It was a nice break for me, it’s like everything stopped and I could stop worrying about life. I was able to work on some home projects (cleaning & organizing). And I actually got around to organizing my bag!
My daily bag is the Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Shopper Long Handle. This is the most commonly seen Longchamp bag in Manila. I like it because it is spacious! I can put folders, books, and various items that I buy but wasn’t given a plastic bag for (paper bag only). But it tends to be a big mess in there! I didn’t use a bag organizer because I couldn’t find inexpensive ones that fit the Le Pliage perfectly. I organized my things by putting them in pouches – all makeup in one pouch, all toiletries in another pouch, all pens in a pen case – you get the gist. It’s okay except when my hands are dirty, I need tissue and need to dig into my bag AND open another zipper just to get tissue. After almost 2 years of using the Le Pliage, I thought I would make a change this year and use a bag organizer.
Although I love using the Le Pliage, it has become kind of generic! I wanted to be able to easily change my bag on a whim, and I think a bag organizer would help with that. I checked out Zalora’s website for some new bags to lust for. This site carries a wide range of stylish bags to complete your look! I am liking this CLN tote bag – I think it would look great to use into summer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a zipper closure, which is essential in the Philippines if you don’t want to get pick-pocketed. I am also looking at this Michael Kors Selma Satchel -inspired bag. I love the Michael Kors bag, but no way am I using an expensive designer bag for everyday schlepping! My worse for wear Le Pliage is proof why I shouldn’t.
Before the end of 2014, I rushed to 168 in Divisoria to buy some bag organizers – I bought 2 kinds – the generic Bag In Bag type (around P100), and the Kangaroo Keeper (around P150 – don’t know if this is orig, though. Most likely a knock-off, based on the quality).
The Kangaroo Keeper
At first, I had high hopes for the Kangaroo Keeper. It was bigger, and it came in a set – 1 bigger organizer and 1 smaller organizer. Unfortunately, the bigger one only came to about 3/4s the size of my Le Pliage. But that’s okay, because I had planned to put any pouches outside the organizer, anyway.
The workmanship was pretty bad – the sewing had big stitches and seemed haphazard. The material was not even cut properly – bara-bara talaga. But I was expecting this, based on the reviews and pictures I saw online. The only reason I bought it was because the inner compartment was bigger than the Bag in Bag. I have a big, fat wallet and then some.
The letdown came when I started to put my things into the Kangaroo Keeper. The compartments were just way too small for anything useful. The round pockets where you can supposedly put an umbrella or a water bottle are too small. Maybe if you use the smallest water bottle you can find – the thin, round 300 ml kind – it would still be a snug fit. No way it can fit the standard-sized 500 ml water bottle. Even putting in my small umbrella was a struggle.
The other inner pockets were similarly useless to me. It’s too small for a standard pack of tissue, or even an individually-wrapped sanitary napkin. The only thing that would fit in the pockets were USB sticks, credit cards, business cards, pens, highlighters, markers (which I have a pen case for, so I don’t need to put them in the Kangaroo Keeper). It can’t even fit my phone.
It also eventually tore after I put a rolled-up eco bag in one of the pockets.
The material used was some sort of plastic cloth.
About the only thing I liked about this was the spacious inner compartment.
The Bag in Bag
At first, I wasn’t too keen on this bag organizer because it’s small. It’s still too small for my bag but I make do. But the workmanship is so much better! The stitching is better, the seams are done properly, the zippers are working, the compartments are of a useful size. I also like the material used – it is softer and it feels “cushiony” – I feel like this organizer will last longer than the Kangaroo Keeper and will be able to protect my things better.
Here’s a picture of the Kangaroo Keeper vs the Bag in Bag. The Bag in Bag is smaller.
On one side, the Bag in Bag has 2 big pockets and 2 mesh pockets. The other side has 2 big pockets and 4 smaller mesh pockets. There are 2 zippered compartments big enough for 7-inch tablets. There are buttons on the side in case you want to “collapse” the Bag in Bag organizer to make it slimmer.
Before I embarked on this bag organizing project, I listed down all the things I think I would need when I’m out –
- Pens / Pen Case
- Mini Notepad (for drawing / inspiration / giving notes to other people)
- Comb / Brush
- Bag Hook
- Breath mints
- Eco bag
- Papers needed for the day (vouchers to claim, bills to pay, etc…)
- Wet Tissue
- Hand Sanitizer
- Feminine hygiene product (just in case!)
These are the things that I want to have with me every day, everywhere I go. Wallet, keys and cellphones and the rest are obvious. I like having a main phone and a secondary phone, and my secondary phone is usually the long-lasting battery type, so I have something to use in case the battery of my main phone runs out. Segurista!
As for my planners – I take them with me, or not, depending on where I am going. If I’m just going out for quick errands, I don’t need to bring it with me. If I’m meeting someone to talk about plans, projects and to-do’s, of course I’ll need my planner.
Tissue, wet tissue, hand sanitizer and feminine hygiene products – emergencies can strike any time! One too many times while out, I’ve had to scramble and look for these when problems attack, or when the monthly period arrives. I promised myself, never again!
The recent addition to my usual is the eco bag. With many places not allowing the use of plastic bags to pack purchases, it has become inconvenient to buy things if you don’t have your own bag to carry them in – especially groceries. I prefer cloth bags because they last longer and can be laundered, but they are often too small to use for groceries. You have to be careful with the non-woven type eco bags – they are essentially just paper – they can break apart when wet or if laundered. I don’t recommend buying them (unless they’re free) because you can only use them for a few times before they become dirty, and they will probably break when you try to clean them in water.
I usually have 2 eco bags in my bag, and take more with me depending on where I am going and what I plan to buy.
Below is a list of optional items. I have them in pouches. I just add the appropriate pouch to my bag if I feel like I am going to need it (make-up kits, make-up remover kit). Some items I just add to my bag organizer since they fit into the pockets.
I also like putting small, loose things into small self-sealing (ziploc) bags. I bought a 100’s pack of #4s at the supermarket. I can see what’s inside without the things getting lost inside the bag and it keeps them clean. It also helps to prevent things from tangling or getting damaged.
Optional Toiletries & Misc Items:
- Visine – I have dry eyes from staring at screens too much
- White Flower Oil (smallest bottle) – always a lifesaver, this one!
- Lighter – I don’t smoke but the ability to make fire is always useful, just in case
- Mini Make-up Kit
- Mini Makeup Remover Kit
- Paper Soap – because many public restrooms don’t have soap!
- Lotion / Moisturizer
- Travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste and floss kit
- Emergency medicine kit
- Emergency sewing kit
- Business cards
- Power Bank + cords
- Ebook Reader
- Water Bottle / Thermos / Tumbler
- Book / Magazine / Reading Material
So that’s how I am organizing my bag now! It’s a lot, I know. But that’s me. I always want to be prepared for emergencies. I do pare things down depending on what my plans are and sometimes only take the basics especially for quick errands!
But I do like the “everything in its place” concept. Whenever I take something out to put in another, smaller bag, when I get home, I make sure to put the things back in the bag organizer before putting the smaller bag away. This way, my main bag is always ready to go!
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The Barat Queen
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