30 Essential Items Every Woman Needs in Her Purse

Be Prepared for... Anything Life Throws Your Way.

by Lisa Ledoux
a woman on a bed is putting items in a pink purse

There are a few essential items that every woman should have in her purse.

Items that can help out in a variety of different situations, so it’s important to be prepared.

Whether you’re out at special events or with friends and family, running errands, or at work all day long, these resourceful items are sure to come in handy!

In addition to being beneficial for you, this list is also a great, practical gift idea.

Simply put together a basket of these items and gift it to anyone- your mom, sister, best friend, daughter, or daughter-in-law.

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And for an even more impressive gift idea, place all 30 items, available on our free, downloadable, printable checklist, into a timeless, classy, new purse!

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30 Items Every Woman Needs in Her Purse- Shop Here!

beautiful quaint old fashioned pill and trinket boxes

1.) Medication

Because you never know when a headache, menstrual cramps, allergies, or aches and pains will rear their ugly heads.

Having a pill or two that addresses each of these unique ailments is always useful.

2.) Keys

It’s always useful to carry a spare set of your house keys, P.O. Box keys, car keys, or other important keys, just in case.

3.) A Keychain with a powerful keychain flashlight, a Stinger personal safety tool, and a cart coin

Having your keys attached to a keychain that includes a shopping cart coin holder, a powerful mini flashlight like the Boruit V3, a Stinger personal safety tool that cuts through seatbelts, shatters glass, and has a personal alarm, is incredibly important for both your safety and convenience.

4.) Sunglasses/Reading Glasses

There’s nothing worse than getting caught out somewhere and being unable to read the small print on medication, products, or menus. As we head into the late summer of our lives 😉 reading glasses become an essential item in our daily toolkits.

This 5-pack of WOWSUN blue light-blocking reading magnification or no magnification glasses are PERFECT for watching screens, reading, being stylish, looking good, and never getting caught out because there are 5 really nice pairs.

And we always need a good pair of sunglasses for driving, to protect our eyes, like these classic Ray-Ban Powderhorns, and to prevent squinting and furrowed brows.

5.) Tissues/Wet Wipes

Mini tissue packets are another useful item to carry around for a variety of reasons: from blowing your nose to cleaning up spills and messes to aiding with make-up or just having on hand for someone who needs a tissue!

6.) Mini Wallet

Having a slim wallet that simply carries debit cards, credit cards, business cards, a few rewards cards, and some personal identification is all we need to have on hand these days.

7.) Mini Cosmetic Bag

A small cosmetic bag with a few essential makeup items such as a rich lip balm, an eyelash curler, and face powder is all you need for a quick face touch-up and brightening. The lip balm can also perform a dual act as blush.

8.) Phone Charger (not your daily use one)

Always keep a phone charger handy, one that remains solely in your purse at all times.

You never know when you may need the cord or both the cord and transformer.

top down view of a brown purse on a wooden table with purse contents spilling out

9.) Feminine Hygiene Products

There’s no need to carry an armada of supplies.

Based on your preference of products, 1 or 2 tampons, or 1 or 2 pads, and a few pantyliners will be enough to get you through any emergencies!

10.) Lotion

Lotions or moisturizers are purse essentials, especially during the winter months.

No one likes dealing with dry, chapped skin!

11.) Masks

Face masks are a great item to have if you want to avoid the transmission of airborne germs. And whether you need one for yourself or want to have a few extras on hand in case someone else needs one, it’s always good to be prepared!

12.) Hand Sanitizer

a woman's hands are placing a mini bottle of hand sanitizer into a light blue purse

Mini hand sanitizers are purse staples these days. We use them constantly, whether we’re trying to avoid getting sick ourselves or don’t have access to soap and water.

13.) Tweezers

Tweezers can be thrown in your mini-make-up bag or your mini-first aid kit- we may need them for removing a splinter at the beach or a stray eyebrow hair!

14.) Nail Clippers

Nail clippers are purse must-haves for keeping our nails looking manicured and presentable.

They can also come in handy for other purposes, such as trimming a painful hangnail, cutting twine, or opening a package.

15.) Perfume Vial or Essential Oils

A tiny perfume vial or essential oil vial is a purse item that can come in handy for freshening up before an important meeting or date. No one wants to be caught smelling like they’ve been sitting in traffic all day!

16.) Mini Toothbrush and Toothpaste

If you are at work, out on errands all day, or working out, you may want to have a mini toothbrush and toothpaste on hand to avoid that not-so-fresh feeling.

These Colgate recyclable, disposable, all-in-one mini-toothbrushes are lifesavers in any social situation!

17.) Breath Mints

Breath mints are not as effective as having a quick toothbrush session in a public bathroom (or wherever you may be when out and about) but they will do in a pinch!

18.) Antibiotic Ointment

Antibiotic ointment is a great item to have in your purse for those minor cuts and scrapes. Like pills, ointment can be placed in small (and beautiful) tins to provide more room in your purse for other items.

19.) Band-Aids

Band-aids are a small but mighty weapon in your purse’s toolkit. Unexpected scrapes, cuts, or hangnails will happen at some point for yourself or someone else and when they do, you’ll be glad to have these on hand!

A small notepad is on a grey wooden surface with a pink petunia next to it

20.) Black Marker, Pen, Pencil

A pen and pencil are essential items for those days when you need to make a quick grocery list or jot down a phone number.

A black marker can come in handy for touching up anything black on your wardrobe that needs an emergency fix.

21.) Small Notepad

Sometimes a phone won’t cut it and we need to write things down, and for these times it’s always helpful to carry a small notepad.

22.) Mini Deodorant

This is another item that goes without saying. To always smell your best, be sure to carry around this small but mighty product.

23.) Plastic Bag

Plastic bags can be used for storing something that became wet or soiled, for use in stores if we forgot our reusable bags, for collecting garbage in the car, or for cleaning up after Fido if we forgot the doggy waste bags.

24.) Poop Scent Spray

It may not always be possible, nor is it healthy, to hold in a bowel movement. Poop sprays like Poo-Pourri prevent odors from leaving the toilet and entering the surrounding air.

So while most of us loathe going in public or at other people’s homes, sometimes we have to, and for those times, we can go confidently knowing we won’t leave embarrassing, lingering smells behind.

25.) Stamp and Stamped Envelope

Although most of our correspondence is done electronically these days, there are still times when we need to send a physical letter or bill.

Having a stamp and envelope in your purse means you can take care of it immediately instead of forgetting about it and having to make a special trip to the post office later.

26.) Travel Brush or Comb

A travel brush or comb is essential for purse-carrying women who want to look their best while on the go. No one likes dealing with a tangled mess of hair- it’s also handy to have for the kids!

27.) Elastic and Bobby Pin

Elastics and bobby pins are handy for those days when our hair just won’t cooperate. They can also be used to temporarily fix a broken strap on a purse or shoe or to secure a loose button (or channel your inner James Bond and unlock a privacy door ;))

28.) Safety Pins

Safety pins are one of those purse items that have a million and one uses. From securing a broken zipper or ripped article of clothing to pinning a flower, they are useful items for any woman on the go.

29.) Mini Sewing Kit

A needle and thread can be used to fix a ripped seam, button, or hem on clothing. It can also come in handy for mending a purse or other accessory.

Having 2 needles, one pre-threaded with black thread, and one with white, tucked into a beautiful, tiny tin will always be ready if you need them! With this compact sewing kit, you can pick and choose what to carry in your purse.

30.) Mini Scissors

Last, mini-scissors are purse essentials for those days when we need to make a quick repair or cut something open. They can also be used to trim loose threads or quickie split ends.

There you have it!

Purses essentials for every woman who wants to be prepared for anything life throws her way- whether she’s at work, on a date, with the kids, or running errands!


How Do I Fit These in My Purse?

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of items here, there is a theme- MINI!

It’s definitely not necessary to have full-sized products for each of these items.

In fact, most of the items mentioned could all fit nicely into a few baggies or a pencil case.

a light pink purse, a dark pink purse, a dark green purse and a butter yellow purse are pictured close up, hanging side by side

Items like medication, safety pins, bobby pins, perfume vials, band-aids, mini-scissors, needle and thread, ointment, breath mints, and so on, are very small or can be portioned into small amounts.

Larger items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, brushes or combs, hand sanitizers, tissues, and lotions, can all be purchased in mini and travel-sized forms.

We also have a mini purse essentials list for smaller purses and multiple-use purses!

What If I Use Multiple Purses?

Of course, there is the issue of multiple purses- gone are the days of Mary Poppins and one large purse we lugged everywhere.

How would we coordinate outfits if that were the case? 😉

The mini purse essential list also comes in handy if you have a high-end designer leather purse in which you would like to keep only a few items.

Luckily, there is a simple solution to this issue- by keeping the same items similarly stocked in your other purses, to a lesser degree.

This option works well as none of the items here are perishable and they do not require frequent replacing, a simple check each month to make sure you’re stocked is good enough.


Keeping your purse clean and well-stocked with essential items is not only beneficial for you but will likely help out your children, friends, co-workers, and strangers who are in a pinch!

Not to mention that it’s just cool and very grown up, to have a bottomless purse that provides solutions for many day-to-day hiccups.

You can also place many of these bag essentials in your pouch, gym bag, summer tote bag, and travel bag!

So whether it’s for yourself, or a gift for a cherished friend or loved one, you’ll feel confident and prepared for any situation when you head out the door!

Thanks for Reading!

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