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  • Your purse keeps essentials conveniently in one place.
  • There’s a fine line between wanting to be prepared for anything and carrying around a 15 pound bag.
  • The keys to deciding what to hold in your purse should be items that are essentials, compact, and multi-use.
  • Here are 12 items you should always keep in your purse.

The contents of your bag say a lot about where you are in life as well as what you value. In college, I always kept my phone, wallet, keys, and ID with me wherever I went.

Once I graduated, I added work-related items, like an ID badge, laptop, notebook, and pen to my purse. Now that I’ve adopted a dog, it’s mostly filled with canine accoutrements like treats, collapsible food and water bowls, a leash, and doggles.

Through it all, I’ve tried to walk the line between carrying a few essentials and 15 pounds of “just in case” items that never actually come in handy.

And for that, I’ve found that the keys to know what to keep in your purse are items that fall under the categories of essential, compact, and multi-use.

To help prepare you for the surprises that life throws without overstuffing your bag (and overloading your shoulders), here are 12 things you should always put in your purse before leaving the house:

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