I might not be the epitome of organized, but I have managed to organize a large part of my life into different bags. I have my office bag and gym bag that I carry around on the daily. Then, I have my suitcase ready to go at a moment’s notice, a handbag for any evenings during the week, and a separate bag for weekends. With so many activities and variety to life it’s important to keep necessities and essentials on hand and easily accessible. Especially, when you’re a bit scattered like I can be. The easiest way to do this is to have well-thought out bags packed with everything you need to live life on the go.
What Bags I Recommend:
The Bag Essentials
Work Bag Essentials
Wallet: Obviously this will have to be moved from bag to bag as needed, but this is probably the primary place you’ll need it.
Laptop: For many of us, work can be done flexibly from many locations.
Concealer & Nail Polish: If you don’t have time to go home and freshen up before important meetings, a little concealer can go a long way. On the same note, nail polish often chips at the most inconvenient times. Keep some polish in your bag to touch up chipped areas just in case.
Keys: Having a designated spot in your bag for keys is much like having one in your house. It helps if you’re forgetful or prone to set them down somewhere and lose them. Simply throw them in the right pocket or area of your bag every time and you won’t be locked out of your car and house at the end of the day.
Business Cards: Most people don’t do business cards anymore, but If you do, this is the place to keep them.
Extra shoes: Flats are fairly small and can be added to any bag to give your feet a break if needed.
Tide Stick: I’m not going to lie, these often aren’t enough for my gigantic messes, but they help! Honestly, if you’re just prone to the occasional spill it will probably be perfect for you.
Sunglasses: My eyes are so sensitive I wear sunnies even with grey skies (they’re bright too). I keep a pair of sunglasses in both my car and in my workbag so I’m always prepared.
Mints: Perfect for when gum isn’t (read this as-“when your breath smells like lunch, but you can’t be chomping gum in front of a client”).
Gum: Perfect for times when you can chomp.
Toothbrush and Paste: A lot of people have travel sized toothbrushes and paste in their bag, I carry around full-sized so they last longer, because honestly I’m a big forgetful and not likely to put a new small toothpaste in my bag before the old runs out.
Floss: To get the salad out of your teeth after lunch.
Compact Mirror: To see the salad in your teeth after lunch.
Cell Phone: Thankfully, most bags are equipped with pockets just for your phone. This can be a great place to put them while you work. Especially if your outfit isn’t really made for things to be in the pockets. #firstworldproblems.
Extra Charger: For Obvious reasons.
Pen and Paper: I’m always jotting down thought, ideas, brainstorms, and to-do lists. I work best in the real world rather than using my phone or computer.
Gym Bag Essentials
Workout Clothes: If you don’t go home between work and working out you’ll need to pack your clothes the night before. Typically I pack a shirt, or tank top, sports bra, pants, light workout jacket, and socks.
Your Gym Shoes: I do Crossfit, so I need to at least have basic running shoes to complete the workout. If I forget my shoes I’m up a creek without a paddle.
Extra Socks: For when you sweat or bleed through your first ones.
Music: If you work out solo, having your favorite music is essential.
Blender Bottle: Getting those nutrients in after your workout is vital. Wait until you get home and you’ll have literally missed a window of opportunity.
Protein Powder: Let me say it loud for the people in the back “Protein powder will not make you manly”. All that hard work at the gym will go to waste if you don’t properly fuel your body.
Water Bottle: For obvious reasons.
Miniature First Aid Kit: Gym injuries happen, keep some basics like band aids and Neosporin in your bag.
Hair Ties: I always forget these, so having extras is a must.
Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Shower Shoes and a Towel: Only if you take showers at the gym.
Deodorant: Just in case.
FucoProtein Bars: If you get hungry on your way home, pick a high quality protein bar.
Essential Oil Spray: I like to take my shower at home, so between home and the gym I’ll use a post-workout essential oil spray like Refresh to kill the bacteria on my skin from sweating.
Pen & Paper: What better time to brainstorm or make lists for the next week.
Healthy snacks: Try to find these in the airport, it’s possible, but difficult.
Toothbrush & Paste: Need I explain this?
Basic Medications like Advil or Ibuprofen.
Charger For Your Phone.
iPad: Books, movies, music, magazines or even work right at your fingertips.
A physical book or magazine. I may or may not have packed 3 large novels when I flew to Australia. There’s nothing quite like a physical book sometimes.
Baby wipes or “sanitary wipes” if you want to pay more for the same thing.
Scarf and light wool sweater if you’re going somewhere even slightly cold.
Chapstick or lip salve.
Lotion: For some reason air travel makes my skin extra dry. If you have this issue consider adding lotion to your repertoire.
Makeup: If you’re off the plane straight into an event of business meeting, packing some makeup will allow you to do touch ups before you land.
Rollerball perfume to get rid of the plane funk smells.
Headphones for the iPad or your phone or whatever other devices you have.
Passport holder. If you need to take your passport on your adventure a holder can help keep things organized.
Jewelry Organizer: If you often pack jewelry you might have noticed that it can seem impossible to get it somewhere without it getting tangled. A jewelry organizer can really help with this!
Camera: If you use a camera, instead of your phone for photos, make sure to pack it.
Copies of your documents. Especially if you’re traveling internationally it can be smart to have copies of all your documents ready to go. You can also upload digital copies and have them available on your phone or ipad.
Wool socks: My sister has been known to only wear socks on the plane. She designates one sturdy pair of thick wool socks and lounges in comfort. Honestly, after trying this it is pretty comfortable!
Money Belt: If you’re traveling internationally it won’t hurt to throw a money belt into your carry on in case you feel a need to use it. I won’t lie, I used mine when I was in Egypt every day. It let me keep my passport, travel documents and money on my person at all times in a conspicuous way.