NYC Survival Kit: 5 Ways To Utilize Purse Space

I admit, I’m a little obsessed with purse-packing.

It’s a weird little hobby of mine that involves putting together key essentials into one perfectly packed, easily accessible purse (or utility belt… or backpack). My friends know that I always pack with care, and the habit has even worn off on my less-organized ladyfriends.

Other than your keys, smartphone, and wallet, I’ve listed 5 other items you absolutely MUST have with you at all times in New York City.

1. Kindle or other e-book reader

Pair with nice Bose headphones for the ultimate out-of-subway experience! New York can be a stressful place, but with chill tunes and an immersive book, you can escape into your own world easily. Also great to combat the long lines you will have to wait in pretty much everywhere you go. 30 minute wait to check out at Trader Joe’s? I think I’ll dive back into Westeros and fight a battle for the Iron Throne instead.

2. Compact folding canvas bag (from Container Store)

Because you really never know when you’ll go shopping. Be sure to find one that fits over your shoulder to make it easier to carry heavy objects or lots of groceries! You can stuff multiple jackets in one of these to avoid paying for multiple coat check tickets on a date or with a group. Or avoid coat check all together: stuff your winter layers in one when you go out, tie the handles together in a double knot, and stick it under a chair or in a dark corner. It’s much harder to find and shuffle through a tightly knotted canvas bag than to accidentally make off with the wrong black peacoat in a sea of black peacoats.

3. Folding fan

Shoo away nasty street stenches, keep cool in the summer, and air out your coat in the winter. I mean really, you’ve just walked 1 mile at a jogger’s pace and are now crammed onto a subway with 50 other people wearing heavy winter jackets. You’re going to be sweating profusely. Winter or summer, having a small, durable folding fan in your purse is crucial.

4. Business Cards

You never know who you’ll meet, and having a simple, informal business card can make all the difference between future business contact or love interest… and another missed connection on Craigslist.

5. Tissues

I use tissues for a lot of things. I use them to mop my sweaty face off when the humidity monster comes to town. I roll up balls of it to put in my ears when I’m at a show or anywhere excessively loud. I use them as toilet paper when the bathroom I’m in is out. I even blow my nose sometimes. Having tissues on your person can be a lifesaver, and they are one of those essential things that you absolutely must have at all times, just in case.

So now ask yourself… what FIVE THINGS can you not leave your home without?