in the bag: downsized


I’ve recently made the life-altering decision to trade my haul-everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-tote-bag to an itty bitty clutch to carry around day to day. This required some difficult decisions regarding “everyday essentials,” but I’ve realized that when it comes to your daily luggage, less is more. And my back and shoulders thank me for it, too.

Here’s what I’m workin’ with:

– a bronze frame wallet from Wal-Mart (ballin’).

– the ol’ iPhone with a DLO case I found for $2 at Radio Shack on my last trip to find [yet another] car charger while out and about running errands out of town {where do those things disappear to?}.

– business cards and delivery notice cards for the flower shop. You never know when you’ll have to run a late delivery on your way home only to find there’s no one at the delivery address to receive the order…

Ahava hand cream. It’s luxurious and smells delicious and keeps my chronically-scrubbed hands hydrated. It comes in a handy travel size that fits my tiny little handbag perfectly.

Sally Hansen Massaging Cuticle Treatment pen. The second line of defense for my ravaged hands. I think florists’ hands may be second to car mechanics and landscapers in daily abuse.

– Lorac Co-Stars longwear lip gloss in Steamy Kiss. This is my go-to red. I can put it on the morning, and not think about it all day.

Anastasia Hydrafull glosses in Plastic and Heiress. I love these glosses because they have a lip tint in them, so the color lasts a long time, and even though it’s not a plumping gloss, it somehow makes my lips look extra full. These are my favorite brights for spring and summer.

Minted Rose Lip Balm, a tried-and-true favorite that I’ve used for years.

– Peppermints. My grandmother always carried them in her handbag, and they were the cure-all for whatever ailed you. Headache? Nan reached in her bag and gave you a peppermint. Indigestion? Same prescription. Now I find myself keeping them in my handbag at all times. Maybe this means I’m a grown-up southern lady.

What’s in your bag?

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  1. 5.1.12
    steffy said:

    I usually change my bag every Sunday night. It’s a great way for me to cycle through my purses and give them all equal amounts of love, while, at the same time, cleaning out my purse continually! Unfortunately I’m in the midst of a move right now and I haven’t had time to do it… and my purse is a frightening mess. I think I may have to do this tonight now that I’ve read your post!

    • 5.1.12

      Love this, Steffy; I used to do the exact same thing! You’ve inspired me to bring this back in my life ;-)

  2. 4.30.12

    I don’t know if I could do it, I don’t know if I could downsize my purse. My wallet itself is too big to fit into a clutch.. Ohh but I want to so bad! I guess I also have to get a smaller wallet. Without fail though, there is always my CO bigelow pink tinted lip balm in my purse. Of course, my phone too. Usually gum. Pens…lots of pens! This is already getting too much for a smaller bag! I should try though!

  3. 4.27.12
    Corinne said:

    I really need to downsize…my handbags seem to be getting bigger and bigger, and are sooo heavy! I just need to work out what my essentials are too… :)

  4. 4.27.12

    I never really carried that much to begin with because I think that big bags are ugly. But a clutch, at least for me, is out of the question. With two kids, I just have to be hands-free especially when shopping.
    As long as a bag can carry my KindleFire, I’m good. It’s so small that even with the case that it doesn’t take much room. But, I do notice that my bags are getting smaller, but I don’t think that I can go to clutch size.

  5. 4.27.12
    Tab said:

    Hilarious that your downsized bag contain three lip products.

    • 4.27.12

      This is a huge edit from my usual stash of lip stuff in my handbag, and took some tough decision making ;-)

  6. 4.27.12
    amystarks said:

    Literally JUST did this about 2 weeks ago. I bought a really cute (and super small) Lulu bag on Hautelook, so that was just the motivation I needed. :) Minimalism is a beautiful thing.

  7. 4.27.12
    Amanda said:

    I wish I could do this! I am a new mom and I had to get a much larger bag. Maybe someday….
    I just found your blog and love it! Would love the follow back :)

    The Pretty Pinhead

  8. 4.26.12
    Valerie said:

    I didn’t start carrying a bag until I got my phone and found I couldn’t fit that in my pocket. (Why are the pockets n girls pants so much smaller than boys?) Basically I have my wallet (when not in my pocket), phone, tissues, business cards and CPR mask. Unless I’m using my camera bag, then its a whole nother story!

    • 4.30.12
      Alex said:

      I ADORE that you have a CPR mask in your purse.
      made my day.

  9. 4.26.12
    Anja said:

    really understand your issues with downsizing! I had to make a similar choice, more for health reasons (my ultra big bag got also ultra heavy – shoulders did not thank me) and I got a similar choice. I guess a small and compact wallet is the key. Then take the essentials – for me hand cream, pen, lip balm, tissues, phone, lactrase pills (to eat lactose food) and keys. sometimes I miss some of that clutter in my big bag, but I can handle life with less rather nicely.

  10. 4.26.12
    Jenny said:

    I totally need to downsize! I’m tired of carrying around a big bag!
    Modern Modest Beauty

  11. 4.25.12
    lielievoss said:

    i need to downsize desperately now that I have thrown my back out. It has to give me some sort of relief

  12. 4.25.12

    My purse is so heavy. My back would appreciate this.

  13. 4.25.12
    smcwrites said:

    Brilliant! And so brave – I am still rocking the gigantic purse (that an adorable young boy at Starbucks told me was “very cool” the other day – which made me laugh a little on the inside none the less) but this is very inspiring! I also have to agree on the peppermints, they are just wonderful, I like to keep a stash of them in my desk at work too – they really do work!

  14. 4.25.12

    good for you! i think you’ll love the condensing. it’s really sort of freeing…now lugging around an enormous tote everywhere you go. move about freely for a change!

  15. 4.25.12
    kaylasboyle said:

    I have been a big fan of downsizing my bag for a while. But since getting a Kindle and being addicted to reading I’m finding my purses getting bigger and bigger. Need to step it back down.

    A Refreshed Take Off

  16. 4.25.12

    I wish I could downsize on a daily basis, but seem only to be able to do it on the weekends.

  17. 4.25.12

    I would love to downsize my purse, I can’t find anything in there! I want to get one of those purse organizers. I need to try that lip balm.

  18. 4.25.12
    Anonymous said:

    Downsizing for the spring/summer is a great idea. I tend to carry a large bag in the Winter and a smaller bag in the Summer.

  19. 4.25.12
    Denise said:

    I’m that type of girl who hates carrying around a purse. Half the time my ID is in my husbands wallet.. I think downsizing is good haha

  20. 4.25.12
    ktgovols1 said:

    This makes me want to downsize. I’ve heard Ahava is awesome. Where did you get it from?

    • 4.25.12

      I got it in a Birchbox a few months ago! But it’s available at Ulta :)