It’s All in the Bag
Purses and totes are fabulous accessories, but wearing too many at once can hurt your shoulders, cramp your style and make it hard to hold onto your child. Here are a few bags and packing tips to help make your on-the-go life easier — and prettier
Mom of preschooler
The ideal bag Ready to ditch the diaper bag? Choose a roomy, multi-functional tote (one you can also use as your gym bag, for example) with different compartments. Our pick: Lug Mini Puddle Jumper Day Bag.
Essentials for child Stash a healthy snack and bottle of water, a change of underwear and shirt, Band-Aids, antibacterial cream and a package of tissues. Don’t forget a fun activity. “It could be as simple as a pouch with some paper and crayons,” says Blazer.
Must-haves for mom Keep toting what you did when your youngster was a baby.
Mom of School-ager
The ideal bag Since most of your child’s belongings are in his backpack, pick a purse just for you. Our pick: Aldo Thoren, $48, aldoshoes.com/ca.
Essentials for child “You’ll probably still need to have some Band-Aids, tissues, wipes and a bottle of water with you,” says Demke.
Must-haves for mom More space means you can add some compact beauty aids. A hand cream (such as Glysomed), a nail file, and face powder for touchups (such as Marcelle Minerals Powder Make-up) are nice additions. You might want to bring your iPod, a magazine and a fold-up shopping bag too.
Purge your purse
Declutter for more comfortable carrying.
1. Say goodbye bulk “You’re looking to reduce anything that has weight,” says Blazer. Choose paperbacks instead of hardcover books, and put your appointments and grocery list into your cellphone, rather than packing your agenda.
2. Ditch duplicates You don’t need four of the same item, such as lipsticks or toys, so just take one, says Demke.
3. Think double duty Try to bring things that can serve more than one purpose. Take snacks and a bottle of water that you and your child can share. And pack a cellphone that snaps quality pictures, so you don’t have to tote a camera.
4. Clear out regularly Once a week, purge your bag of unneeded items, such as receipts and excess coins. And if you find stuff you haven’t touched in a while, take it out. “If you’re not using it every week, it doesn’t deserve a place in your bag,” Demke says.
To keep smaller items (makeup, baby’s soother, teething ring, etc.) separate and contained in your bag, use resealable bags or clear, zippered pencil cases, says Tina Blazer, owner of Spot On Organizing.