What’s in Your Purse?

In my Reader of the Month posts, I always ask what is inside the reader’s purse.  I think this reveals a lot about a person actually.  Maybe not about their personality, per se.  But it does often tell you something about the life they lead.  Coupons and receipts tell you where they shop.  Different kinds of beauty products tell you how much they put into their appearance.  Miscellaneous items usually tell you about their home life – i.e., number of kids, married, single, etc.

So today, let’s peek into my purse and psychoanalyze the crap out of me!  How fun!

First, here is my purse:


I love this purse. It is the leather hobo Coach bag from a couple years ago. One of my criteria for selecting a purse is that it is durable (Perhaps this is because I like loyal, steadfast people in my life and am unconcerned with people who come and go, like fashion trends…) and I can’t seem to destroy this sucker, which is saying a lot because I’m pretty rough on purses.   My other criteria for a purse is that it is open in the center with just one big pocket. I don’t like compartments.  (Perhaps this is because I don’t like to be boxed in or restrained in life and prefer instead to be able to ebb and flow as necessary…)


These are the contents of my purse right now.  I don’t actually carry a whole lot with me.  (Perhaps this is because I don’t like a lot of baggage in my life, once I’ve dealt with something I throw it out and move on) I try to just keep what is necessary in my purse, especially because these days I’m usually toting a diaper bag with me and so I’m trying to steam line things.

The physically largest item in my purse is my day planner.  (Perhaps this is a reference to my unnatural need to be organized amongst all the chaos…)


I can’t live without my day planner.  Can’t do it.  Shudder at the thought.  If you think I’m scatterbrained now, you should see me if I tried to operate sans planner.  It ain’t pretty.

Next on the important scale is my wallet.  My Grandma has always carried a red wallet because she says it goes with both a brown or a black purse.  She’s a smart cookie.  And so I’ve always carried a red wallet, too. (Perhaps this is showing that I am open-minded and enjoy knowing all different types of people.)


I also can’t leave home without my red make up bag.  This is actually the reason that my purse appears so clean.  Everything that would normally bounce around loose inside a purse is in this little bag.  (Perhaps this is showing my desire to keep up appearances when inside things might actually be one big mess…)


Now, prepare yourselves for the contents of this tiny little bag…

Are you ready?

Are you sure?

Okay, if you’re really sure….


Inside this little junk drawer is chapstick, lip gloss (don’t leave home without it), gum (two kinds), antibacterial hand gel, and a travel size Clinique Happy perfume stick.

I actually have a reason for keeping these things in this little bag instead of loose in my purse.  Sometimes when I don’t want to carry a diaper bag AND a purse, I throw this, my wallet, and my day planner into the diaper bag and call it a day.  This is much easier than fishing out crap from the depths of my hobo bag.  (Perhaps this is because I like being free to just pick up and go and not boggled down with details and trivial things.)

After these necessities, there are a few things in my purse that come and go.  Like, my sunglasses.  Usually these are on my face or on my head, but if they aren’t in either of those places, then they are probably in my purse. I also have two packs of gum that I bought at the drug store the other day so that I could get cash back for toll roads.


I have my iPhone, whom I affectionately call Petunia. You might think Petunia would be included in with the necessities of a purse, like my wallet or day planner. And you’d be right. But I have an unfortunate habit of leaving home without Petunia.  (Perhaps this is because I enjoy time by myself sometimes and occasionally subconsciously prefer to be unreachable so I have time to recharge my batteries.) This royally ticks both her and Chris off. But, it is what it is. I’m just an irresponsible cell phone user.


In my purse today, I also have a pair of earrings that I wore to church on Sunday but took them out on the way home because the posts on them irritate my ears. (Perhaps this is because my ears are wimpy.)


And I have a water-proof watch that I bought for $5 on clearance at Target because Bean is in the water so much this summer that I was soaking my nice watch. So, now I usually wear this one around the house and when I’m out with Bean and I save my good watch for dressing up.  Ahhh…the fashion sacrifices we make as mothers…


And then there’s the obligatory pen that every purse contains and the random receipt (this one for my membership card to Borders that I got this week – did you know it’s free there? I also have a membership to Barnes and Noble, but that one costs $25. There’s a little financial literary trivial for you on this fine Thursday morning…).

So, there you have it. A look inside my purse, which any woman will tell you is essentially a look inside my brain. If we psychoanalyze my purse, we can conclude the following about me:

I am an active woman and mother of a very wet child who values steadfast friendship, the ability to multi-task, who doesn’t hold grudges or carry around baggage, who appreciates independence and freedom, who likes to appear to have things all together but who really just crams all the crap into small red make up bags.


What about you? If there an item in your purse that tells something about your personality? What does your purse say about you?

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45 Thoughts to “What’s in Your Purse?”

  1. I believe mine says I’m a boy scout?!?! I take “be prepared” to the extreme. My current HUGE bag also includes a book, face-cleansing clothes, a sleep mask (though I’ve never worn one in my life), many medications, socks, nail polish, coupons, and…I’ll stop. I think I need to relax.

  2. Ha, it would definitely be my makeup bag…I have a walking pharmacy in there – advil, excedrin, migraine medicine, pepto, lactaid, etc. (Yeah, I have quite a few medical problems…it’s kind of funny everything that I have). I love love LOVE your dayplanner, though! So cute!

  3. I also have a hobo bag- mine’s red. It’s got 2 small pockets and 2 large sections. I keep chapstick/lip gloss/hair ties in one of the smaller pockets and my cell phone in the other small pocket. Keys and a pen in the first large section and my wallet and a book in the second larger section. I think mine says that I don’t like to carry a lot of crap around with me.

  4. I’ve got an envelope system in my purse. I need to include a makeup bag of sorts for my lip glosses (I don’t lie).

  5. I like the insights into peoples’ purses!

    I have a little moleskin notebook with a tiny purple pen because:
    1)I hate forgetting things
    2)I like to write down funny or insightful quotes
    3)I write down restaurant or activity recommendations from friends
    4)I write down Italian vocabulary or grammar points that I want to remember (I’m living in Rome at the moment)
    5)I love lists!

    Maybe this all just says that I don’t trust my brain to hold everything. 🙂

  6. I love the idea of a “junk drawer” for the purse! Right now my entire purse is the size of that “junk drawer” though, because it’s rare that I go out without my son’s diaper bag. I toss my tiny purse in there, grab my cell phone, & I’m off. 🙂

    But it’s amazing how much you can jam into such a tiny purse: keys, phone (if necessary), credit cards & gift cards, cash, chapstick, pens, nail file, tylenol, & makeup compact.

    If my purse says anything about me, I think it would be… “She’s on the run…. but STYLISH” (because it’s a SUPER cute zebra striped purse) 🙂

    Keep on Striving!

    Heather Marshall

  7. Mine would say I’m a hot mess.
    I’ll have to post some pics of my purse- it would scare anybody!

  8. I saw your feed on this and first thought was ah, she beat me to this post! It’s been in my mind to write up recently too, it’s such a fun topic 😛 You are so organized though, I will have to make sure I pick one of my neater bags when I do mine down the road haha.

  9. I love your psychoanalysis!

    My purse would say that I am conservative, I’m a germaphobe (two bottles of hand sanitizer, a package of wet wipes, and some plastic-wrapped plastic silverware), and I have a hard time letting go (it’s packed with receipts from trips long past, brochures, notes, old grocery lists, a locket with photos of my parents, and other assorted miscellany.

  10. I love my Coach bag too – classic and solid, just like me (and you too!).

  11. Jen

    My purse is a disaster! Not only is it never closed (which drives my Mom nuts), I just found a dinner fork hidden deep in the black hole. Yeah you might be thinking a plastic fork, nope the real deal. The only comforting fact is that I know it is from our home. Scariest part I have no clue how it got there or who did it or how long it has been in there. The 5 yr old or the 8 yr old?!?!?!

  12. hmmm… what you said about wanting an open purse makes so much sense. I HATE purses that have two straps… I just can’t do it. My purse as a whole is fairly clean. My wallet on the other hand is a mess, it doesn’t even zip up!

  13. I did a post about this a while back, sans the analysis. I,too am intrigued by what is in everyone’s purse.


    I am too scared to psychoanalyze. Mine is just a mess and a catch all for everything. . .
    Fun post!

  14. I’m not a mother, so I don’t have a ‘mom purse’…a purse with everything one might need through their day, night, life. No band-aids, Advil, Tylenol, or hand sanitizer. I guess that means I’m still young and never know what’s around the corner and still don’t care, haha. The one thing I keep in my purse at ALL times are my Ray-Ban aviators. I live in a desert so sunglasses are key and I guess that says I’m outdoors a lot?

  15. Keshet

    Hee, my purse style is the total opposite! I love TONS of compartments, structured shapes, and carry way too many things “just in case.” Wonder what that says about me…..

  16. Diane

    The largest item in my purse is my Nook. I don’t go anywhere without it. If I have a few minutes where I have to wait in a line somewhere, or at a doctor’s office, I don’t have to just stand/sit & stare. I can be reading! I have no idea what that says about me…maybe that I get bored easily & have to have something to occupy myself.

  17. Meredith

    Maybe it’s because I’m young (or because I am young person with a grandma inside) but I don’t really carry a purse. I have a little wristlet that I use. It can hold my keys, cell phone and important cards (credit, debt, license, insurance and AAA). And that’s it. And sometimes I don’t even bring all that with me. Like the grocery store, for example. I don’t like having a purse or anything with me so I stick my license and card in my pocket, along with my keys and cell phone. Hands free shopping!!

  18. Kat

    That I keep too many useless receipts, I must have some sort of a lip issue from the 14 types of lip gloss and chap stick that’s in there, and that I must be a very messy and air headed person because of all my tide sticks, band aids, aspirin, and other non-first-aid stuff that’s gotten stranded in there. I guess mostly it will say that I don’t clean out my purse. ever.

  19. Oh boy. I hate purses. So mine is either too bare or too full of junk that I cram in and forget about it. So if anyone tried to psychoanalyze my purse, they would probably just get it completely wrong! I keep an extremely neat wallet (that’s where my real life resides, not my purse) and often just carry that with me. Throughout college i just used a tiny little leather wallet with my cards and money in it, and then clipped my keys to it. It was the best way to go. I still am not above leaving the house with one key, and my ID and credit card in my back pocket and my phone in my hand.

  20. allison

    My purse says that I’m a slob, plain and simple. Thanks for giving me the urge to clean out my purse. I found a pack of stickers, a wedding invitation, and a time card from work. And about 6 chapsticks.

  21. Sarah H.

    1) The inside of your makeup bag looks like the inside of my purse…hmm. I may have to get one of those bags. Very smart.
    2) You still use a day planner in 2010 and when you have an iphone??!! I guess it’s because you say you don’t like to be attached to your phone€”but to me my phone (palm pre) with its calendar, alarms, etc is my planner. But I’ll admit€”in school I still liked a paper agenda book/calendar to see it all laid out at once. So I guess I understand

  22. I love that you have Happy in your purse. I used to carry a little vial, the trial size kind, of Happy, that my mom gave me. I loved it. (I think before that I had an actual mini spray bottle of it, but not the spray vial. It was a bottle.) But then… one of my children found it, and I was not very ‘Happy’ at all.

  23. Tressa

    My husband would say I have everything but the kitchen sink in my purse!
    I have lots of pockets and compartments. It’s VERY, VERY organized, can’t stand it any other way! Everything has it’s place, and I know EXACTLY where that is! My wallet is the same way. Credit/debit cards lined up just perfect. Checkbook always balanced.
    One must my purse has to have, is long enough straps to throw over my shoulder one handed. None of those short straps that I have to slide my arm in.
    Not sure I want to know what this says about me!! I’m anal….I know that already 😉 Surely that’s not always a bad thing…right!!

  24. Frick.

    I don’t carry a purse.

    Does that mean I’m empty inside?

  25. Jenna

    I carry a “weekend bag” as a purse, so let’s not get into that … but I LOVE Borders! I can’t imagine paying for a membership card somewhere else, and their coupons are way better, too!

  26. Katie N.

    We’re totally meant to be BFF – I cannot live without my planner either!

  27. Angela

    I don’t use purses, just cute canvas bag things.
    And I have a pretty good selection of them, and usually just switch it up, depending on my outfit.

    For that very reason, I usually don’t carry around much.
    Just my wallet, a plastic waterbottle ( I know I should be using those metal eco-friendly things, but yeah), my cell and a hair brush. I hardly ever touch up makeup.

  28. Angela

    Oh and a travel size of hand sanatizer.
    Because I’m addicted to it.

  29. Those are not contents of a PURSE, but contents of one of the many bags within my PURSE! I have a main handbag and inside of it bags filled with other things. Bags! Bags! Bags! I am handbag-filled-with-other-bags crazzeeee! Let’s don’t get me started on my work tote…computers and planners and brochures oh my!

  30. Nikki

    I have a huge, but incredibly organized purse. I’ve tried to downsize, but it seems like I can’t find anything when the purse is smaller. I always have my kindle with me. I’ve become pretty anti-social now that I have that thing. I used to be overly social before it, so now I just need to find a balance.

  31. Melissa

    When I carry a purse it is a hot mess that I don’t want to go into let alone have someone else need something out of it. It is usually a humungus thing that allows for any just in case kid essentials (Saying I like to be prepared or that I don’t think my kids can make through an outing without spillage of something somewhere requiring more then the bathroom’s papertowels to clean it up). Mostly I just stuff everything into the diaper bag. It’s easier that way… I get one little pocket that holds itouch, cellphone, camera and debit card. My itouch is the equivalent to your day planner. Won’t commit to anything if I don’t check it first and chaos would ensue if I lost it for any period of time.

    Great topic BTW and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your website!

  32. Ashley

    My purse says that I do not leave home without ANYTHING! Anytime me and Mom are out and about and she has to hold my purse for some reason she lovingly asks “What in the heck is in this purse that you just can’t live without?!” It also shows that I am absent-minded. Upon several occasions the remote control has ended up in my purse instead of my brush as well as a candel, a single shoe and a picture frame :):) I just laugh and go with it, what else can you do?!

  33. Crystal hale

    I call mine “the black hole”. Lots of stuff goes in – but never
    comes out. Just wanted to comment on your earrings! I have
    a pair exactly like that that I bought from Target. They are my
    absolute favorite pair.

  34. We all know what is in my purse…aka diaper bag pocket. I’m not sure what is says about me though. I’ll have to ponder it and get back to you.




  35. This is such a great topic – I think i am a purse voyeur…

    I also think I got a little light headed at the idea of a purse with no compartments – I had to move on to a second Coach bag to get one that durable with the right pockets. I test fit everything IN the Coach store…made the attendants a little nervous I think! But it is the best bag I’ve owned…

  36. Ella

    My contents are so similar to yours. I keep all my makeup, hand cleaner, lipbalm etc in a small makeup purse. I hate junk building up in my handbag so i usually clean it out at the end of each day (as well as my wallet) and empty out all receipts etc. I also carry a brush, my phone and a small camera. And at the moment i have a small umbrella – its winter over here in Australia!

  37. Amy

    I like your deconstruction.

    I did a blog post on what’s in my purse a while ago, and I was both shocked and disgusted at the amount of unnecessary crap I was carrying around. Have since bought a smaller bag…and you know what? I’m still carrying about about $1 in loose change, receipts to everything I’ve purchased in the last month, and keys to properties that I don’t live in anymore.

    So what does that make me?

  38. Laura

    Sunglasses in your purse…don’t you mean “sunnies”? 😉

  39. Lisa

    I think mine says that I rely too much on technology…in my purse, besides my hand sanitizer, keys, wallet, lipstick and a pen, I carry my blackberry, iPod Touch, a 16GB USB dongle thingy and my Canon SLR. I have a Coach bag too that I bought from the outlet store in Niagara Falls this year and love how much it holds, but I am totally stealing your idea about using a little makeup bag to keep the bits and pieces contained.

  40. I’m a little scared to know what my purse would say about me… along with the usual wallet, sunglasses, cell phone are old shopping lists crumbled up, receipts I’ve just dropped in, some candy wrappers.. I promise I don’t live like this usually. I don’t throw trash on the floor in my room!!

  41. Oh geez, I don’t even know what my purse would say about me. I have so much stuff in there, I’m prepared for just about anything. I really like your make-up bag idea though. That would cut down on the clutter in my purse big time!

  42. My purse is so boring because it is my diaper bag. Its full of diapers and wipes and baby stuff… not much room left for telling signs of who I am. ALthough perhaps professionals might still be able to figure it out 🙂

  43. Love this post! Besides the usual stuff in my purse, I carry an epipen for my daughter, and a tiny screwdriver for my husband who always looses a screw out of his glasses when we are out. I too have to have compartments, because I have to be able to reach over when I am driving and pull out whatever I or the kids need without looking while we are in the car, which is a lot of the time most days.

    Also, Katie, I would like to analyze how you laid out the contents of your purse in a neat little square with everything in alignment with each other. You really are hyper-organized 🙂

  44. Jeska

    I could have told you that about Borders! Gosh!

    I think Barnes & Noble’s “rewards program” is rather lame. You have to spend $250 (before tax) in order to come out even. Sorry, but I just don’t spend that much on books.

    I only buy books when Borders sends out a good coupon. <3 Which is usually every other week. 33% or better, because then it’s like I’m still getting my employee discount (33%). (They are closing all Waldenbooks, owned by Borders, and I just so happened to work there. *sigh*) Best job ever, though. Seriously. 🙂

  45. Jessica

    I love your purse!

    I def need to steal your idea of throwing all the little things into a small bag. That is genious! and necessary for me bc all the little things clutter my bag up a lot 😛

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