Organization Tips

Tote Organization

Recently I helped a client do a quick declutter on her work tote and felt that others might benefit from a little encouragement in this area. I’m going to use my own work tote for illustration and share some tips and tricks to help you get this area of your world organized.

First of all, empty everything. Dump it on your table, in the floor, or in a bin just to start with a blank slate. Sift through to pull out any trash, broken pens, receipts that do not need to be kept, etc. File any papers that you intend to keep but do not need to live in the tote.

Next, do you know where your purse has been? Really think about it, and you might be horrified. Public bathroom? Restaurant floor? Doctor’s office in flu season? This is a great time for a quick wipe down. Antibacterial wipes are fine on synthetic bags like this tote from Charming Charlie, but special care is needed for fabric, leather, and suede bags. Be sure to research what is best for your material. Here’s one technique to use for leather.  (A special friend bought me this tote for Christmas – shout out to my Girl Squad!


After cleaning the grime off of the surfaces inside and out, take time to group items in like categories. You’ll see that I’m a big fan of pouches because they are easy for grab and go convenience when you need to find something or switch totes.

This cute feather-print pouch from Dollar Tree holds my mobile office and Bullet Journaling (“BuJo”) supplies, business cards, and a flash drive with files. I use an Altoids Minis tin to keep paperclips contained.

Mobile Office

The stuffed office pouch and my BuJo go in the tote together. If you’d like to see me showcase BuJo tips in future blog posts, please comment below and request that topic!


The largest item in my tote is my MacBook which I store in a padded sleeve. Since I travel between offices and often work on projects from home, it has become second nature to carry this with me daily.  Space saving tip: I don’t travel with the large MacBook charging cord because I invested in an extra one, so there is one at my primary office and one at home.


The next pouch is for personal products. The pouch I’m using one is one that came inside the tote and clips to the interior rings. In this one, I store my eyeglasses case with cleaning towel, feminine hygiene products, tissues, breath strips, lotion, lip balms (tinted and non-tinted) and shine eraser wipes. Space saving tip: I don’t travel with the weight of extra makeup because I keep an emergency kit in my primary office.


In the last pouch, I keep tech accessories like earbuds and a cell phone charger (not pictured), a purse hook, and two set of keys for work (one is shown here).  The canvas and faux suede pouch is another Dollar Tree find. My black wristlet wallet is also shown here. I like using a contrasting color to see it quickly in my tote. Later this week, I’ll show a clever tip to keep your wallet from becoming overstuffed with clutter!


The earbuds are shown here in a Quirky Wrapster, although there are several ways to corral this messy cable. Here are a few ideas.


The second set of keys I mentioned previously are ones I need to carry around with me at work, so they are on a lanyard from Walmart with my employee ID card. To keep the six keys from rattling all day I store them in a Key Smart organizer from The Grommet. When I’m not wearing the lanyard, it goes in the pouch so that the cord does not wrap around things in my bag.

The last item I want to show is my car key. I keep it on a carabiner connected to the inside ring in my tote.  Previously, if I had a dollar for every time I had to dig through a tote for keys, I’d be a millionaire! Now I have trained myself to make a habit of latching it here, so I know exactly where to look for the car key every time! The carabiner also makes it easy to fasten the key to my belt loop or clip it onto the strap of my wristlet when I run quick errands without the full tote.


Neat, tidy, and organized! Now is the time for you to share YOUR favorite purse organization hack. Tell me in the comments below.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All products reviewed were purchased and represent my own opinion. 

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