Top 10 Reasons Our Purses Are Dragging Us Down

Anyone who has ever carried a purse bigger than a zippered change pouch knows that they just become dumping grounds for the most random items ever.

Find yourself in need of a nail file or a stick of gum? No worries! Just look for the nearest woman around you carrying a medium to large sized bag and wearing a look of weary exhaustion, and chances are she can hook you up with just about anything you want.

Back in the day before children took over our lives, we used to carry purses for fashion. You know, as a way to accessorize our fabulous outfits. They were certainly NOT seen as a way to carry as much stuff as possible while permanently damaging our shoulders.

Needless to say, this week’s Monday Listicles topic “Ten Things In Your Purse” from Ducky really called to us.

Between the two of us, we could probably open a store just with the items in our purses. Granted the store would have to be called “Crap You Don’t Need Or Want”, but it would be a store nonetheless!

Clown Car Purses

Hold on, because here are the completely random items we found in our purses:


                                                    #1–A Girl’s Gotta Eat                                         Obviously, our culinary selections leave much to be desired. You can choose between a bag of Bugles from Ashley’s bag that you have not seen outside of a gas station since 1987 or a semi-flattened protein bar that has been at the bottom of Lisa’s purse for at least six months. Yum, take your pick!



                                                  #2–Blogging Necessities                                               You never know when inspiration might strike for the world’s best post! Between the two of us, we are ready with Ashley’s notebook (given to her as a present from Lisa as a matter of fact!) and Lisa’s random assortment of pens and pencils.

Blog Necessities


                                                  #3–Disaster Preparedness                                                If you pay attention to the interwebs, you know the Mayans really got people thinking. Now there’s a new doomsday prediction each week. The good news is that, should disaster strike when you are with us, you’re good to go. With Ashley’s weather forecaster and Lisa’s metal LED flashlight (with strobe action!) we can tell you if you’re going to need to take a coat AND light your way to the underground bunker.



                                                #4–Gotta Keep ‘Em Covered:                                              If you spent your time around freckle-prone people with eczema who tend to fall down a lot (No, not drunks with bad skin– our children) you’d appreciate Ashley’s bandage box and Lisa’s tubes of lotion and sunscreen like we do.

Keep Em Covered


                                               #5–We Are Quirky, So Sue Us                                            We never go ANYWHERE without these two specific items. The balls of fabric you spy on the left are Ashley’s “movie socks”. They stay in her purse *at all times*…because you never know why you might spontaneously go to the cinema. She contends that she misses key plot points if she can’t concentrate due to toe hypothermia. Noted. The item on the right is a full-sized container of Wet Ones. Lisa is not fooled by hand gel. She knows that a crucial part of germ removal is the physical act of wiping them off your damn hands. If you are with her, these moist towelettes will be shoved in your general direction at regular intervals for your use. This is not optional. (And she will still make you wash with soap and water as soon as it’s available.)



                                                          #6–Four Eyes                                                            Without her specs,  Ashley can seem aloof and standoff-ish because she can’t identify a single person she knows in Target from afar. On the other hand, Lisa’s readers keep her from randomly signing charge slips nowhere near the “sign here” line and ordering what everyone else does at lunch because she can’t read the menu.

Four Eyes


                                               #7–Strictly for Survival                                                      Ever try traveling for more than ten minutes with Abby? Let’s just say that for the sanity of everyone in the vehicle, Ashley having a DVD on hand is not only convenient, but necessary. Lisa doesn’t really drink water like she should. It’s especially unappealing if it’s lukewarm purse water. So clearly, having three bottles (one for herself and one for each child!) on hand that nobody is drinking makes perfect sense.

Strictly For Survival


                  #8–Items That Would Be Great If We *Actually* Used Them                         If it’s really Ashley’s dream to win the lottery, why doesn’t she bother to cash her winning tickets in when she has them? How does Lisa always forget she has a reusable shopping bag with her when checking out, given that she rummages past it in her purse at least 25 times a day?

We Need To Use These


                             #9–Our Humble Approach To Personal Vanity                                 The last thing Ashley ever wants to be is the woman with something stuck in her teeth. Nothing says good personal hygiene like free-floating flossers roaming around the bottom of a purse. Because Lisa hasn’t left the house without dog hair on her somewhere since the summer of 2009, she needs a mini-lint roller on hand at all times.

Our Vanity Items


                                            #10–Our Weapons Of Choice                                                Of course we *only* use these items as they were intended, but let’s just say they *could* be lethal if you’re in a pinch and in need of self defense. Ashley’s pill splitter has the world’s tiniest razor blade hidden inside, so watch your step if you know what’s good for you! Lisa’s beloved foldable scissors could surely put the hurt on someone as long as you can unfold from their origami-like state in time!

Our Weapons of Choice

So now you know why we risk a rotator cuff injury whenever we leave the house. And just think– we only showed you ten items. We barely scratched the surface of what lurks beneath our shoulder straps!

What are the craziest things in your purse or backpack?



Top 10 Reasons Our Purses Are Dragging Us Down — 118 Comments

  1. Oh dear…

    My purse currently has
    -hand crank flashlight (in my defense, I’m a college student who lives in a dorm and works nights…I walk back and forth from other dorms at midnight and four AM, so the flashlight is justified)(not that I ever use it, but it’s there!)
    -hand knitted scarf and ear warmer (these, I do use)
    -zebra striped duck tape (the president of one of my clubs asked last week if anyone had tape. To my shock, I had removed my duck tape from my purse. As soon as I got back to my dorm, I put it back in the purse)
    -Silly Putty and stress ball (for fidgeting)
    -hand sanitizer spray thing, pain ointment, hand lotion (none of which I ever use unless desperate)
    and, for heaven only knows what reason
    -Embroidery floss
    -mummified Cherry Air Heads sucker

    (in terms of actual *useful* stuff that has a real reason to be in my bag, I’ve got band-aids, two USB storage devices, sinus pills, my new earrings, my old bracelet, and a key I found lying on the street a couple days ago)
    (Um…I swear, those make sense in context!)

  2. I swear to God if we lived by each other, we really would be BFFs. My purse has so much crap in it “just in case”. There is my Nook in case we ever have to wait in line and I have Gia with me (if it is ever charged, I’d really have it together). The notebook that I’m writing my book in, several bags of Pirate Booty, about 100 ribbons, rubberbands or scrunchies and like Lisa, about 5 water bottles. Like Ashley, socks. 🙂 I just love you guys…seriously.

    • I love Pirate’s Booty! I would totally trade you my Bugles for some! 😉 We would definitely be BFFs…no doubt about it! 🙂

    • Hydration is important Kim…especially when you have been lugging around 27,000 water bottles all day long! 😉

    • What is even crazier is that I don’t actually think it works anymore…I am pretty sure the batteries are dead. But, still, even after we wrote this post I did not take it out! 😉

  3. Pill splitter- hahaha! I never would have seen that coming. I choose Bugles for sure, and now you’ve inspired me to carry a tiny notebook and pen! What have I been thinking? You have clearly put me and my ridiculous, ineffectual, maraca-laden diaper bag to shame. 🙁 I still love you both, though.

    • Who knows how it all actually fits in there…we tend to with the wing and a prayer method! 😉 And yes, of course we have back problems…to bad neither one of us has a massage gift card hidden among the junk! 😉

  4. Haha oh my god awesome! I love the movie socks! Also? I totally thought that flashlight was a vibrator. know…it could be weirder. 🙂

    I have a jump rope in my backpack. It’s technically my gym bag, but I have yet to actually use my jump rope at the gym. Go me.

    • If I am already wearing socks, they stay safely tucked in my purse. But in the summer, I am often in flip-flops, so out those babies come! 😉

  5. Gawd, now I have to add a notebook to the insanity that is my purse, because all of a sudden I cannot imagine leaving the house without it, plus, what the heck do I have a pen in there for if I don’t have the notebook to go with it, right?

    • You will love having it, we promise! 🙂 All of the sudden you will find yourself having bursts of creativity everywhere you go! 😉

  6. HA Pens are my weakness and cool notebooks to journal in. Not that some of it will become blog material but I do love to write. I totally get the movie socks. They keep the theater like a fridge and you freeze to death.. socks are definitely a necessity.

    • See, exactly, you feel my pain! 😉 Cool notebooks are awesome…they totally make you feel like writing, don’t they?

  7. Perfect!!! And y’all must have the shoulders of the Hulk! Carrying around water bottles is heavy. Very heavy. I am super impressed with the movie socks idea. I might have to steal that one!!

    • Feel free to steal it! I should totally make it a Pinterest idea! 😉 We LOVED this category so much!!! Great topic choice!!

  8. I LOVE this. SO much.

    I’m kinda’ peeing here.

    And I’m totally a frozen-toed girl so I always wear socks to the movies. I just don’t always carry them in my bag with me. ;>

    • LOL! Well, feel free to stuff some in your bag during the summer…you can thank me later! 😉
      So glad you enjoyed it…you make us squee with happiness at your comments! 🙂

  9. OMG! I think every woman’s purse has that “secret surprise” at the bottom, like the old Cracker Jack boxes. What did I find at the bottom of mine? A little sock monkey that I carry around for good luck and the purse holder that I never use when we go out to eat, I’m always tossing my purse on the chair next to me, or looking for someplace to put it so I don’t have to sit it on the grungy floor. Sometimes, I hold it on my lap! I never remember about the purse holder!

    • Secret surprise is laugh out loud funny Vicki!! LOVE IT! You should definitely break out the purse holder…plus, you just reminded me that I am pretty sure I have one of those in my purse, too! 😉

  10. OMFG! I don’t have ten items in my purse! I counted – there were only six! LOL, I love it that you have a lint roller in there, Lisa. And Ashley, you’re a genius for keeping the movie socks. I’m going to borrow that idea.
    But for the love of Thor’s hammer, how would you possibly unfold what you claim to be a pair of scissors, Lisa?

    • HA HA HA Xae! So impressive…we should take a lesson out of your playbook!
      And I have seen Lisa unfold the scissors, and it is quite a feat! She could totally use it as her Miss America talent! 😉

  11. This makes me feel so much better about my purse – especially the pens. I have at least 20 pens in my purse and only two work and I can never remember which ones they are.

  12. I seriously love you gals! You make me feel so normal! 🙂 I justify everything I carry in my purse with “what if”s. Like, “What if I am somewhere and I get a headache? I will need to have my Advil.” I carry not 1, but 2 little pill cases with different over-the-counter meds in them “just in case”. I also carry at least 2 different flavors of gum at all times, cough drops, lip gloss (you remember my obsession with that!), Kleenex, Tide stain treater (I think I have 2 in there at present), extra Pull-up for my daughter who is nearly done potty training (I hope!), nail file kit, emergency cards, a day planner and an assortment of pens…and I believe a safety pin or 2 (this is on top of keys and other essentials that BELONG in a purse, of course). I purposely keep my purse smaller than I’d like to because I don’t want to get conned into carrying even more stuff for the kiddos or hubster. Yah, that makes me brilliant…until I try to stuff it in there, anyway! *sigh* One day I WILL have normal purse fare, I will!

      • Your justification is right up our alley Julie! Just imagine if all of the sudden we cleaned out our purses…yep, that would definitely be the day someone needed a flashlight! 😉

        • Tell me about it! That’s how I always packed the diaper bag, too – just in case! I can’t tell you how many times I came to the rescue of other moms. Yep…I’m like a super hero…The super hero of seemingly needless stuff…and so are you!!! 😀 We rock! 😉

  13. Loving this blog I can’t with all the stuff in the purses lol. I look at some purses and wonder what color the kitchen sink is. I only keep a few things in my purse one thing is earrings because sometimes I feel naked without them that is about the only odd thing I carry besides the norm.

  14. I no longer call my “purse” a purse. Instead I’ve dubbed it my luggage. I rotate between 1000 huge bags that are large enough to carry my daughters fold up potty. Yes, I have a potty in my luggage. Better than carrying that heavy bag on my shoulder and baby’s backpack. The things we do…

    • HA HA HA!! Your luggage! That is totally awesome. I actually have a good girlfriend who used to carry a potty also! 🙂

  15. Foldable scissors…now that’s just brilliant! And wet wipes are just necessary. I vow to never stop buying them! I think I would be very safe traveling with you!

    • You can totally travel with us whenever you want…granted, the only trips we are taking are to the grocery store, but hey, come on! 🙂

  16. I don’t know what is funnier..the THREE bottles of warm purse water or the flossing gadgets!!! OMGOSH!!! HILARIOUS!!!!!! I’m so with you Lisa on the wipes!!! And the hand washing!!! Ya know they sell those little packs of wipes? They are 99 cents. Just a thought… 😉

  17. My purses used to have all that stuff too. Gum wrappers, sticky pennies, empty lipstick cases, open wet ones packets. Now that my kids are young adults, lately I’ve been literally putting my driver’s license and debit cards in my jeans pocket and some lipgloss in my coat pocket, and I’m good to go. So freeing! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • So, you mean there is hope for us Pam??!! Oh thank God! It is so freeing to know that someday we can just carry what we need in our hands! 😉

  18. You can sometimes find a lint roller in my bag as well. I have a cat and inevitably when I leave the house I look down to find his hair all over my clothes (doesn’t help that his fur is white & orange and I usually wear dark colors). It always amazes how much stuff I think I need to carry on me at all times…makes me wonder how I will ever fit kid essentials when I have children.

    • You will just have to get a bigger bag Bev! 😉 Seriously, though, what you will find with having children is that you still carry a ton of stuff, but the stuff changes! 🙂

  19. One of my least favorite things about moving to the Northeast from the Northwest is how frequently I hear purses referred to as “pocketbooks”. No one under the age of eighty should use the word pocketbook.

    In addition to countless crumpled receipts, my purse holds tweezers (the car seems to have the best lighting to find stray facial hair), spare undies for my three year old (which are more often used as a tissue), and petrified Goldfish parts. My bottles of water are kept in the car, where they are either frozen solid or as hot as bathwater. Yum!

    I’m totally stealing the movie socks idea. Genius!

    • And they aren’t using pocketbook in an ironic way? Yeah, that is definitely a no-go! 😉
      Laughed out loud at the water bottle part of your comment! Oh my Lord, that was awesome! 🙂

  20. At least you were wise to get neutral band aids. Mine are Mrs. happy or something and it seems I always end up needing one. Great list, you two always have me in stitches.

    • Anytime I throw the iPad into my purse, I instantly feel like my already dropping shoulder practically falls to the ground! 😉

    • Isn’t the notebook the best ever!!?? I will be devastated when it is all filled up and I can’t use it anymore!

  21. {Melinda} So funny. I have a love-hate relationship with my purse. I feel naked without it, but I actually only use my wallet, cellphone and keys. Nothing else. That is how useless everything else in my purse is. Perhaps I should just steal the Wristlet I bought for my daughter for Christmas. No. No good. I would spend the rest of my life with that awful feeling that I’ve left my purse somewhere. Even though I no longer carry a purse.

    Woman problems!

    • Yeah, I have completely had that panic moment when I leave my purse in the car and just run in somewhere with my wallet and keys!

  22. This is awesome. I may actually be suffering from purse content envy after reading this. LOL

    And Hansel and Gretel was awesome! At least I thought so. I didn’t have high expectations, so ti was just a fun ride. It’s probably not for everyone, but I had a 70 year old granny behind me crushing on Jeremy Renner pretty hard (duh) and it made it extra entertaining! 😉

  23. Oh my goodness! I now have neck pain in addition to shoulder pain because I was nodding my head all the way through this post. Look at my picture! I have socks, a smushed granola bar, AND foldable scissors in it! It’s hard to see through the mountain of receipts, though. And I took out the 3 water bottles! I should have left them in.
    And I totally hear you on the Wet Wipes! They are in the car. You have to have physical removal of the germs.
    This was hilarious ladies. Well played.

    • BWAH HA HA at your picture!! That is hilarious!
      And we both cracked up at Erin’s true confession about the paper towels! We would definitely be part of the “how do you do it” room! 😉

  24. That was funny! I was shaking with laughter by #3. I am sadly not prepared for any sort of apocalypse – which is surprising, given my Buffy addiction. I think I just assume should I need her, she’ll just show up!

    Now, hopefully, there won’t be a “10 Items Found in the Back of Your Van,” because then I’ll be in trouble!

    • Oh yeah, we could definitely make people cry with the state of our cars!! 😉
      Let’s be real, if you need Buffy she will totally show up! 😉

  25. I need to repack my purse. You just gave me an awesome list for what I’m missing. I haven’t been to the movies since 2004. If I would have cinema socks I could enjpy with everyone else.

    I do have a crap load of scratchers in my purse all the time. I dig them out of the trash. Don’t ask.

    Also, luke warm purse water. The best water ever!

    • But we must ask. Because, you know, like we need to know. Why do you dig them out of the trash? 😉

      And yes, if you had movie socks you would be totally back to theater all the time!

  26. hahaha ya’ll crack me up! If I carry a large purse my shoulder hurts because it is jammed packed with things- one being my DSLR! (Which I love to tote around).

    I try to carry a small purse most days so I don’t embarrase myself at the check out counter pulling out 12,000 items before I find my wallet!! 🙂

    • Oh my Lord, we were just talking about the fact that we have had to do that exact thing at check-out counter!! 😉

  27. Oh my! This is so funny! Ashley I have many of these things – sanitizing wipes, floss sticks, lottery ticktets, and about dozen pens . The other things I have include:earphones, eye drops, allergy medicine etc.. My purse weighs a ton. No weapons, but I could probably use my purse as a club.

    • Great advice Raquel! We will just use our purses as weapons and not even bother trying to dig out our actual “weapons”! 😉

  28. Ok forgive me if I already posted this, but I don’t think it went through: the movies here are SO COLD! I have to bring a blanket, seriously. Once I had to leave a movie that I wanted to see and had paid for because I was so excruciatingly cold.

    If you buy the expensive seat, they give you a blanket.

    • I used to bring blankets to the movies all the time in Texas! It was super cold there, too!
      And I cannot believe that you can receive blanket for more expensive seats…it is like the 1st class of movie theaters! 😉

  29. Hilarious! My son had some fluff all over his pants the other day from our new rug. I rummaged through my purse and pulled out the sticky roll brush. My kids were perplexed. Why on earth did I have that in my bag? I explained it was bcs our cat used to shed so much that I’d roll myself before I went anywhere else, so I always have it in my purse. Satisfying reason, no? Except, my kids exclaimed:” Our cat has been dead for 2 years!!!!” True. But it comes in handy:)

  30. Wow. My back hurts just from reading about the contents of your bags! I carry a clutch that has my license, credit cards, business cards, chapstick and my phone. That’s about it! I’ll grab a bigger bag if I have a meeting. That has extra snacks, pens, my iPad, tissues and hand sanitizer (and probably a few other random things).

    By the way, I can’t view your website in Chrome!

  31. I am currently see a physical therapist and one of the homework assignments she gave me was to clear out my purse. I had no idea I had so much stuff in there. She told me that my neck and shoulder were already a wreck from an injury and that I was only making it worse. I cleared out all of the junk and it was 4 pounds lighter. NO JOKE! I’m pretty sure I could have lived for a year out of that thing. 😉

  32. Hi!
    I love your blog!!!
    Started reading it a few months ago and took me a couple of weeks to get used to and now I am addicted:))
    I love your perspectives and fresh new look on things. Its sooo refreshing!
    I loved your post about forgetting to pick up your son-the BEST!

    I bet you would like my blog too. I think underneath we are very similar girls. I for the moment keep my blog as a record for me and as a reference for the book on parenting and life I am writing, but beginning to show it off a bit more by commenting on some of my fave blogs.
    I think you will like it and would love to know what you think.
    It is called In Search of Sun (weather doesn’t matter..)

    I also am a big fan (and a great friend of) Raising Flowers and Skids. I know you are too!


  33. Love the squished bar…I know I have one like that in my bag, in case the kids are starving somewhere. I also have a pack of crumbling peanut butter crackers and emergency candy.
    A whole canister of wet wipes? Wow. 🙂 I confess I have a ziplock bag with about 20 of them in it. And hand sanitizer.
    I told you on Twitter about the Hot Wheels in my purse. I should have mentioned the collapsible potty seat I have in there…

  34. I had to pick myself up off the floor just to finish reading the list! This is the WHOLE truth! I think our purses are our security blankets. That’s what I tell myself as I’m lugging around all of my crap and my kids crap in my purse! LOVE this post!

  35. Haha! What was I thinking when I quit carrying a purse? Mine always had a ton of change and receipts. Love your blog and am now following. (Visiting from SITS.)

  36. I used to tell my students (and now I tell my kids) that hand sanitizer is okay but it does get off the dirt! Now go wash your hands with soap and water, and for heaven’s sake, make it at least a little less icy cold! (I do not understand kid’s aversion to warm water!)

  37. Remember the show “Let’s Make a Deal?” If you had whatever Monte Hall was looking for, he’d give you money? I used to say my mother would totally win it all; her purse (still to this day!) has everything, including scraps of fabric from every piece of furniture in her house … just IN CASE she finds something that MIGHT match it! Thanks for making me laugh!

  38. Oh, thank you. I now feel SO MUCH better with the massive tote back I carry around with me. Needless to say I have left shoulder issues due to hauling my bag around, but I am afraid to venture out of the house without it.
    Some noteworthy items:
    1. travel toothbrush and toothpaste
    2. makeup bag with smartphone charger, iPod Shuffle and two different types of earbuds
    3. “Chick Bag” filled with pads, tampoons, wipes.
    4. Spray organic hand sanitizer, liquid organic hand sanitizer, standard liquid hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer wipes.
    5. A small pill bottle filled with prescription ibuprofen, Aleve, Benadryl and tranquilizers.
    6. Scented and unscented hand lotion
    7. Facial wipes
    8. A pencil bag with my “portable” office, which includes pens, pencils, highlighters, correct tape, and sticky notes.
    9. A spiral notebook for random notes, lists, ideas, the name of the lipstick I absolutely have to have
    10. Packs of VIA coffee from Starbucks.

    Believe it or not, I also have my wallet in with all this madness.

    Thanks ladies for making me laugh!

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