of dollars every year. I’m always hungry, so if I don’t have snack bars and water with me I’ll be stopping for food. That mistake costs me time AND money.
- A water bottle. I can’t go anywhere without my White Marble Swell Water Bottle. They aren’t lightweight, but I also only like drinking very cold water. It’s a quirk I’ve learned to live with! I also have the Wide-Mouth White Marble Swell Water Bottle because I can easily fit in ice cubes.
- Protein bars. My favourite is the Vega Protein Snack Bar in both Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Caramel. They have more of a granola bar texture which I really love, rather than the solid consistency of most protein bars.
Health & personal hygiene
- Mask. If you’re using the disposable non-surgical masks, always pack a backup. They aren’t high quality and I’ve had several break.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Bandaids in assorted sizes. These are life savers when breaking in new heels!
- Facial tissue.
- Breath mist. I prefer this over gum (you need to spit out) or mints (packaging is loud)
- Dental floss.
- Lip balm. I have lip filler, and after the PCA Lip Booster was recommended to me, it’s now one of the only balms I’ve found that actually hydrates my lips! Anyone else out there with lip fillers have that problem?!
- Ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Ibuprofen can’t be taken around lip injection appointments, so be prepared!
- Multivitamins. You won’t be home for each dose if the brand you’re taking is 3 per day. I love Progressive MultiVitamin for Active Women.
- Necessary prescriptions.
- SPF hand cream.
- Cuticle oil. My cuticles get super dry! I keep a bottle of cuticle oil on my nightstand, but a cuticle oil pen is much easier to carry with you. I love the cuticle oil pen by Ecco Pure.
- Travel size perfume. You never know when you might meet a POT, so I always have my perfume atomizer handy!
- Small hairbrush.
- Hair elastics.
This category is so personalized to everyone, so create your checklist based on your daily needs. I generally don’t wear a lot of makeup, so I don’t carry a lot of touch up items with me.
Always be prepared! Not only for you, but for any friends or woman strangers in need. We gotta look out for each other!
- Feminine products.
- Feminine wipes. These super cute all-natural wipes double as a post-activity wipe: perfect for impromptu sessions!
Accessories & Misc.
This includes both fashion accessories and tech accessories.
- Sunglasses and case.
- Umbrella. Go for one as lightweight as possible to pack in your handbag. The lightweight ones aren’t very windproof though, so make sure you have a more windproof one to save your hair on date night.
- Gloves in the winter season or if you live in a cold climate. Go for black leather to match whatever you’re wearing.
- Cell phone charger and a battery power bank.
- Tide To-Go Pen. You never know when that attractive guy next to you might need you to save his day!
- Small notebook. I still like to handwrite notes as I think of them. You never know when you need to make a quick note about a wealthy man. Different colours are helpful for different topics (Or different men! The worst thing you can do when you have a few sugar daddies is confuse something they told you!)
- A physical book. I know it adds weight, but if you happen to be out by yourself and see a POT who’s attention you want to attract, having a book out gives him something to approach you to talk about! Make sure it’s a book that would grab his attention and can comment on.
See my Sugar Essentials Book List for my reading recommendations!
Pack your handbag strategically and watch your productivity increase.
Never leave the house unprepared again. Once you’re properly packed, all it takes is maintenance. The most successful sugar babies are always prepared!
What’s one thing you can’t leave the house without?