Image: Showbit

Handbags are an indispensable companion of most women. Whether they are going to work, shopping or attending a party, it’s rare to see one without a handbag. 

I started getting obsessed with these gorgeous things when I entered the workforce. Back then, oversized bags were in trend (think Celine’s luggages) and being the self-proclaimed fashionista that I am, of course I jumped onto the bandwagon bought myself one. 

I was really happy with the space it offered initially but didn’t realise that I would end up burdening myself unnecessarily. My handbag started getting swollen with all my “can’t-live-without necessities” and became a reassuring repository of everything I imagine I would need. However, it started to take a toll on my body. My shoulders and forearms hurt from carrying such a heavy load every day. 

I tried downsizing many times but to no avail. This went on for a couple of years until fashion forced me to declutter because of the mini bag trend. Now, it’s all about the bite sized accessory that hangs effortlessly over your shoulders. 

I know I sound like a fashion victim but hey, who can resist the adorableness of these mini-sized things?! What’s more you get to remove all that weight (literally) off your shoulders. 

So whittle away all excessive paraphernalia down to only your essentials with these 3 easy steps. 

Image: Chloe 

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STEP 1: Take everything out 
Empty the contents of the bag that you carry everyday and divide your pile into sections like essentials, beauty, trash, other mysterious items. Evaluate every single item you see in there by asking yourself two questions — (a) why is it in your bag (b) how many times do you reach for it throughout the day. If the answer is no and less than once, toss it. I know it sounds cruel but there’s no point in lugging a bottle of hand-sanitizer around if you are not going to use it! 

STEP 2: Organise the contents
After throwing out the unnecessary items, lay all the items you have given a green pass neatly into your bag. Do they all fit neatly inside? How does it feel on your shoulders? Is there a significant weight difference? Try to your best to be judicious when sorting through the contents of your bag in step one so that you can feel the impact of the decluttering here. 

STEP 3: Minimize bulk and weight 
If you have bulky wallets and huge vanity pouches, chances are you will still feel your bag weighing down on you. While you obviously can’t do away with your essentials, you can try swapping them out with smaller versions. For example, opting for a cardholder instead of a long zip around wallet. It gives you less space to store receipts and pointless membership cards that you haven’t used in a year.