How to De-Clutter Your Bag And Never Lose Your Keys Again

I tend to be a pretty organized person. OK, that's maybe a bit of an understatement. How’s this: I might be the most organized person on the planet. It’s sort of a blessing and a curse because, on the one hand, I always know where everything is, but on the other, sometimes I just want to throw my clothes on a chair and relax at the end of the day instead of folding them perfectly … and reordering all my drawers while I’m at it.

People always seemed impressed—even amazed!—by my obsessively organized bag. I carry a ton of stuff at all times and hate having to riffle through it to find my keys, Metrocard or phone, so I’ve developed a system to keep everything in order. One word: pouches. Big pouches, small pouches, teensy pouches—I’ve got a pouch for just about everything. Makeup gets its own bag, of course, but then lipsticks get a smaller sub-pouch within that. Same with vitamins and medicine, cash and spare change and hair supplies. I also have an emergency pouch with things like Band-Aids, tissues, toothpicks (they get their own case, obviously), tampons and a Tide pen for on-the-fly stain removal. And I even have a pouch (this is where people tend to roll their eyes when I tell them about my setup) that is filled with nothing but other bags, each in their own individual pouch. Laugh all you want, but I am always prepared when I go to the grocery store.

My system isn’t just about finding toothpicks in a millisecond, it also has something to do with the fact that so many pouches are crazy cute. I’d rather be looking at these than at a bunch of clutter. See for yourself, above: The bird phone case in the top left is by Virginia Johnson, who makes wool and leather iPhone pouches. The bright floral makeup case at the bottom middle is from the collection that Sarah Campbell made for West Elm. The plaid tissue pouch next to the keychain fob was a random vintage find from Portland, Maine. The purse is Clare Vivier. And all the rest are from Baggu—they make my favorite grocery bags, and their leather pouches look and feel super luxe, but don’t cost a fortune, which is great for an obsessed pouch person like myself.

What are you waiting for? Buy some pouches and get organized!


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