Organizing Your Bag

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OK, for most of us, our “bag” would be our purse, but I wanted to be gender neutral here as much as possible. There are some ADD Dads out there :). So, the following ideas could be applied to a briefcase, man bag, purse, diaper bag, or tote bag.

Did you ever get in line behind one of those women with the big bags, and when it comes time to pay, she’s digging through the depths of her purse looking for her wallet, checkbook, or credit card? Maybe you’ve even been that person. It sure does frustrate and aggravate people, doesn’t it?

Those of us with ADHD seem to be challenged somewhat when it comes to keeping things organized, especially something you can close up and no one can see, like a bag.

Here’s how to make sure you can find what you need easily and quickly. Not only that, you’ll be able to switch bags in no time.

(By the way, just for fun, here’s the bag my daughter Caitlin carries, except hers is bright pink. The description says it is 18″ – that’s a foot and a half – wide and 12″ or 1 foot high. It’s much bigger and more garish looking in person.)

Caitlin's Bag - Much more garish in person

OK, so if you were anyone besides my daughter with the big purse, here’s how you can keep your bags neat and tidy:

I guess you need to start by cleaning everything out of the bag and sorting it into some kind of categories. Sorry, I know this is the worst part.

Categories for me include: money, electronics, glasses, pen and paper, and cosmetics.

For each category you have, buy a small zippered bag – like the ones they sell to hold your cosmetics. Make sure each one is different in terms of color or design. You want to be able to tell them apart. You might want some to be bigger than others, too.

Here are some I found at The Groovy Mommy.


Decide which stuff goes into which bag. For me, every bag I own or buy has those compartments for your phone and pda, so that’s where I put my cell and iPod. They don’t need a bag. Also, whether you choose to use a bag for your money is up to you. I have a wallet that holds my cards, but when I’m shopping, it’s usually easier to throw spare change and receipts into the money bag and then organize it in my wallet when I get home.

Lipstick, tissue, hand cream, etc goes into my cosmetics bag. And since I’m old now and need 2 pairs of glasses plus sunglasses, I find it easier to put them all in a separate bag along with cleaning wipes.

When you get done, you’ll have an organized bag with 4 or 5 things in it instead of 100. It will be easy to find what you want when you want it, and easy to switch to a cute new purse whenever you want!

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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