What’s in my purse?

What’s in my purse?

When my internet friend Carrie Willard (recommended reading!) asked me to share a peak inside my purse for a fun link-up she’s hosting today, I wasn’t sure about the idea. I loved her premise: “Looking into a woman’s purse is a peek into her inner world.” But the contents of my purse are NOT that exciting, y’all.

But then I dumped out the contents on the kitchen floor, and sure enough … I was surprised by what I found. So here goes.

The purse:

• The Abera Crossbody Tote from fashionABLE, in cognac

The contents:

• My bullet journal, of course. It’s the Leuchtturm 1917, with my current go-to Uniball Signo 207 tucked inside. Plus a couple more pens, for good measure. (I always have more than one pen on me!)

My current read.

• A tiny Field Notes journal (that I haven’t written in in ages).

• Headphones (this JVC Gumy Plus style).

• My wallet, which is a souvenir-of-sorts from my mom’s trip to Italy last year. (Thanks, Mom!)

• A necklace that I’ve been searching for for months! 

• My iPhone.

• Altoids and gum, one for me; one for our recovering nail-biter.

• Two business cards: one has been there a week, one has been there for months.

• Gift cards to my local coffee shop.

• Gold chocolate coins, belonging to my children, from our family Christmas dinner. (They’ll be happy I decided to play along with Carrie today!)

• A cake tester my mother-in-law gave me while we were at her house for Christmas, because she had extras, which I promptly forgot about.

• The personal care stuff: Aquaphor (couldn’t live without it), lip balm (from Grove, love their stuff), Ibuprofen (just in case), a long-lost favorite ponytail holder (notice a theme here?), and two perfume samples of unknown origin.

• SEVEN rolls of dental floss, because when my kids were at the pediatric dentist last week our favorite hygienist dumped a handful in my hand, because, in her words, “You can never have enough floss.” (She may be right, but I’m only putting one roll back in my purse!)

What’s in your purse? I’d love to hear about your indispensables, your offbeat favorites, and the just-plain-strange in comments. 

P.S. Peek into more purses over at Carrie’s blog, and feel free to share your own contents if you’d like.


  1. Ooh your pics are so pretty! I really need to take a photography class. I was gifted with a decent camera and it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since. I’m scared to touch it, I think. 🙂

  2. I recently cleaned out my closet, which involved finding some old purses and dumping stuff out (to see if they were then respectable enough to be donated). Answer: gross. Who knew I liked gum so much, and that over time it would kind of seep out of the wrappers and onto everything? I don’t even want to redeem the loose change I found.

  3. This is a fun experiment and a great time to clean out the purse. I use Thirty-One Gift purses. I’m currently using one you can no longer get. It holds the cards I use all the time like debit, grocery store, & library card, gum, my business cards, grove collaborative chap stick, and Young Living deep relief roll on. When I am out and about, it contains my keys and phone. I keep a mini zipper pouch from Thirty-One ready to drop into a larger purse or bag if the occasion calls for it. It contains pens/pencil, sharpie, band-aids, ibuprofen, prescription, and pad.

  4. Odette says:

    I’m a minimalist in what I carry in my navy blue Dooney & Bourke: Chic Sparrow Travelers-style notebook (passport-size) that I use as a wallet with a pink (discontinued) Coleto pen, two pairs of glasses in one case (sun and regular), keys, phone, Chapstick, lipgloss and a pill case from Scotland. Hmm..thinking I’ll ditch the lipgloss. I never use it. Yay! Decluttering!

  5. Mary Lou says:

    My purse is pretty boring right now because I just cleaned it out yesterday, but I once found something very unusual in my purse. I was in church, reached into my purse, and pulled out, along with whatever it was I was searching for, my daughter’s bra. She had changed clothes in our van for a ballet lesson earlier in the week and apparently decided to put her bra into my purse.

  6. Samantha says:

    Speaking of favorite pens, do you use washi tape? I’ve been using it in my new InkWELL Press planner and I’ve been using the Sharpie Ultra Fine markers, after extensive research, these are supposedly the best for washi tape, but they dry out within days… any suggestions??

  7. Janet Miles says:

    I don’t carry a purse much any longer since all the kids are grown and the only places I go are for quick errands or deliveries of work. I usually just carry my wallet, which has a handle and a side pocket for my phone. When I do use a purse it is usually for shopping and then I carry my wallet and some fold up reusable bags since we have to provide our own here in CA. I didn’t see car keys?

  8. Susan says:

    I raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and my purse definitely reveals that! In addition to all the normal paraphernalia (wallet, keys, pens, reusable shopping bag) I have a small zippered bag that contains clean up bags, a foldable water bowl, high value food rewards and business cards that explain about raising puppies. You would love the zippered bag, made by Out of Print. It’s printed to look like a library card!

  9. Dana says:

    Right now I am carrying a handmade felted wool purse I bought at a craft show.I love quirky one-of-a-kind bags. In it I have my red leather wallet, glasses/glasses case, phone, a small sketchbook for doodling, list-making and writing ideas, a pocket calendar, 3 Micron pens which are great for drawing and writing, Philosophy lipstick, purse-size Kleenex and my latest read…Show Your Work! By Austin Kleon and loose change.

  10. Rachel says:

    I spy a familiar name…Heine Brothers! I didn’t realize you were from the Louisville area but you have great taste 🙂 One of my local favorites. Really enjoy your blog!

  11. Rose Booth says:

    The scariest thing in my purse is a headless Cinderella figurine. I sometimes post pictures with a new Cinderella figurine, in the spirit of flat Stanley or the traveling troll. I haven’t had the heart to throw out the decapitated Cinderella 🙂

  12. Gale Dupell says:

    I use a cross-body Bagalinni purse with lots of pockets & section into which I add content designated pouches. I have similar contents with a pouch for receipts if a place doesn’t email receipts. Also a small bright flashlight which has come in handy many times, a sewing retractable tape measure (lightweight) & asthma rescue inhalent. I empty the receipt pouch every time I get home all others stay the same. I review the contents periodically but these stay as I’ve used them far more often than I expect & rarely on a planned basis. Add a kindle if going for medical appointments but just for the outing.

  13. Liza says:

    What’s in my purse?

    I carry a Joyn India bucket tote. In it, I have a zipper bag with a 4-pack of Stadetler pens, a tul pen (my new fave), a mechanical pencil, 2 sharpies (black and pink), a tape measure, a flashlight, and a Swiss army card (like a knife but credit card shaped). I have another zipper pouch with an epi-pen, inhaler, Benadryl, Zyrtec, and latex free band-aids. (Dang allergies!) Another zipper pouch holds lipstick, a mirror, lip balm, tweezers, and nail file. I have two fold-up reusable bags. I have a small snap pouch that holds membership cards (zoo, science museum, Lego store, etc). There is my wallet, two sets of keys (I keep house keys separate from car keys), and my phone. And a pair of socks and a whole bunch of cookie crumbs that I can’t seem to get out of the corners at the bottom. Often but not always, I have my day planner and my kindle in there, too.

    Lately, though, I’ve done a lot of grabbing my wallet and keys and leaving the purse at home.

  14. Erin says:

    My purse is far away and my recliner is REALLY comfortable, but I know that it currently contains my Sunday School lesson book, a plastic medal I won at summer camp back in July, and about 500 gum wrappers because I have a problem. 😉

  15. Maryalene says:

    I’m super impressed by the lack of receipts in your purse! I think Half my purse contents are balled up receipts…definitely need to find a better system than simply shoving them in after every transaction.

  16. Nicholette says:

    Well I was originally just going to comment on the floss but since everyone else is mentioning their purse I’ll at least say my purse is from Walmart but my husband bought it for me on my last trip to see my mom before she passed, so although it was relatively inexpensive it still holds a lot of value.

    I work at a dental office so I agree about the floss! Apparently flossing was taken off FDA’s rules this year because it’s never been proven to improve dental health but I will tell you right now kids that don’t floss (or water pik!) will most likely have cavities in between their teeth. Good for the hygienist!

  17. Kitty Skinner says:

    I have a Vera Bradley cross-body purse. It’s small but I can’t carry heavy purses. Inside is a glasses case for my sunglasses, a two-year pocket calendar and a small notebook for things I want to remember or to transfer to my Bullet Journal. There is also a small pill bottle and a pill box for those pills that I have to take at a certain time, Naked Bee lip balm, a container of Advil the size of a lipstick. I carry a tiny wallet about the size of a pack of cards, a mirror I got from Asilomar, a flashlight the size of a card that you squeeze to turn on, and of course my keys. In the outside pocket is a free emery board I got at a conference, my pen, and my cell phone.
    Oh, and lest I forget, I slip my Nook in between the glasses case and calendar, so I always have something to read. For full disclosure, the glasses case, little notebook and wallet are also Vera Bradley. They’re carried at the gift shop in the hospital where I work, and when they have a sale I sometimes can’t resist.

  18. Angela says:

    I always have a bar of emergency chocolate – like a full bar of Lindt or Ghirardelli – in my purse because you never know when you’ll need it. My sister does the same thing! I also always carry a book with me (and that’s because of your Reading Challenge, so thanks!) And without meaning to, I end up with multiple lipsticks/glosses and movie ticket stubs.

  19. Jamie says:

    I currently have a stack of blank participant surveys from our house building program in my purse. Been meaning to return them to the department but keep forgetting.
    Also, for about two weeks, I also carried around a fork. Yes, a fork.

  20. Karen says:

    My current “purse” is a Ju-Ju-Be bag my daughter gave me. Purple, naturally. It was my knitting bag and when I got tired of carrying both, I just moved what I needed to my knitting bag and called it a day!
    So, in addition to glasses, keys, wallet (purple – are you sensing a theme?), large comb, and a “clear” bag with gum, flossers, dental floss (because I really can’t have enough!), mints and stevia packets – I have two knitting projects (because 1 isn’t enough), my BuJo, my iPad, and a second “clear” bag of knitting essentials. And pens. Especially a couple of purple ones…. (Projects: dish cloth shaped like a house in gray kitchen Cotten for my SIL & Spindrift Shawl from Ravelry in a nice black/gray/white gradient for me)

  21. AngD says:

    My husband bought me a Douney Bourke Shopping Tote for our anniversary – Disney Cruise themed. It’s filled with smaller Disney themed bags. Most have medicines or such in them. I do have a lovely little Monet notebook in one pocket and my phone and mints and all of that stuff. It is packed. I carry way too much stuff.

  22. Katie says:

    Among other things, my purse always contains at least two Hot Wheels cars and probably a family of dinosaurs…because toddlers.

    And I’ve abandoned my lifelong love of wintergreen Altoids in favor of Trader Joe’s Ginger Mints. All the heart eyes.

  23. How fun! I should do one of these but something I always have that I don’t see in yours is makeup, a Baggu bag, tissues and a cloth to clean my glasses.

    PS The first usage of “peak” in your post should be “peek”.

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