I’m not proud of it, but I’ve accepted that I’m not an especially neat person. I know that, left to my own devices, my everyday work tote quickly devolves into a black hole. Lip balm and pens disappear never to be see again, magazines and paperbacks emerge with creased covers and torn pages, and I always spend at least a minute or two per day on my doorstep digging for my keys. Sure, I could buy a sportier backpack or messenger bag with a compartment for every little thing — but I just really like the way my black Cuyana tote looks so sleek and streamlined, like I don’t need pockets at all.
Cuyana must understand the predicament because it now makes a removable tote organizer that the brand sent to me to try out — the organizer has a large side pocket that’ll fit a small laptop or book, a midsize pocket perfect for a tablet, a water-bottle-sized elastic sleeve, and a smaller pocket for grab-and-go necessities like chapstick and pens. There’s also an open middle for storing larger items and the little area outside of the organizer where it meets the actual bag, where a magazine or larger laptop naturally stays put.
Now, I can toss a sweater or makeup bag into my tote and know exactly where it is when I need it. I’m no longer fumbling for my reading material or reaching into the bag’s corners to fish out my ballpoint. The nice part is just having the option — if I’m bringing materials to work, the organizer houses everything neatly, but if I’m just packing some layers for a day trip, I can take the organizer out to make room for a sweater and scarf. Designed to fit in any of the brand’s totes, the insert lets you (or me) pretend to be a much more orderly person.
More Strategist-approved purse organizers
Or this set in a fun constellation pattern.
Actress, and Strategist columnist Wendi McLendon-Covey advised a reader to pick up several of these Sonia Kashuk pouches to keep a bag organized. “These flatter, foliolike ones are good for iPads or Kindles, and even passports when you’re traveling,” she says.
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