If you find yourself carrying everything in your purse but the essentials—and we’ve all been there at one point or another—it’s time to do a bag makeover. Today, we’re covering the 23 essential things that women over 50 should have in their purses for all kinds of emergencies. Note that some of these items, such as the first aid kit and snacks, are also great to leave behind in your car if you tend to drive yourself a lot, so you don’t necessarily need to put everything in your purse.
Without further ado, here’s what you should consider keeping in your purse or nearby, from hand lotion to incontinence liners:
1. Wallet, Phone, and Keys
You should never leave the house without these three essentials, and they should have a dedicated place in your purse so you can immediately tell if you’ve left something behind.
2. Hand Sanitizer
Sometimes you want clean hands, but there’s no sink or soap nearby. Always keep a travel-size bottle of sanitizer in your purse so you can clean your hands on the go.
3. Tissue Travel Pack
Whether you need to blow your nose or you chose the bathroom that’s out of toilet paper, a travel pack of tissues is a must-have for anyone’s purse.
4. Lip Balm
Say goodbye to cracked lips with a lip balm that will keep them moisturized and smooth. We recommend leaving one in each purse so that you’re never without it.
5. Hand Lotion
Hand cream will help prevent dry, cracked hands and is a must during the winter months. Get a travel-size tube so that it takes up less space in your bag.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially when you’re sweating, getting in the water, or sitting in direct sunlight. Keep a small tube in your purse so that you can re-apply as needed.
7. Hair Elastic
If you have long hair, keep some hair elastics and/or bobby pins in your purse at all times. You never know when you might get overheated and want to put your hair up.
8. Makeup Products
If you wear makeup, you might like to bring along a few essential products so you can touch up during the day as needed. These can include face spray, blotting sheets, setting powder, and more.
You should keep a small pill case in your purse full of any prescription medications you take, as well as over-the-counter drugs such as painkillers, stomach soothers, and more.
10. Swiss Army Knife
You never know when you might need to trim a loose thread or open a package, and a basic Swiss Army knife can help you do all that and more.
11. Tide Pen
Banish stains before they can set with Tide pens or a similar travel-sized, stain-fighting product. Check on it regularly and replenish it as it runs out.
12. Manicure Travel Set
A tiny pair of clippers and a tiny nail file can save you from the worst manicure disasters on the go (not to mention keep you from having to chew off a hangnail).
13. Safety Items
Many women like to carry pepper spray, safety whistles, pocket knives, and other safety items in their purse, especially if they tend to walk alone or take public transit a lot.
14. Breath Mints or Gum
Stay feeling fresh with your choice of either breath mints or gum. Again, you should choose the travel-size packs so they don’t take up too much room in your purse.
15. Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is absolutely essential for older women since dehydration can contribute to hot flashes. Choose a reusable water bottle made of flexible, light plastic that will pack down when you aren’t using it.
Prevent blood sugar crashes before they happen by keeping a snack such as a granola bar or a small pack of trail mix in your purse.
17. Notepad and Pen
You never know when inspiration might strike or when you might think of that thing you forgot at the grocery store. Keep a small notebook and pen in your purse so you can jot down your thoughts whenever the urge strikes.
18. Pad or Tampon
Even as you seek out menopause relief for hot flashes, you can still spot or even get your period, so you should always have a pad and/or tampon in your purse so you stay prepared or help out another woman in need.
19. Incontinence Products
Menopause can also herald the onset of bladder leakage, so, besides a pad or tampon, you should keep incontinence products for women—either briefs or liners—in your purse for emergencies.
20. Change of Underwear
In case the worst happens with either your period or bladder leakage, you might want to carry a spare pair of underwear, as well as a sealed plastic bag to put the used underwear inside.
Headphones are great for passing the time whenever you’re stuck in a waiting room or sitting on public transit. Get a cheap pair that you can leave in your purse 24/7 so you’re never without them.
22. Phone Charger
It’s always a good idea to have a wall charger on you, but it’s also a great idea to keep a small power bank in your purse so that you can juice up your phone even when you’re not near a power outlet.
23. First Aid Kit
This might be too big to keep in your purse, but it’s an awesome thing to keep in your car. Get a small first aid kit that already contains all the essentials and stow it under the seat or in the glove box so that you’re never without a bandage when you need one.
We hope this list helps you restock your purse more efficiently. Did we forget any essentials? Comment below with what you keep in your purse at all times!