Your Say: Do you use a bag or purse organizer? Do you find it useful?

by Paris B on · 77 comments

in Bags,Discussions

Alright, I declare myself beaten. I’ve tried up and down through the years to organize the cavernous space that is my daily handbag and have failed repeatedly. The thing is, if you were to read tips online, everyone will point you to the bag organizer or purse organizer. I’ve tried a few in my time and I can safely say, they don’t work for me.

bag organizer Your Say: Do you use a bag or purse organizer? Do you find it useful?

Through the years, I’ve done the wraparound bag organiser, the plastic box organiser, and the bag-in-a-bag organiser. Each time, I start out all raring to go, certain that THIS will be IT! This will be the magic item that keeps the inside of my bag from being the black hole through which all my small items get sucked into.

Every single time, I barely last 2 weeks before I remove it, toss it into the far corners of my cupboard and vow never to want to see it again. I lasted the longest with the Rootote bag-in-a-bag organizer as it was handy but then it got too small and my wallet couldn’t fit. These days, you can get these bag organizer things anywhere. Muji does some good, not very pricey ones and I’ve seen cheap ones at places like Guardian or Watson’s too.

But what I really want to know is this: Do any of you actually find these things useful and have you been using one for longer than 6 months?

I try. Heaven knows, I try!

My problem is that I start out with very good intentions. I pack up the organiser with my wallet, my pouches, my keys etc, place it into my bag and marvel at how organized everything looks, and how quickly I can switch my bag contents.

The problem starts when I’m out and e.g. at a checkout counter. I pull out my wallet to make a payment and then, stuff it back into the bag quickly, so I can collect my groceries and not hold up the queue. At this point, the wallet ends up outside of the organiser, but I think “Oh, it’s ok. I’ll put it back later” I never do.

Then, I stop off to buy something else, and it’s a small item so I don’t need a plastic bag. So I stuff it into my bag together with the receipt. I pull out my car keys and by this time, there isn’t much in the organiser so it starts to flop over inside my bag and loses all semblance of comparmentalization.

Basically, what I found is that it only took me a couple of days to make a mess of everything simply because I’d end up not putting items back into the organizer, for the simple reason that it is actually too slow and too much hassle to do so! I’d still lose my keys or can’t find  a pen (because it’s slipped down UNDER the organizer) and let’s not even talk about trying to find my mobile phone in there. For me therefore, using a bag organizer is like putting a black hole into a black hole.

These days, what I do is have a separate pouch for separate items. I stopped using bag organizers (they make my bag too heavy) and I try not to carry too much crap around with me (which I always fail of course). One of these days, I’ll show you what REALLY goes into my bag; not one of the carefully curated photos that you see on most blogs, but a proper, honest to goodness “What’s REALLY in my bag” post. I promise you, it won’t be a pretty sight! LOL! icon biggrin Your Say: Do you use a bag or purse organizer? Do you find it useful?

Do you use a bag or purse organizer? Do you find it useful or does it just cause more disorganization?

I’ve used a few in my time. I find the bag-in-a-bag ones the most useful in terms of design. However, I also find that they can be impractical if they are too small, or narrow. Ultimately though, I find that the best bag organization is to go through it every few days and take out or toss what you don’t need. Keeping things in separate pouches also help. But I could never again do a bag organizer. I just find it too impractical for my needs. How about you?

Paris B

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[ 77 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Nicci October 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

I feel your pain! No matter how I try to organize my purse I fail completely. Right now I’m keeping my emergency necessities in the inner zip pocket, my touchup makeup in a small cosmetic bag, and everything else is just allowed to roam free.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

“roam free” LOL! I like that. Nowadays, I allow most of them to roam free too but since most items have been put into separate pouches, it’s actually a lot more organized than when I have one big organizer!

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Shay October 6, 2013 at 9:28 am

I hate getting organized! Because I know I can nv stick to it!

Past 2 yrs I have been hitting the gym before work on a regular basis. So, I start to carry bigger bags that have quite some pockets
I.e. a baby diaper bag! I have a black nylon rebecca minkoff one that looks badass and nobody knows its a diaper bag!

I would say I’m quite organized with the amount of stuff I have to carry. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

Diaper bags are amazing! Seriously, the compartments in there are so useful and these days there are so many fashionable options so, that’s an excellent choice :D

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Michelle Beh October 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

I do use bag in bag organizer.I would not say it is very practical but at least it helped me to hold my things inside the bag properly. Usually I will re-organised everyday after day out. Hence, till now I still using my bag organizer.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:32 am

Good to know it works for you, Michelle! I think I’m just too impatient/fussy :D It works for me in a more structured bag but not in a slouchy one. That is pure disaster

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Audrey October 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

I was tempted to get one but never. I use pouches instead.
Now, I don’t even use wallet/ purse anymore. I place all the cards (including ic, license), money, ear piece, charger cable, lip gloss in my pouch. It can even fit my phone so whenever I’m out for lunch or a short one without the necessity to bring other stuffs, I would just grab my pouch and go. Fast, easy and convenient for me.

If I feel like changing bag, just grab that pouch, dump into the other bag and I’m done. ^_^ but the downside is that, this particular pouch can never go missing or else I’m screwed (touch wood!!!).
Audrey recently blogged…3CE StylenandaMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

That’s a smart move Audrey! Your pouch is your organizer :D I tried doing that but failed too haha! It was like having a mini bag in my bag so I couldn’t handle that either. But that’s a smart way to keep your things together although you’re right. You have to be very careful with it!

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xin
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hear hear! I tried, and tried. Like you, I tend to leave my stuff outside the organizer instead of inside. Now, I have small pouch in my bag to hold the small items, ie lipstick, gloss and etc. The rest of the items in bag are only wallet, pocket tissue, and a comb. The trick is actually try to keep things minimal in bag so switching bag only takes a little while. With all that said, I just bought another bag organizer from deal site (coll bought it and seems pretty good), what was I thinking right ><
xin recently blogged…Beautiful & Smooth Play Date from CiatéMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:34 am

I don’t switch bags very much I guess which might be why I don’t find this bag organizer thing very useful. In a smaller more structured bag, I find it very useful indeed. But in a larger bag, it just flops around inside and makes a bigger mess. And I can’t believe you bought yet ANOTHER organizer after your last horrible deal experience! :P

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Seraph October 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

I’ve never been a fan of organisers…. but always a fan of big bags! I can have as little as just wallet and phone till as much as some clothes in it… that way, 1 bag fits all… so i have less bags to buy…
everything is allowed to flow freely except that my comb, mirror and some beauty items goes into 1 small pouch, while other small items are kept in an outer pocket…
And 80% of the time i can fish out my things blindly, but when i dont, i just open the bag wider… and i’ll wonder, why didnt i felt it there just now? Hahaha…
Seraph recently blogged…Snail Street Cream ReviewMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:36 am

Sound like me LOL! I sometimes dig around in my bag for ages, not finding my keys and when I actually open up the bag and peer inside, there it is, right under my nose. It’s a black hole, I swear! HAHA!

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BlushandBarbells
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

I’ve given up on bags and organization and now I just schelp everything in a big backpack with lots of pockets! Not the most elegant or ladylike of items, but I know my bus pass is in the top pocket along with my work badge, and my wallet is in the bottom pocket with my keys.
BlushandBarbells recently blogged…Half Marathon Training UpdateMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

I have to admit, backpacks are really one of the more practical ways of toting a lot of things around especially if you have to commute. I actually have noticed a bit of a revival in fashionable backpacks in recent times so there’s always that option! ;)

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Mari Ohira October 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

The problem is that pretty bags don’t come with lots of pockets. I have never tried un organiser, but I find that using small pouches inside my bag can be pretty useful. I bought plenty of those when in Turkey, very colourful btw, and use about 3 inside my bag. Each one has a different colour, so it helps me sift through my stuff.

What is interesting is that I hardly ever use all the things I have in my bag, but I cannot bear the thought of not having them with me. -_-

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I will agree with you right there, Mari! The most you can hope for in a nicer bag is a side pouch for your phone and a zip compartment for privacy! I find pouches suit my purpose too. I have different ones that hold different things and each of them have different textures, so I can tell at a touch what is in there and whether that’s the one I want :D

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Jennifer October 6, 2013 at 10:30 am

I am on the fence over bag organizers. At one point in time, it was so popular and those blog shops were mushrooming selling hand made bag organizers with customized fabric of cute designs could easily tug the heartstrings of so many girls out there, myself included :) Haha, you have so aptly put it, putting a black hole into a black hole. My friend recommended to purchase the brightest organizer of the lot so that when stuffed into a black lining handbag, you can still somewhat see it :P Because I did not get the organizer hype, I now use 1 pouch for my purse and handphone, another pouch for light makeup items like lip balm, mirror and facial blotter. Loose items like keys are kept in a smaller coin purse. I also tend to use keychains with a huge soft toy like Spongebob Squarepants which is light and easy to locate in the sea of pouches. I just need to reach inside my bag and start erm, grabbing and groping the squeezy toy :) And since my handbag comes with a few slots for cards and smaller items, I keep my season passes and comb here because these slots are within reach. Granted, I do not change handbag much or at all. For those who rotates handbag regularly, perhaps the organizer might help.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Oh yes, we definitely went though a bag organizer craze a couple of years back! I think buying a bright coloured organizer makes a lot of sense! I won’t knock it though. It does work, if it is a structured bag. In a less structured bag, it will slouch along with the bag and doesn’t quite serve its purpose. I guess also, I’ve streamlined the amount of stuff I carry. You know what? I used to hang my car keys on a huge koala key chain haha! It made it so easy to find but then it broke and I never replaced it. These days, I hang it on a long wrist holder and it makes it easy to find too.

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Rebecca October 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

I don’t use a dedicated bag organizer, but I do use little makeup pouches (like the kind you get free with purchase) to organize and separate some little items that live in my purse. Pens go in one, medicine and sunscreen go in another, actual makeup goes in another etc. If you’ve hoarded a lot of different ones you can even sort of color code it like I have, lol.
Rebecca recently blogged…Silliness Corner: Makeover SoftwareMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Haha I do that too Rebecca :D I found a pouch helps to solve my problem of organization more easily and colour coding them is an excellent idea!

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Sze Ling October 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

I find bag organizers heavy too. No matter how lightweight they claimed they are, I still find them to add weight to my already-heavy-bag. Thus, my current solution, which I’m liking, is separate pouches for things that are small (e.g. lip balm, USB flash drive, pen, band aid). At least now I can find things without to need to literally dig through my bag. :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Logically, they are added weight, and no matter how lightweight they are, a well made bag organizer will be quite heavy on its own. If it’s very light, it’s usually useless LOL! I think many of us do the pouch thing which I think is absolutely fascinating!

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Tine
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Hahahaha I know what you mean! I’ve used plenty of bag organisers and while it’s useful when I leave the house, whenever I’m in a hurry, needing to pay, I stuff my wallet outside of the organiser too! Instead of putting my keys back in its slot, it goes outside the organiser. My iPod and earphones? Damn, near my train stop, outside of the organiser it goes. So in the end, I have more junk outside the organiser than it in its proper place! :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm

RIGHT?! I’m so happy someone understands my predicament LOL Doesn’t help when these organizer things are meant for you to put your wallet INTO them, so really not doing so just doesn’t fulfill the reason for getting one :P

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PositivelyNice October 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

It works for me!

The thing is, I don’t use it to store my wallet and my train card case or key pouch, or umbrella, or water bottle. All these big, big things, that I keep pulling in and out of my bag are stored outside of the organiser.

So it is like I buy an organiser that is slightly smaller than the volume of my bag, so I have the space on both ends of my bag empty. So on the front end, I put my wallet and and train card/keys, and on the back end, I put my umbrella and water bottle. Then in the middle of these, is sits my bag organiser.

In my bag organiser, I stuff the tiny things in the little pockets AROUND the organiser, like rosewater spray, perfume travello, lipstick, lipgloss, retractable powder brush, pens, highlighter, bookmark, namecard holder, etc.

On the large inside of the organiser, I hold two smaller clear pouches. In one pouch, is work stuff like thumb drive, and plastic bag. In the other pouch is toiletry, like pads, lip balm, foldable comb, mirror.

Works like a dream.

For my little shopping, it is simple. Just stuff the plastic bag into my bag, and when I get home, take out the whole plastic bag!

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

That’s a good point, not to put the wallet inside the organizer. The problem is that it was what I wanted for it to do LOL Be a thingamajig that I could remove and swap around easily. But I have found it to be useful in a smaller, more structured bag. In a larger, floppy bag, I find it moves around too much. So, I cannot deny that it has its uses, but I guess, it’s just not for me. Different pouches serve their purpose for me now, because I don’t carry many things anymore – just essentials :) My poor back can’t handle a heavy bag anymore like in the young days hehe…

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PositivelyNice October 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I dislike the pouches idea because I need to keep zipping and unzipping, and I never really know what’s inside until I open one.

haha, I am the everything-at-once type of person. Need to see what’s going on.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I use different pouches of different colors and textures so one touch and I know what it holds. So, keys go in a smaller pouch, lipsticks go in a more structured makeup pouch and my portable HDD goes in another, as does my spare battery (if I carry it) otherwise, there isn’t much else in my bag :)

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PositivelyNice October 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I think the idea, really, is to NOT put your wallet IN the organiser!

I have been wanting to do a what’s in my tote bag on my blog. Sounds like I should do it.

Oh yeah, and I have a clear plastic case from MUJI for my receipts too.

Sorry to spam your comments.

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shah October 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I agree with u about not putting your wallet in the organiser; it’s meant to be placed outside the organiser. It’s too much of a hassle trying to fit it back in when you’re done with it.
I love my organisers (I have 3 different sized ones to fit the various sizes of my bags) & have been using them for many years. As someone commented earlier, there should be a gap between both ends of your bags so that you can fit in bigger items. In my case, that would be my Rume bag & glasses, while my organiser holds stuff like keys, tissues, wet wipes, mirror etc – items that disappear easily. Occasionally I’d have a pouch in my bag for that-time-of-the-month, but other than that, my organiser fits my needs perfectly & makes my bag look neater :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Darn! I must have been sold on all those pictures of neat organizers that hold the wallets and all and sundry! LOL!

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

It’s always interesting to see what’s in other people’s bag – do it! :D

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Shija Rahim October 6, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Bag in a bag helps me a lot… But make sure theres extra room for the organizer.. It makes me a little room to see whats on the sides.. To me whoever invented this is a genius..

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Good to know it works for you! I guess maybe I just don’t carry enough little bits and bobs anymore :)

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lisa October 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

i have 2-3 pouches in my bag in varied sizes to keep myself more organized. Saying this, i’m not one with small handbags. Most of my bags are medium sized.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I can’t do small bags either Lisa – my wallet couldn’t fit, for one LOL!

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JackieA October 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Tried….and failed miserably….so now my handbag is a black hole of this and that! (I once found AAA batteries in there! – I know right? What the hell!!) I gave up and resort to cleaning out my bag when my fingers go in and can no longer find what its looking for!

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

HAHA! AAA Batteries! I sometimes tote around stuff I’ve bought but not taken out, for weeks! Once, I found a tube of brand new lipstick and couldn’t remember when I bought it. That’s when I knew I had to take a little more effort and clear it out at least weekly if not every other day.

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Happy Locks October 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I have something like this. Got one from ebay. It is useful but instead of cutting my time it adds more time to finding things inside my bag. But I do find it useful when I changing bags everyday. So, I can just pick this up and just throw it in a different bag every time. So, yes, pros and cons. It does have some utility, hence I like it.
xx

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Ah yes, those who do change their bags often will definitely find it useful! I don’t change my bags daily which might explain why I don’t find it as useful as it could be :)

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Sam Still Reading
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I don’t do it – but I have a different method – different bags for different occasions. I have a work bag, day to day bag, travelling bag etc. But I tend to clean out my bags daily so they’re lighter to carry.
Sam Still Reading recently blogged…Books to Look Forward to – October 2013My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

That makes a lot of sense too! Then you only have to switch around your wallet :D

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Sevinj October 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

HI,Paris.It’s the first time i see the organizer)) but i don’t think it can be helpfull for me too.After ending with numerous of new,unused bags,now i am more attentive with choosing bags.I look that it’s not too small so that i can fit into all my stuff and not too big coz i don’t want to be lost in it )).and i look that it has enough pockets,for phone additionel one of course.Also i fit make up only those that need touch ups trough daily in a small make up bag.Despite this my bag turns into mess and i need to re-organize it at the end of the day xexe))

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Hi Sevinj, picking a right bag will definitely make life a lot easier, as is not carrying a lot of small items in there that need organizing :) Practically though, by the time we’re done with the day, most of us would have to reorganize anyway hehe…

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Lily
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I have one bag organizer and my sister in law bought it for me. I thought it was too small, so I do prefer using separate pouches. That said, I still have it in one of my smaller bags, and I don’t really have that issue of stuffing extra stuff in my bag. LOL!
Lily recently blogged…Femme Boulevard: French ChicMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I guess it does control how much you can put in, and I’ve found it more useful in a smaller, more structured bag. In larger ones, it just flops about and goes missing… along with everything else! haha

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Shasha October 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Honestly, purse organizers doesn’t really work at all for me. One trick I’ve picked up is buying bags with a lot of compartments, inside and out. That way, all my stuff has a place, within the bag itself. As for cosmetics, I stuff em all in a make up pouch, and that goes in neatly. And I try not to switch handbags too much, and I got one classic, stylish bag that fits all occasions! The bag you use matters ladies! =D

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

The problem with bags with a lot of compartments that I’ve found, is that I stuff too much rubbish in to them LOL! I used to have a bag with lots of little pockets all over the place and each time I clear it out, I’d have bits of paper and receipts and stuff in every little pocket. Drove me nuts hehe… That said, finding the right bag is a good tip to have!

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Jess October 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Ah not practical for me too… i have a few bags organiser and now its left someone inside the cupboard… collecting dusts.. hmm… i felt that bags with more compartments are much more useful and dont take up as much space as bag organiser.

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Yeah, they take up a lot of space, and actually weigh quite a bit. I was a little surprised. Funny. I thought these things were popular, but so few people actually find them useful LOL!

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synical
Twitter:
October 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Never bought into the bag organiser thing myself. Then again, I don’t really carry everything and the kitchen sink also…? But I do do the pouch thing when I travel.

Better you know that pouches work for you now than never, I say.
synical recently blogged…McCafe Macarons/MacaroonsMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Am learning to stop lugging the kitchen sink around with me :P But there’s still stuff I carry daily like keys that always go missing, as well as things like portable batteries (damn battery sucking smartphones) and a couple of other essentials. Using pouches is useful for me, because I can take pouches in and out as I see fit :)

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