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16 Things You Should Always Carry in Your Handbag

Updated on May 28, 2017

Handbag Essentials

We have all had instances when we wished we would have been carrying a certain item in our handbag. The best way to avoid this is to plan ahead and always keep a collection of helpful items in your purse. You will definitely be glad you took some time to stock up on all of the essentials.

Mints and Gum

Mints and gum are definitely useful items to carry in your bag. For example, having a mint available after eating a meal with onions is definitely a plus, especially when you are in close proximity of others.

Tissue pack

You never know when you may need a tissue. Tissues have come in handy for me in so many situations. I prefer using the small pre-packaged tissues, rather than stuffing a wad of loose tissues in my purse (ex: they don’t tear and get all over your purse), but either does the job.


Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is definitely a must for me. You never know what you are going to have to touch throughout the day. It is useful before eating out at a restaurant, touching something sticky (never pleasant) and so much more.


Cuts and scrapes beware. Carrying band-aids are never a bad idea. Cuts are never welcomed or expected, but they will inevitably occur at some point. Even if you are not the one in need of a band-aid, at least you will have one handy for anyone else in need.

Phone Charger

I don’t know about you, but sometimes having a dead phone while out is just not a very good situation. I have had a time or two when my phone was completely dead and I really wished I had remembered to bring my phone charger. If you are able to use an outlet wherever you are, a phone charger is definitely helpful in this situation.

Contact Solution or Cloth for Glasses

It’s never fun to be stuck with dirty glasses or contacts. Try carrying a microfiber cloth for glasses or a small container of contact solution just in case your glasses or contacts get dirty.


Glasses and Case

Especially if you wear contacts, carry a lightweight glasses case in your purse in the event that something happens to your contacts. In the past, I have torn a contact, felt dust in my contact, and have experienced so many other instances that have caused my eyes to feel very uncomfortable. When these situations happened, I was glad I could take out my contacts and have my glasses nearby.

Pencils and Pens

Having a pencil and a pen at all times is always helpful. There are so many situations where you may need one. For example, you may need to fill out and sign a document, fill out an application at a store etc. This one is pretty self-explanatory.

Necessities for “that time of the month”

You just never know when you may need these products. It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry and carry at least a few items with you at all times.


Lip Product

Carrying around a “wearable” colored lip product is always handy. I have taken advantage of this in situations where I just felt like I was too pale, or when I was sick and needed to look more put together. Or maybe you just like to reapply to retain a fresh look. Whatever the situation is, carrying a lip product can’t hurt.

What item do you always carry in your bag?

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Nail Polish Remover

Carrying a small travel-sized bottle of nail polish remover can be very helpful. I have had many instances throughout the years when my nail polish wasn’t looking very good and I had forgotten to remove it the night before work or school. Having nail polish remover to take away the not-so-professional-looking nail polish in between classes or in the restroom at work is very useful.

Mini Hairbrush

This one has always been useful for me. If your hair ever needs a little bit of extra care from the activities of the day, a small hairbrush is definitely convenient. They are inexpensive at the drug store and a great size to fit in many sizes of purses.

Body Spray

If you have the space, body spray is always nice to have if just want to freshen up, or just feel like spritzing on some body spray. I personally like the small body sprays from Bath and Body Works. Body spray is especially useful on busy days or days when you are very active.


Hair Ties and Bobby Pins

I don’t know about you, but I am always losing hair ties and bobby pins, and whenever I need one, I never seem to have one. Keeping a small bag with several hair ties and bobby pins is so convenient.


I always keep a snack in my purse, which comes in handy all the time. I often eat a snack while I am driving from one place to another and I just need something small to tide me over until the next meal. I tend to carry Nature Valley granola bars, but I may also carry fruit snacks, or make up a small bag of cereal or other snacks.

Nail File and Nail Clippers

Have you ever had a hangnail or broken a nail while out and about? This can be very annoying and maybe even painful. I have never been sorry I carried a nail file and nail clippers to help me out in this situation.

Carry What Works Best For You

Everyone's situation is different, and depending on your daily lifestyle, choose what items apply the best to you. It is always convenient to have a few necessities with you wherever you go in your bag. You will definitely be glad for them whenever an unexpected situation happens.


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    • Erica Harel profile image

      Erica Harel 4 months ago from Tel Aviv

      Great tips! I also find it helpful to carry one of those lightweight foldable shopping bags inside my bag. Even if you carry a big bag, it's great to have a backup "schlepp" bag inside ... especially for groceries. And reusable fabric or mesh bags are great for the environment - no plastic supermarket bags necessary.