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Handbags are getting larger. The larger the bag, the more people tend to fill it up. This makes it harder to find things and it holds up lines as you dig around for your wallet. Importantly, a heavy bag can cause strain and eventual pain in your back, neck and shoulders.

To reduce the strain and make it easier to find things, here are 4 steps to organizing your bag and to keeping it organized.

1. Empty Your Bag

The first step is to empty your bag of its contents so you can start from scratch and see everything you have laid out. Purge what you don't want/need. Repair any ripped linings.

2. Compartmentalize the Contents

Mesh Bags To compartmentalize, I love using the see-through mesh bags that come in several sizes and colors. They are slim and you can see what is in the bag. I have several for

Technology -- small camera, chargers, earbuds

Hygiene, First Aid, Meds -- alcohol wipes, bandaids, pain/allergy relievers

Small Paper Items, Cards -- coupons, rewards cards, gift cards, receipts, business cards

Miscellaneous -- small tube hand lotion, small tube sunscreen, Tic Tacs, small nail file, lipstick, small mirror, tissues, small scissors, eyeglass cleaner/cloth

Outside Compartments - If your bag has an outside compartment, I recommend storing a small pad of paper, pens.

Cell phone and sunglasses/reading glasses in sturdy cases can also go in outside compartments.

Wallet - You should always have a wallet or small pouch to carry your ID, credit cards and money.

Keys - To easily find my keys, I use a lanyard. I attach one end to the key chain and one to a strap on my bag.

Other - A collapsible tote is great to have in your bag to carry any purchased items.

3. What Not to Have in Your Bag

Full-Sized Products - These can be lotions, sprays, hair brush, etc. Either find smaller sized versions of these or don't carry at all.

Excess Change - It's heavy! Either spend it or collect it in a jar to be redeemed for dollars later.

4. How to Stay Organized

Make it a habit to clean out your bag at the end of each day. Get rid of trash, wrappers, receipts and coins.

Avoid carrying "just in case" items such as an umbella -- unless you live in Seattle!

Watch expiration dates of meds and makeup. Toss lipstick and lip gloss after 3-6 months, mascara after 3 months, blush/bronzer after 1 year.

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