Purses and Posture (Part 2)

Furniture and Fashion
photo of black leather handbag

Do you have problems with back pain, and neck and shoulder tension? Do your habitually rounded shoulders bother you?

Then try making some changes to how you do things.

One area where most of us can make positive changes is with the amount of stuff we carry around on a daily basis and the bags we carry it in.

After making some simple observations and asking yourself some simple questions (outlined in the last post) if you want to try making some changes, here are some suggestions:

Clean It Out

We clean out our closets periodically. Clean out your purse regularly!

Pare down your contents and only carry the things you use every day. Place things you need occasionally in a drawer at work or in a specially designated bag in the glove compartment or trunk of your car. That way you can get at them but their weight is not dragging you down on a daily basis.

A lot of little things don’t individually weigh much. But when you put them together they can add up to a considerable weight. One thing I do on a daily basis is to clean out the change in my wallet. I put quarters in a special tin in my car to use for parking meters and the rest goes in my piggy bank. When the bank is full I take it to the real bank and get dollars for my change.


Invest in a relatively small purse that fits only those items that you are going to carry around with you (after cleaning out in step one)—and doesn’t have a lot of extra space.

I find that if I have a large purse I will fill it. So I don’t tempt myself with the extra room. Also, consider looking at a non-leather purse simply because many leather purses weigh a lot even when empty. There are a lot of fantastically stylish and beautifully made non-leather handbags out there.

Cross Train

Invest in a bag that you can wear across your body as opposed to slinging it over one shoulder or carrying it in one hand.

Allowing it to hang across your body gives your shoulders a respite from tightening to hold on to the bag when it is slung over one shoulder. Your shoulder girdle then has a chance to widen out and rest easily on the top of your rib cage, how it is designed to do. Furthermore, it leaves both your hands free. Make a conscious effort to alternate which way your new bag crosses your body.

I do practice what I preach.

Below was at one time one of my favorite purses:

large leather handbag

Stylish but BIG. And I FILLED IT. Although I didn’t carry it over my shoulder I had to carry it in one hand. And that still caused me to tighten my back, neck and shoulder slightly on that side.

I then went to only cross-body bags and I used this one for a while:

red leather shoulder bag

This helped a lot. Especially if I alternated the way it crossed my body. But for me, I still could put too much stuff in this bag. And the weight added up. So, I downsized further.

Nowadays this is the purse I use:

small grey leather shoulder bag

And this is what I carry around in that purse:

purse contents

Image of black leather purse courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 comments… add one

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  • Bickey bender April 1, 2015, 10:21 am

    Great article – amount of “stuff” in a purse is always a concern!!!!!!

    • laurenhill69 April 1, 2015, 11:59 am

      Hi Bickey,

      I personally find it amazing how much stuff I don’t actually need in my purse if I am truly honest with myself!

  • Fran Engel April 25, 2015, 7:06 am

    When you are using public transportation, what you must carry increases. It works for me to have a smaller purse with just a wallet, keys, phone, etc. inside of a larger day pack. You can often ask a place of business to watch your pack temporarily that includes your lunch, heavy bus schedule, book, etc. Another solution is to wear clothing with more pockets – such as a vest.
    Convincing the change toward keeping notes digitally rather than a paper notebook is an option to cut down on weight; but I still prefer to use paper. But I now use a much smaller spiral-bound notebook and tear out pages after ‘important’ references are copied and left at home. Less weight is also a great excuse to get and use an e-reader.

    • laurenhill69 April 25, 2015, 8:20 am

      Hi Fran,
      Thanks for your additional thoughts and insights on this topic.


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