I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Batgirl Utility Bag

My husband has dubbed my favorite bag (and all my other purses) the Batgirl Utility Bag for its never ending capacity to provide myriad needs at any given time.

What are considered ‘standard purse items’? Well it actually depends on the woman but the basics include:

  • Wallet with cash and cards
  • Identification
  • Keys
  • Comb/brush
  • Make-up
  • Mirror
  • Cell phone
  • Lotion

When I was younger I would never carry a purse. I had two states: all in my pockets or I was a book bag girl. Which gives you an idea of my mind set about things at that time (either all or nothing); I’m still that way sometimes. I felt purses were not functional enough. I could never find one that could carry all I needed. Then the trend for large saddle bags begin and my world was transformed. I immediately went out and got one. I loved the external pockets and the size.

At first I mainly carried my smaller things in these outside pockets and books on the inside. This became a problem because I would need things when out. I would need to buy things that I knew I had at home. I guess my emerging thrift consciousness was rebelling at my buying items that I often had in triplicate at home.

The first items I begin carrying on a regular basis were granola/cereal/protein bars. I would be out with the kids on what would seem like an hour long errand and be away from home the better part of the day. I didn’t have a lot of money so three granola bars was the best option for something to tide us over. They are much cheaper than buying lunch for three.

The next thing I begin carrying was lotion in a small container. I hated (still do) buying travel size lotions. I am not big on the scented lotions from Bath & Body Works and other places.

Other things that have migrated into my daily arsenal:

  • Metro Card
  • Chap stick
  • Deodorant
  • Wet wipes
  • Soap/wash cloth
  • Emergency tampon and pad
  • Pain reliever
  • Band aids
  • Eye drops
  • Eye glasses cleaning cloth
  • Sunglasses
  • Ponytail holder/rubber band
  • Pen
  • Small notebook
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sewing kit
  • Safety pin
  • Packs of sugar (I love raw sugar in my coffee)
  • Creamer (I love flavored creamer)
  • Drink mixes (Crystal Lite, etc)
  • Gum
  • Emergency chocolate
  • Umbrella
  • Scarf
  • Change of underwear (especially for longer excursions and when traveling)
  • Mp3 player
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Journal
  • Antacid
  • Book (often more than one)
  • Current research papers I am reading for work
  • Highlighter (for the research papers)

Other items have matriculated on and off this list depending upon my needs.
  • The number one item that I used to carry was a camera. My phone has a camera now but I when I travel I will take a stand alone digital camera.
  • Address book, for the exact same reason as the camera. My phone has all of my contacts synced to it.

My newest item is an emergency charger for my cell phone my husband bought at Radio Shack for me. I am notorious for not remembering to charge my phone. I also have dead battery at the most inconvenient time.

I was in the airport when I begin writing this post. I saw this machine when coming out of the ladies room. I stopped to inspect it. The machine promises to charge your phone up to 50% in 30 minutes. The cost is $3.00.

I asked the two ladies next to me what they carried in their purses. One of the ladies happened to be a YouTube vlogger. She told me that a lot of people were posting videos of the content of their purses on the site. I ran a search and found over 17,000 video entries.

Here are video of three of my favorite responses.

A little over a month ago I pulled something in my shoulder and couldn't lift my arm. I carried my husbands' messenger bag until my shoulder was better. I read a few articles looking for the recommended weight of purses and bags. The closest I came to a true estimate was this article from Associated Content. These two sentences really got my attention.

Texas-based physical therapist William Case suggests that handbag designers place a "cute, educational caution tag" on all bags to inform of potential neck and shoulder dangers.

He adds that people should not strain themselves with more than 10-15 percent of their body weight, even in backpacks.
Backpacks in fact are a better way to carry a heavy load, but they aren't as fashionable in the business world as they are on a college campus

Have you ever weighed your bag? Are you moving to a small handbag? Thinking of leaving the purse behind for a backpack? What have you stopped carrying?

What is in your purse? Leave your top five must have purse items in the comment section.


  1. Keys
    Wallet (has a notepad / pen in it too)
    Lip Balm
    Spare fold up bag in case I buy food/shop

    Those are my basics

    I LOVED that video by Michelle Phan. She is FREAKING ADORABLE :)

  2. I like this one. I have recently come to realize that I do need to carry more items in my purse than I do currently. Only problem is the purses I have now are completely inadequate but I am so picky about purses I am having real trouble deciding on a new one.

  3. Great post! Been thinking a lot lately about the right size for purse and what do I really need to carry in it. I carry quite a bit rt now:
    Keys, wallet, planner, a second flat bag beside my wallet for extra cards and imp receipts, a small bag with meds, few makeup stuff, and sometimes my sunglasses. Besides this I also carry a water bottle and umbrella pretty often...which overall increases the wt quite a bit for my tiny shoulders.

  4. I still carry a backpack ... but I am a college student so its ok . My purse is not that heavy - but its usually packed enough so that I could use it as a weapon if needed ( its a small hobo style that fits under my arm ) . Must haves for my purse: CO bigelow lipgloss , cell phone , my wristlet ( which serves as my wallet ) lotion , and some kind of makeup so that I can look presentable