Adulting Checklist: 15 Things All Grown Women Should Keep In Their Purse (& 5 To Toss)

It could be said that purses are like portable survival kits that help women (and everyone they love) get through life. While some people may just see them as frivolous fashion accessories, anyone that carries a purse knows that quite the opposite is true.

In fact, purses are proof of how many ladies have mastered the art of being fashionable and practical with their style choices.

Of course, every once in a while, it is important to update those survival kits. Adjustments must be made to consider changing schedules, possible job changes, aging technology, new workout routines, and more. Besides, most ladies can get into the habit of stuffing everything in our purses and forgetting about it for a good millennia or two.

Thankfully, there are ways to help figure out what items are must-haves and which ones a gal can clear out of her purse. While it's nice to be prepared for anything the world may throw at them, every lady knows that chronic shoulder pain is no joke.

Start embracing that "new year, new me" attitude by throwing out all the useless junk at the bottom of that cute bag. It will literally be a weight lifted off of sore shoulders. Then, restock with these key must-haves.

20 Baby Wipes Have A Million Uses


If you haven't yet been awakened to the infinite uses of baby wipes, you can thank us later. These are a purse essential because they're multi-functional, so they can replace quite a few other products you may have in your bag.

Whether you need some way to clean your hands or you spill something or you're forced to use a neglected public restroom, baby wipes can save the day in any of these situations.

Of course, if you have a child or happen to be a nanny, the functionality of these little lifesavers only increases your potential to handle sticky situations.

19 Safety Pins Come In Handy For Wardrobe Malfunctions

Where To Get It

It's one of those things you may get teased for carrying. Some may even began referring to your purse as a "Mary Poppins bag" if these discover you have these (we're not speaking from personal experience at all) but these naysayers will be eating their words when they find themselves in a bind. All sorts of wardrobe malfunctions can easily and quickly be aided by a safety pin.

Stuck zippers and straps can be temporarily fixed without a trip home, and if your purse breaks because you've stuffed too much in it, you can use a safety pin from inside your purse to fix it. Meta...

18 Business Cards Make Anyone Look Like They've Got Their Lives Together


It doesn't matter what line of work you're in, business card often come in handy. You never know when you'll be unexpectedly networking with someone in a cafe line that happens to be in the same industry as you.

Business cards also have uses aside from their primary function because they're a quick and easy way to give someone your contact info.

If you find yourself wanting to leave your info for a cute guy or gal, IG handles are always an option, but a business card is certainly a good way to level up.  They'll immediately know you're not the type to be cool with the first date at Taco Bell. Unless you are...

17 Tissues Are A Winter Essential


It's never cute to be the person at the movies, or a board meeting, or anywhere sniffling every few seconds because you can't get your hands on a tissue. You know what we're talking about. At some point we've been that person as well, but not since we started putting tissues in our purse. Especially during winter, these are essential. Even if you don't find yourself needing them, you could help someone out by sharing your packet. Additionally, tissues are also great for small messes or unexpected emotional displays in public.

There's nothing wrong with crying about nothing while you're on your period, but you might not feel like explaining to your barista.

16 Even Minimalists Need Chapstick

Getty Images

Chapstick is especially essential for winter, but really it is important for any time of year. Regardless of where we're going and how small our purse is, we always make sure to carry this one essential.

It's up to you to decide whether makeup products are a daily essential, but we'd absolutely recommend keeping your lips hydrated.

Luckily, chapsticks take up a minimal amount of space. If you ever consider skipping it, remember that licking your lips only makes them drier. Nothing wrong with running into the object of your affection makeup-free, but chapstick free? We wouldn't think of it.

15 Mint Can Help Prevent Embarrassing Moments


However small your purse may be, you can likely find a container of mints tailored to that size. We'd say that they're worth carrying, even if you don't plan on getting up close and personal with anyone. If you have more garlic than you bargained for at dinner, or even if you're running to the corner store before having brushed your teeth, accidents happen, and you may end up getting closer to someone than expected (even in perfectly platonic situations).

Rather than being stranded in a situation where you know your breath smells and it's too late to do anything, simply carry a small tin of mints.

14 Feminine Products Are Helpful When Mother Nature Decides To Surprise Us

Falieros Arti Store

As the old saying goes, it's better safe than sorry. That's why it's always best to carry around your preferred feminine products for when your cycle decides to take you by surprise.

If you happen to be the forgetful type, it's also better to just always have them on hand so you don't have to keep up with when to put it in your purse.

Let's not forget that keeping a tampon or pad handy is also a great way to help out a fellow woman in need. If you carry just one, it won't even take up that much space!

13 Hair Ties Are Useful For Making Friends


Speaking of purse items that can help you make friends, hair ties are of course a no-brainer. It's a small thing that many of us often forget to carry around, but if you're performing a physical activity or it happens to be summer, hair ties can be a serious life saver.

Even if you have short hair, we suggest keeping one of these around, they can be a great ice breaker at that yoga class you've been attending. Breaking a sweat is so much more fun when you have someone to chat with!

12 A Pen Is An Often Forgotten Essential


Because most of us have gotten used to having our phones on hand 24/7, we take for granted that pen and paper can still be useful in a lot of situations. If you happen to be trying to decrease your dependency on your phone, or you're just one of those people that's always at 1%, pens are still helpful.

Keeping a pen around can be convenient if you need to jot down a note or someone's number.

It can also help you bring back those days of doodling on paper when you're having to wait for your boss at a work meeting or your date at a restaurant. It's probably better than scrolling through IG.

11 Cash Comes In Handy When Technology Flops


Are we the only ones who have forgotten what cash looks like? It's fortunate that so many places take cards these days; it's convenient if you aren't sure how much you're going to spend, and you don't have to worry about making constant trips to an ATM. However, there are a lot of times when cash still comes in handy. Sometimes cards flub on us; whether it's your bank's fraud protection systems or it's a chip malfunction, sometimes the thing that is so convenient can also be unreliable.

It's a good idea to always carry at least a bit of cash in case of emergency, or if you run into one of those kids selling candy bars for their field trip. How can you say no to those cute faces?

10 Granola Bars Are A Godsend When There's No Time For Lunch


We are big believers in keeping some sort of snack in your purse. Of course, it's a bad idea to keeping anything that might melt or crumble in your bag, but chewy granola bars are usually a safe bet. It's hard to predict when you'll get stuck in traffic or you have a deadline that you're struggling to meet.

Simply keeping a little bit of sustenance in your purse can provide a bit of brain fuel when you most need it.

If you happen to have low blood sugar, a little snack can also keep you from regrettably snapping at anyone at work.

9 Sunscreen Is A Must For Every Season


It is easy to forget that sunscreen is not just a summer or beach essential. Some women don't know that sunscreen is important even during winter, but there are many days where the snow outside doesn't keep the sun from shining. If this is an essential that you occasionally forget to apply, it may be best to simply keep sunscreen in your purse year-round as a built-in reminder for yourself.

There's also the option of using a lotion that has SPF protection built into it to save you trouble, as long as you find some way to get that protection.  Your future self will definitely thank you for this consideration.

8 A Miniature Flashlight Is Useful For Unexpected Car Trouble


Miniature flashlights are sort of a godsend. Of course in thriller and disaster films, we see women readily pulling them from their key chains to investigate dark hallways and the like.

Even if you don't live in a dramatic film though, flashlights come in handy for the most mundane problems.

Maybe you dropped your lipstick on the sidewalk and at night, or maybe there's something wrong with your car and you can't find the root of the problem. Let's not forget that they're essential when power outages occur too. You'll be surprised how many uses portable flashlights have when you finally get one.

7 Band-Aids Are Important


If you're clumsy (no judgment), it's probably a good idea to carry around some band-aids. Even if you're generally graceful, band-aids are great for those pesky paper cuts you may end up with after spending too much time at the office. If you've ever experienced the pain that comes with accidentally getting hand sanitizer or lime juice (don't ask) in a cut you forgot about, you'll understand how useful band-aids can be. They can be a visual reminder to keep you careful, and of course, they can be shared as well.

People will tease you for being the mom of your group until they find themselves in need.

6 A Pain Reliever Is Good For Unexpected Headaches


If you don't have a ton of office space, or you don't have an office at all, it may be a good idea to keep some things that people typically place in their desk drawers in your purse. A pain reliever is always useful for a headache that just won't go away, or if it happens to be that time of the month.

Most of us have experienced the struggle of trying to focus at work while your body was seemingly turning against you.

No need to carry around a whole bottle either; a tiny packet or two can be replenished whenever necessary, that way you're not adding too much weight to your purse.

5 Physical Planners Take Up Perfectly Good Space


While we totally support a lot of people's aversion to becoming more dependent on technology, there are many examples of technology making our lives easier. This is why we'd argue that it's better to switch over to a digital planner rather than a physical one if you typically keep it in your purse. It's great to have a physical calendar on your wall at home or at work, but if you typically carry one in your purse, it can take up a lot of space, and it tends to be less efficient than putting things in your phone.

You're probably wasting precious minutes of your life shuffling through your calendar to check your availability. Your phone can easily send you reminders, and it doesn't take up nearly as much space.

4 Old Receipts Are Pretty Much Useless

Where To Get It

Why is it that so many of us love keeping receipts, even for things we know we'll never return? Perhaps you just have a habit of keeping receipts in your purse if there isn't a trashcan around. Regardless, a lot of stores provide you the option of emailing yourself your receipt these days.

This is much easier to keep track off for your records, and you can easily ignore the receipts you don't need.

When you don't have the option of emailing your receipt, we suggest immediately throwing out ones you don't need. What are the chances you're going to return your two-day-old groceries?

3 Free Mall Samples Eventually Make A Mess

Pencil Images

Who doesn't love free samples? The problem is that when things are free, most of us have a tendency to take things we would never think of buying, and things we don't really need. Next time you see a free sample for tea you don't drink or makeup you don't use, simply decline. The same goes for coupons as well, as they should not be an excuse to purchase something you do not actually want.

Getting rid of any free samples or coupons you may have in your bag can be a huge space saver for some, and it will easily make you feel more organized.

2 Manicure Sets Are Best Kept At Home


People try to sell women all sorts of things and convince us that they're "essentials." If we had every must-have that brands claim we need in our purses, they'd be heavier than us! One of these unnecessary purse essentials is a manicure set.

It's perfectly fine to have one of these at home if you enjoy doing your own nails, but there really is no such thing as a "nail emergency" if we're honest.

If you chip a nail, it can probably wait until you get home. Because honestly, at what point do you have time in your day to stop at work, or in public, to drop everything and fix your nails?

1 ...So Are Checkbooks

Sandy and Sandy

Checkbooks are one of those ancient technologies you no longer need to carry with you. We kid, checkbooks are definitely still important for some of us, but they don't need to be in your purse. Ask yourself, how often are you writing a check outside of your home or apartment? The main purpose of checkbooks these days is to pay rent; if you try to use it at the grocery store or movie theater, you will likely be met with bewildered looks.

So simply keep it at home, and then you have the added bonus of not having to worry so much about it being stolen.

More in DIY and Hacks