Closet Tour: Bags

We all have stuff. And many of us have stuff to store that stuff in. But what about the stuff we have to carry our stuff?

Bags. They let us get out and experience the world with whatever we need to do it. While they can help us go and do, having too many (of anything) can become a hindrance

Three years ago, I would have been horrified if I let the internet see what owned me I owned. But I’ve come a long way! So today I’m sharing what I own that helps me get from A to B.

Purses (and why do we have so many?)

I always had a couple dozen purses so that I could always match what I was wearing – and they were all cheap. My most expensive purse was from H&M and clocked in at about $24.

Not that you have to own expensive bags and purses. I’m just saying that when the nicest purse you own is an H&M impulse buy, it’s a pretty good look into how disposable and unintentional your collection is.

Purses are a super-functional opportunity to make a statement about yourself, and they can be cheap. Hence the purse trap: you don’t realize how many you’ve accrued until you start taking them out of the closet.

So a few years ago I sorted through all my junky purses and left myself with a single, red cross-body purse. It was so small that my phone, keys and wallet made it look overstuffed. But it was my purse, the purse, and I stuck with it all day, every day.

My husband started noticing it’s raggedness and encouraged me to treat myself to something that was a little bigger and that made me happy. He encouraged me multiple times. (I think it might have been more ragged than I remember!)

My one purse

My next purse needed to meet three qualifications: quality construction, larger than the last one, and beautiful.

I didn’t worry too much about it matching anything because, honestly, I don’t care. I just want it to do it’s job and make me happy while it’s doing it (meaning it had to be colorful). And that’s when I found my Sakroots convertible purse/backpack:

My super bright new purse

My super bright new purse

It can be worn as a backpack too!

It can be worn as a backpack too!

So there you have it: my one purse that actually fits everything I need to fit into it. Now what about non-daily bags?

Travel and work bags

The rest are a little less fun, but highly functional:

  • Laptop Bag: This baby was a brand new shopgoodwill.com find that suits my remote work perfectly. It makes me feel professional in public, and it just makes me happy overall – come on, just look at that yellow.
  • Backpack: This, my high school backpack, used to be what I carried my laptop around in. It has too many pockets for casual cafe-working, so I tended to stuff it with things I didn’t need to bring. Now, I use it as my personal item on planes. 10+ years and still going strong!
  • Suitcase: There’s nothing for scale in the image below, but this lil’ guy is small enough to fit in an overhead compartment. Alongside my backpack, I don’t need any more luggage space when traveling. Note: I’ve never traveled extensively abroad, so I don’t know if I’d need more space for that or not.
  • Overnight bag: My PINK bag is super multipurpose: no zippers makes it great for carrying yarn, it’s washable so it’s toted rabbit supplies and of course, it’s my favorite color. This straightforward bag has served me for several years and I think it will continue on for many more to come.

So there you have it – a peek into what bags I consider essential. What would you like to see next: shoes, dresses, tops?

And what are your toting essentials?

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11 thoughts on “Closet Tour: Bags

  1. I’ve been through so many purses over the years! It took me forever to realize that the one-shoulder thing does not work for me though other people look comfortable and snazzy carrying them. Now my count is 2 small cross-body bags, one one-shoulder bag, one messenger bag, and uh… 5 backpacks of various sizes for various activities, from running to laptop-toting to backpacking. One overnight duffel. One rolling suitcase. And several shopping/yarn/etc totes. Not minimalist by far, but better than I used to be! 🙂

    I don’t know if this is relevant to you, but workout gear? Do you have a paring down routine for activewear? If not, how about stuff for special occasions? Do you buy a new dress/shoes for every formal occasion?

    • Oh of course, it’s all about finding what works best for you! I definitely have cut down on my activewear, I will do a post on that soon (I used to run a lot of races, so I had a lot of race t-shirts that I had quite an emotional connection to). Special occasions I have a couple of dresses that I cycle between – I add sweaters/wraps based on the season and belts to dress them up or down. I kind of keep track where I wear them and take that into consideration when I’m planning on going to another event – have I worn that dress around friends recently? If so, I’ll wear the one that I wore to a family event then instead. But honestly, I don’t really take too much time with that – I know that I look good and feel good in what I own, so if someone has a problem with it then that has nothing to do with me! I keep shoes simple as well – only a pair of black pumps, grey heels and sandal heels for dressier occasions.

  2. I used to have a Coach addiction but have since sold a lot of them. I still have a few that I rotate when I need a change of color. I like bigger tote bags because I always have a book with me. I’ve stopped buying smaller ones because I realized they just sit in the closet.

  3. I love this story. I’m trying to decide how to pair down my many bags, but it’s difficult to do. Even my husband suggested that I get rid of the many cheap bags and invest in a quality bag. I’m currently working on it!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Tanya! My suggestion is to go through them once to decide which ones you *definitely* don’t want. Then give yourself a week or a month to get used to your new bag collection. Go back through them after some time has passed and try to get rid of just a few more at a time! It gets easier each time you go through it, and it’s kind of a nice snowball affect instead of a massive change all at once.

  4. I finally downsized my purse to a small crossbody bag. It started as an experiment that has been working out since July, so now I feel pretty comfortable buying one really nice purse instead of having multiple cheap purses that I really didn’t like for one reason or another. It may take awhile to find exactly what I want, but at least I know what I am looking for and hopefully I won’t compromise too much! Other than that, I have one tote style purse for when we travel either for the weekend or on vacation. It fits snacks, water and my Chromebook, books, magazines or Nook depending on where we are going.

    • Perfect! I love the intention you have with bags. I love knowing for sure what purse I’m using at all times since I only have the one – I used to just lose my wallet in one of my dozen purses, so having a straightforward choice is so refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ok, I need to go home and get rid of some purses! I don’t have that many – maybe 10 or 12 – but the truth is that I only usually use one. It’s just too much hassle to change one out! I’ve got a cheapo pleather zebra print that I’m calling my fall bag and three different shades of pink purses that I use in summer. The rest need to go! Some I’ve probably only used once or twice! I have an incredibly cute blue jeany hipster looking bag that I use for my Ipad and Kindle. My problem is tote bags or weekend bags. I love them and have about 5 when you really only need the one right? I also have a set of luggage. So, I think I’ll go home this weekend and weed out! I think you need to pick something each week and that will motivate me to go through my own items. Just wait until last to do shoes!

    • It is a hassle! It also made me super disorganized because sometimes I’d just leave important things in other purses and forget about them…I will start doing more closet tours and sharing how I deal with things! Shoes were huge for me – I had so many and I always just left them all out, so they were a big stress point (and a total tripping hazard). Thanks for sharing!

      • Oh my, my roommate is drowning our house in shoes. Possibly, she will read this wonderful blog, and begin to ” Let it go “. This is my first time reading through your perspective, very motivational, thanks.

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