Your Morning Handbag Switch Is Going to Get So Easy

It's happened to the best of us: you're just about ready to head out the door when you realize the day bag in your hand is not the one you intended to carry. The only problem is, you've been carrying this one all week and it's stuffed full of random things you picked up and there's no way you have time to dig through, find your essentials, and throw them in the right purse. So you end up walking around all day in handbag-you-don't-want-to-be-carrying shame. Or worse, you make the change only to come home at 5:00, exhausted, and realize you accidentally forgot to include your house keys in the changeover. We've put together some tips and tricks for you to beat the handbag blues. After all, what's the point of buying the brand new Chloe when you're too disorganized to start carrying it?

Make Your Picks: Ladies, we know you love your collection, but things will be simpler if you narrow down your handbags into day bags you'll realistically carry. That is, the totes, the bowlers, the hobos, the doctors, and any other style that's big enough to schlep all of your things. That adorable mini foldover crossbody should be relegated to Sunday brunch. If you're a serious collector, you need to stick with three or four in regular rotation. Trust us, you'll be happy you did.

Clean Sweep: Okay, now you need to clean these lovelies of all old receipts, makeup you know you'll never use, mints, loose change, old scrips, and that napkin with that guy's number on it who you swear you'll remember the name of any day now. Get rid of it. You have to start fresh.

Stow Your Essentials: Keep a zippered pouch stocked with all of your necessities: a couple of spare tampons, a roll of quarters, a $20 bill, lip balm, a spare house key, mints, and anything else you'll need in a pinch. Other things might include a pen, a compact mirror, or a mini-brush. Think to yourself, "What do I need to be prepared?" With everything packed away, it's easy to transfer the pouch into a new bag.

Designate: This is perhaps one of the most important parts, so pay attention. While each individual bag is different, most bags have a center zippered pocket, an open pocket, and one or two empty compartments, lovingly known as the vortex to the handbag-or-go challenged. Choose one of these areas for your wallet and your essential stock. Hint: the zippered pockets are your best bet. Choose one for your wallet and cell and put the other items in a different area. 

Be responsible: When you actually make the switch, you need to be aware that your cell and wallet go in the zippered pocket, while your set of keys gets thrown in the center compartment. Why? Because you'll need to build up a habit that puts these items in basically the same place in each bag, so you always know where they are and aren't digging for them at the last minute. 

Maintain: Every so often, clean the bags out. When you're organized it takes a lot less time than has in the past — we promise. And you'll have the added piece of mind knowing that reaching into their depths will not result in sticky fingers from a half-melted chocolate you snagged from a cocktail event and then forgot about.

Use Organization Accessories: Card cases can be a life saver for business cards, credit cards, spare ID, napkins with numbers on them, and anything else that's flat and can be folded inside. Buy one and you'll have yet another quick, easy transfer trick on your hands. 

image: Marc Jacobs Fall 2012, IMAXtree