Pouches are not just for kangaroos! I find myself reaching for pouches more than just about any other organizational tool. And I am always picking them up when I see them on sale or find a pattern that lights up my eyes. After I posted a sneak peek of my planner the day I photographed it, I received some questions about the pouches in the photo, and more specifically, how I use them. At that moment I couldn’t believe I had never posted about this love affair of mine, and all of the different ways they have helped me out!
I primarily utilize pouches to organize my totes and handbags. I find it so much easier to compartmentalize items by purpose to prevent endless rummaging. It also helps me select and edit the items I opt to bring depending on what my day holds. What I may grab when I head to the grocery store will definitely be different than spending the day in the car or traveling to the coffee shop to work. Having everything pre-packed in individual pouches allows me to just grab what I need and hit the road. All while keeping my handbags super organized!
Today I thought I would share twenty different ways to utilize pouches for organization. Some may seem super obvious, others may trigger a nice little “ah-ha” moment. And I love pouches of all shapes and sizes, I don’t discriminate! They are all great! Let’s dive right in so you can see why I feel so strongly about these fabulous things!
Although the majority of my boarding passes and booking details can now be stored on my phone, I never trust the internet while traveling, especially out of the country. I always keep print-outs of my important travel details stored inside of a document sized pouch. I may never grab for it, but it is nice to have just in case. Everything from flight details to schedules to my passport and receipts, these pouches easily slide in and out of my carry-on and keep things readily available when I need them.
Another way that I utilize pouches while traveling, is to keep all of my jewelry together. Smaller earrings are held by a cosmetic container while the remainder of the items are tossed into the pouch and into my suitcase (I will use a jewelry roll when traveling with nicer/valuable jewelry or for longer trips).
I always love to paint my nails, but it seems I only do it as a passenger in the car (very carefully). A few nail polish wipes, file, clippers, cuticle oil and polish are the supplies typically found in my nail care kit.
It seems one of us is always losing a button or having a hem fall out or needing a small hole repaired. Melvin the stuffed giraffe also needs to have surgery every couple of months. A small sewing kit can contain a few mini spools of thread, small scissors, extra buttons, needles and safety pins.
I always tend to have a variety of loyalty, reward, and gift cards that I carry at any given time. Add my library card to the mix and the stack can get much to thick for my wallet. I prefer to keep these cards separate in a small business card pouch.
FIRST AID KIT
You can never go wrong having first-aid kits in your bag (especially parents to accident prone youngsters). Just the very basics get the job done for a date at the park; band-aids, sanitary wipes, wound cleaning spray, aspirin/ibuprofen, cotton pads and a thermometer should be enough to get by for a short period of time should someone become hurt or ill while out and about.
I am a believer in leaving little notes while traveling (thank you’s when traveling for business and for housekeeping at hotels, a quick hello when away for a few days and notes of encouragement when someone least expects it). A pouch is the perfect place to keep a small stack of cards, stamps, stickers and writing supplies.
CORDS & SMALL ELECTRONIC
This one is huge for me, especially when traveling for work (even if just to a local location). Earbuds, charger cords, flash drives, a portable charger and even my external hardrive are all kept in a pouch or two inside of my work tote (it is important to select pouches with a small amount of padding when transporting your external hard drive – and it should always be backed up before taking it on the go).
If I am planning to be out of the house for the entire day, I like to have the option to brush my teeth at some point. A washable pouch with a toothbrush, toothpaste, flossers, gum, breath spray and chapstick, keep my mouth clean and happy and ready for a make-out session. Just kidding – seeing if you are still with me. But I am sure the person I am hanging with for the day is happy my breath doesn’t smell like pico de gallo after a delish meal.
I find that I like to do my makeup in different places, depending on how my day is going. I typically do it at my vanity, but if I am waiting for company, I take it up to our main bathroom. And if we have somewhere to be, I do it in the car. Keeping my favorites in a pouch allows me to do it wherever I wish.
FEMININE CARE PRODUCTS
Always an awkward subject but let’s be raw and honest for a second. You don’t want to be at Target or out to lunch in your white skinny jeans when your monthly visitor arrives. Keeping a couple of extra products in a small pouch in my tote or car keeps me prepared for one of those things that can be a little unpredictable.
KID CAR FUN
Speaking of cars and switching the subject quickly, larger plastic pouches are durable and fabulous for keeping a few fun things together in the car for kiddos. I find the a book, drawing pad, crayons, small game and small toy are plenty to keep my boys entertained for a couple of hours in the car. Except when they have hot cocoa and donuts for breakfast… then nothing prepares me for that kind of trip… not that I would know… just a fair assumption.
Gym bags are great when needing a way to transport all of your exercise clothing and gear before or after work, but if you are just heading to a nearby gym for a quick jog, a small pouch can take the place of that bag. A few things to keep pre-packed are headphones, headband/hair tie, gym card, chapstick, refreshing face spray and face cleansing wipes (in a travel size).
Back to the basics, it is no surprise that smaller pouches are great for holding spare change. I also toss some cash and a debit card in a small wristlet when I don’t want to carry a full size handbag and wallet.
I always forget to take my vitamins, so I have been using a small pill case to ensure I always have them with me. I also like to sip on Emergen-C when the first signs of a cold creep up. Lastly, I prefer to keep some headache essential oil and body ache medication on hand at all times. You just never know when you are going to start feeling yucky and are in need of some instant relief.
Planner addicts, this one is for you! If you love to color code, add stickers, mark a combo of dates with washi tape and flag important pages of your agenda… Then you will also have a small arsenal of planner tools to really keep your schedule organized. Just as we have used pencil pouches for… pencils, these pouches are an obvious yet great way to keep all of those planner related items corralled.
Why can’t all coupons be digital? A huge “thank you” to Target for your Cartwheel app and to Retail-Me-Not and Ebates for the rest of those online and digital coupons. All of the rest of the coupons that I clip, receive in the mail or that are given to me at check-out from the store, end up in a single clear pouch in my handbag.
WILD HAIR DON’T CARE (BUT REALLY I DO)
Another great pouch to keep handy in the car or when out for a long and busy day; this pouch contains a small brush, mirror, hair clips and ties and a small hairspray. I would also toss a travel size dry-shampoo into the pouch to keep my locks looking fresh all day long.
I always like to keep a couple of business cards in my wallet because I never know when I am going to run into someone that is curious about what I do or that is in my industry and may be a helpful business person to collaborate with. However, if traveling to a work specific trip, I dedicate a specific pouch just to holding my cards. This ensures they maintain their shape and also means I will always be ready to hand them out and spread my business word.
Not everything has to be a kit! Sometimes I just keep all of the smaller bits and pieces together in a single pouch to keep everything from becoming smooshed at the bottom of my bag. Some of my favorite items to take with me everywhere are a mini-tape measure, nail clippers, headache oil, face powder, business cards, hair ties/clips, gum and lip care.
I wouldn’t always stuff my tote with every single one of those kits, but they definitely come in handy and I have used some version of each of those kits at one point or another! Some I keep pre-packed, others I toss together quickly if I am planning to be away for more than a few hours. On any typical day, my tote contains the about 4-6 pouches at a time.
Yet my tote never feels over-filled. And with everything organized in categorized handbag pouches that act like “bins”, everything is quick and simple to pull out and find. And ditto to putting things back! I love when I don’t have to dig at the bottom of the black hole that is my purse when I am trying to get somewhere or I am in need of a specific item. Digging and rummaging are two activities that my heart doctor recommends I avoid (not really, but he probably should).
A few of my personal favorite pouch sources are linked below: