As humans, we seem to have a need to fill empty space. Take a handbag or diaper bag, for example. Chances are, if a woman carries a large bag, she has items inside that she really doesn’t need. That same woman can fit what she needs in an elegant – and tiny! – evening bag.
The first step to lightening your bag is choosing a smaller style. If a small bag just doesn’t fit in your fashion radar, use your “evening bag mentality” and only fill it with those things you really need. Just because the purse is big doesn’t mean it has to be filled to capacity.
Routinely purge your bag like you would a closet. Take everything out of your purse and put it on the table. With each item, ask yourself these questions:
• Has this item been used during the past month?
• Does this item fit the needs of my daily tasks?
• Can this item be just as useful stored in my car or workplace?
• Am I carrying this item for someone else?
If you answered no to the first two questions then do not put this item back in your purse. If you answered yes to the second two questions, then these items need to be returned to their owner or stored somewhere else.
The glove box of your car is a great place to keep a small sewing kit, a pouch with medications such as aspirin or antacids, a compact umbrella, and an emergency snack to avoid drive-through temptation.
A full handbag isn’t just messy, it's a potential health risk! The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends that a handbag weigh no more than 10 percent of its owner’s body weight. Place your bag on your bathroom scale; you might be surprised at what it weighs. When carried on one shoulder, it interferes with the natural movement of the upper and lower body.
Here are more tips from the ACA on choosing a handbag to prevent back pain:
• When carrying a heavy purse, alternate it between both shoulders to avoid placing the burden on just one side of your body.
• Empty your bag of unnecessary items each week.
• Switch handbags so you don’t carry a big purse every day. Consider carrying two bags, a tote bag and a purse, and carry one in each hand. Or pack a tote to leave at the office or in the car, with essential items, such as a wallet and keys, carried in a small purse.
• If you buy a big purse, choose one with wider straps, which helps distribute weight over a broader area of your shoulder.
• Buy a backpack-style purse to better distribute the weight.
• If you carry a laptop, consider a rolling bag.
• Make an effort to square your shoulders.
• And listen to your body. A healthy back is much more stylish than any large handbag.
Need a new purse, tote, day-tripper or diaper bag? Start with one that's built for organization:
<Bags & Totes for Organized Parents
And to help keep your purse organized, try a Purseket, the original pocket purse organizer>