handbag feng shui
This is my handbag. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s a Hobo. It is worth more than the sum total of anything I will ever put in it. I love it.
These are the things my handbag contains, most days:
  • my diary
  • some pens
  • some business cards
  • my mobile
  • my purse
  • my keys
  • some lip balm, if I remember it.
Sometimes, I compete with myself to see just how little I can get away with carrying around with me. I don’t take my diary out with me, unless I think I’m likely to need it. Sometimes, I don’t even take my bunch of keys out with me; I just take the spare key I keep on the hook by the front door.
I used to have a massive handbag. I used to take emergency make up out with me every day… until I realised I never used it. There used to be several half-used packets of ibuprofen and paracetamol, until I realised that any time I was out and needed pain killers, I was too impatient to rummage through the detritus, and instead just headed for the nearest shop and bought some more (of which I would take two, and then shove into my bag, for next time). For a while, I even carried a box of plasters… they usually went along in the same way as the pain killers, and now I have a drawer in my living room, literally filled with plasters.
I know people whose handbags could quite feasibly be used as a weapon. My mother’s handbag is like a brick on a string; it is so crammed full of crap that when she removes her purse to pay for something, you have to wrestle to get the thing back in. If she buys a new handbag, she transfers the junk from one bag to the other, without ever going through it to check what it is, whether she needs it, whether she ever needed it.Yes, this is the post where I make handbags into a metaphor for life.

“You can’t fly if your wings are holding the baggage of yesterday. Let go. Fly.” 
― Steve Maraboli
In the same way that the state of your living space reflects the state of your head, I think the things you carry around in your handbag can be a good barometer for how much you’re carrying around with you, generally.
I’ve written before about how my house was a mess when I was going through a breakdown. I really think that what you’re carting about with you in your handbag, every single day, everywhere you go, is bringing you down. You might not notice it; you might just shove those receipts out of the way every time you’re rummaging in the bottom of your bag. You might lose track of what’s in there, and routinely come back with a handful of loose change for parking, or a half-eaten chocolate bar. Or worse!
I used to go to school with a girl who once, while rummaging for her French text book, pulled out an exercise book covered in yogurt and remarked, “oh… I haven’t had yogurt for lunch this week…”
Incidentally, this also applies to the men who have been in my life. S’s father, who is by far the most bonkers person I’ve ever been with, used to carry a full-on camping pack to and from work with him every day. It was crammed with… well, I’ve no idea what was in it to be honest – but he carried it back and forth every day. It was big enough to take on a 2-day camping trip and still have space for the tent!

Take a look in your handbag right now. Can you see the bottom?  Do you really need to take all that crap, every single time you leave the house? Are you carrying around huge mounds of crap with you, all day, every day?


Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.


Jaime Nicole · 22/04/2014 at 14:07

Love that HOBO! And yes, my purse is a disgusting mess and heavy. Thank you for inspiring me to CLEAN it OUT today!

Vinodini Iyer · 22/04/2014 at 14:41

Hahaha….sounds familiar! I do keep removing junk from my bag on and off…but it really waits for days on end! After reading this, I'm gonna do it right away :)

size15stylist · 27/04/2014 at 20:49

I try to carry as little as possible, and keep a lip balm and pen in my purse (which is so big it's normally half the size of any bag) but I can't travel without my Kindle and earphones!

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