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True life: you’re a little jealous of Mary Poppins for being able to store all of her stuff in her handbag.  Talk about organizational skills!

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Wallet, because duh. If you don’t want to carry your full wallet, at least have a state ID and a debit or credit card on you.

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Phone. Bonus points if it’s a smartphone and you can have helpful apps like Ibotta, Google Maps, and Seamless right at your fingertips. And yes, there’s always a need to be able to order Seamless from your phone!

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Keys.

Old metal keys on vintage book.
Old metal keys on vintage book.

A notebook and pen; not just for writing down your brilliant ideas, but also to keep track of shopping lists and other housekeeping tasks. Plus, the next time you meet your future bae at a bar, you don’t have to use a gross napkin to pass your number along.

 

Chapstick for when you a) need to easily bump up your beauty game or for b) when you actually have chapped lips.

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Hand sanitizer. Especially if you live in a city, use public transportation, or interact with a lot of people throughout the day.

Having a travel-sized bottle of pain reliever saves you from keeping too much stuff in your bag, but also helps you be the hero when you have a friend who isn’t feeling well and needs help.

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Headphones or earbuds so you can rock out to your tunes on an as-needed basis.

 

 

 

A stylish water bottle so you never have to buy overpriced water form a convenience store again.

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Some light reading will help you kill time when needed, and also makes you look more intelligent. (Admit it – we’d much rather be the girl on the subway reading Pride & Prejudice than playing Candy Crush again.)

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A compact mirror that snaps shut (meaning that it won’t open while it’s in your bag and scuff up easily).  Then again, if you’re adept with your smartphone, you can use that as a mirror as well.

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Remember to keep in your wallet, a list of emergency contacts/squad members who can help you when you’re in a pinch. Using a payphone might sound retro, but if your phone is dead and old school is your only option, you need something that doesn’t require battery life to reference.

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And, of course, anything else you think is necessary for you to have on your person. Happy bag-carrying, ladies!

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