Two BAGGU nylon pouches in large and small size, along with a succulent in a pot, as viewed from above in "flat lay" style.

How to Organize Your Purse with Pouches

Back when I reviewed the Everlane Twill Zip and Pocket Totes, I wrote about how I used a lightweight purse organizer to keep the contents of my bag in order.

All the things I carry in my handbag, including a handbag organizer, sunglasses case, water bottle, notebook, Muji pens, transit card, coin purse and more.

After a while, I abandoned the purse organizer for what I call The Pouch System. The problem with the purse organizer, at least for me, is that I carry too much stuff. Despite my best efforts to lighten my load, I often carry a water bottle, scarf, magazine, and more — in addition to the purse organizer. All these things piled on top of the organizer. So, if I wanted to grab something out of it — say, a packet of tissues — it was actually hard to get to. I had to remove all the things blocking access to the organizer, or pull the whole organizer out of my bag.

The Pouch System is exactly what it sounds like. I keep things in pouches. When I want something, I root around in my bag and retrieve the pouch that the item is stored in. I keep three, sometimes four, pouches in my bag. Each one is visually different so that I can remember what I stored in each pouch. I’ve always enjoyed looking in other people’s bags to see what they carry, so I’ll share what’s in mine.

At first, I bought all my pouches from Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, because like most everything in the store, they were only $1.50. Why not! I found the pouch below to be especially handy since it has three zippered pockets. Yay for compartments! In one pouch, I keep things like facial tissues, gum, hand lotion, and medicine. (Yes, that’s a mask in the bottom left corner. This might be TMI, but I added that to my bag after I got stuck on a plane once next to someone with bad body odor, which made me very nauseated. I ride public transit a lot, so now I’m prepared.)

A pouch with three zippered comparments, and the contents of what's kept in the pouch laid out around it. This includes tissues, hand lotion, gum, band-aids, nail clipper.

In a second pouch, I keep my headphones, ear plugs, purse hook, small tape measure, phone charger (I recommend Anker brand which hasn’t died on me when others have), and a pair of travel chopsticks. (I’m a fan of carrying your own utensils to avoid using single-use disposables. I also carry a spork for this reason.)

A pouch with three zippered comparments and the items stored inside the pouch laid out around it, including a purse hook, phone charger, earplugs, headphones.

In a third pouch, I keep my wallet, a small notebook and pens, and a plastic envelope for coupons and receipts.

Baggu pouch and the contens of pouch laid out around it, including a wallet, notebook, pens, and plastic envelope.

For this third pouch, I started out with another Daiso pouch but upgraded to a BAGGU flat zip pouch. In this particular case, you get what you pay for. The Daiso pouches shed bits of string because the edges inside are not finished. Sometimes the strings get stuck in the zippers. BAGGU’s pouches are many times the price, but well made from heavyweight nylon. All the edges are finished so they don’t have this annoying shedding problem. BAGGU is also an ethical company. The company says that its nylon and canvas bags are ethically made in China.

3 zippered pouches stacked on top of each other, largest on the bottom and smallest on top. The large one has a green frond print, the middle one is pink and has 3 zippers, and the small one has white dots on black.

Here’s the BAGGU medium flat zip ($12, 10.25″ x 8″), compared with the Daiso triple zip ($1.50, 8″ x 6″), and the BAGGU small flat zip ($8, 5″ x 3.5″).

A small pouch with a transit card sticking out of it.

The little one is good for holding cards and other small items.

A woman holds a large nylon pouch in front of her. It is large enough to serve as a clutch purse. The pouch has a frond print.

The BAGGU medium zip is actually large enough to use as a clutch in a pinch. There’s even a larger size ($15, 15″ x 12.15″).

I highly recommend BAGGU’s pouches for your organizing needs. If you need more room, they also make a pouch with more depth that they call the Carry All (medium size and large size). I wish they made a small-medium size that was similar to the Daiso pouch size (8″ x 6″). Actually, I wish they made a small-medium size that had triple zippers just like the Daiso one — but of course, with better materials and cute prints, as is the BAGGU way. I’m still using the Daiso ones even though they have the string-shedding problem because I find the multi-compartment pouch super handy. But, if you’re reading this, BAGGU, please make some triple zip pouches!

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