I Tried the “Purse Drawer” Method & It’s the Most Clever $0 Organizing Hack

published Apr 13, 2024
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Credit: Anna Spaller

I’m not the biggest bag collector (shoes are another story), but I rotate between the same few purses on an almost daily basis. I have my grandmother’s mini vintage Coach handbag for nights out, a burgundy leather shoulder bag for commuting to the office, and a massive green striped tote for errands and anything else in between.

Because of this rotation, I keep running into the same packing dilemma — I don’t have a designated spot at home for all my leftover purse staples. Because I’m always in a rush when I’m transitioning from one bag to another, my couch turns into a dumping ground for extra sunglasses, makeup, etc. that might not fit in a new bag. Plus, I’m more likely to leave something behind that’s stuffed in the pocket of a different bag. And yes, I could just keep all this in one of my bigger purses 24/7, but they’re both so large that it’s like blindly digging through a void just to find anything specific. 

Luckily I came across an Instagram video by Anna Page of The Page Edit that’s the solution I never knew I needed. Page showed a piece of furniture in her entryway with two drawers, one of which she turned into a “purse station.” Here, she added a small acrylic organizer to corral hair and beauty products, accessories, gum, portable chargers, and more. “Instead of my essentials going from bag to bag or being shoved in a random drawer, everything I typically pack in my purse is all in one place,” she explains in the video. 

Naturally, I had to try out this trick — which I’m deeming the “purse drawer” method — in my own apartment immediately. Sadly, I don’t have an antique-looking furniture piece as cute as Page’s, but I do have a two-drawer IKEA FÖRHÖJA kitchen cart when you first walk in. The drawer on the right doubles as my spice storage, while the one closest to my front door has turned into a full-on junk drawer. I wanted the latter to be my new purse re-loading area, but still accommodate takeout menus, recipes, and other odds and ends.

Credit: Blair Donovan

After purging half the drawer, I dedicated a small portion in the front to hand sanitizer, lip gloss, a stick of perfume, my Emotional Support Mini Hairbrush™, lotion, AirPods, a disposable camera, sunglasses case, and random gift cards. I can still fit napkins, mini notebooks, and essential oils and hardware I totally forgot I even had, too. All in all, this drawer is way more organized and practical than before — even now that it’s double-duty.

Credit: Blair Donovan

No storage furniture or entryway? No problem. Before discovering this idea, I turned a fruit bowl on my kitchen island into a similar catchall-turned-purse-station situation. This is where I would normally hold my keys, portable charger, extra hand sanitizer, and little coins and trinkets. Apartment Therapy’s Executive Lifestyle Editor, Charli Penn, also swears by a rotating round storage bin with dividers. These work just as well as a drawer — the only downside is that they’re more exposed and still need some sort of accessible tabletop to rest on. 

However you implement the “purse drawer” concept, carving out some portion of your home for grab-and-go essentials can help you get out the door faster the next time you’re stocking a bag — especially if you don’t wear the same style every day. Plus, you’ll be less likely to forget something crucial the next time you swap out purses. You can also take a cue from Page and add a compact drawer organizer for a cleaner look, or simply create specific zones like in mine.