September 28, 2022

9 Expert-Approved Handbag Organizer Ideas You Need in 2022

This is an all too relatable workday scenario: you rummage through a seemingly bottomless bag to find an item you desperately hope you haven’t left at home. And whether you’ve made it or not, who needs the stress of those bulky tastrophes, especially when all it takes to streamline your bag are a few strategic accessories? From smartly designed cord keepers to zippered shoe bags, these are pro organizers’ top picks to help you take control of your work bag.

Reconfigurable box

No organization system is exactly right for everyone, which is why the Grid-It Organizer Pack, recommended by jeffrey philippe, a New York-based professional interior designer and organizer, offers gridded panels in three sizes, all of which fit easily into a standard work bag. Each has multiple elastic strap slots to secure virtually all work essentials: cell phones, chargers, pens, lip balm and more. (Even a single bobby pin remained in place when we gave the Grid-It a shake to try it out.)


Grid-It Organizer Kit

The perfect paper holder

Like an adult version of your middle school Trapper Keeper, the Smead Gray Felt File Folder Expands to 2 inches: It was big enough for us to fit a thick 150-page spiral notebook, with room to spare. Even in the digital age, there are always handy printouts and reference materials, and “this folder keeps all the documents you might have to carry neat and organized,” says Julie Naylon, founder of the organizing company Los Angeles professional. No hanging wire.

Soft touch fabric expandable file


Soft touch fabric expandable file

All-in-one organizer

If you not only want to have important papers close at hand, but also store essentials like chargers, pens and notebooks in one portable place, the spacious, felt-lined clipboard case from Vaultz is the answer, according to Yukti Gupta, founder of Professional Organizing Society of Brooklyn Dr. Ace from Space. With mesh pockets and a locking latch, it’s also a handy place to store valuables like jewelry or small devices like tablets. We were able to fit a 13 inch laptop inside.

Storage Clipboard

Leather bag lining

With a laptop slot, a sunglasses pocket, an expandable strap the perfect size for reusable water bottles or coffee cups, and plenty of room for other essentials, Elegant Cuyana leather panel slips right into your tote bag to instantly add extra compartments. Phillip is a fan of its “raised, minimalist look” and practicality. “Whether you’re carrying an LL Bean tote or a Celine bucket bag, this insert will protect the interior from pen leaks and water bottle sweat,” he says. Stains on its microsuede exterior are easy to clean.

Organizer insert for small tote


Organizer insert for small tote

Zipped shoe rack

The common commuter switcheroo — swapping sidewalk-friendly sneakers for office-ready heels — puts your germ-covered shoes in close contact with your valuables, which isn’t ideal. But there’s no need to carry a second bag just for your shoes, either. That’s why Tanisha Lyons-Porter, Los Angeles-based organizer and founder of Natural Born Organizersrecommended Outdoor shoe cube. It has a handle above the zippered nylon pouch for easy removal from your pack, and a mesh pocket inside is roomy enough to store socks or even a second pair of emergency shoes.

Small cube of shoes

Smart replacement for pockets

Pouches allow you to organize important items by size and category, points out Phillip, who recommends Truffle’s Privacy Multitasking Pouch Set. The sleek mix of four, from the size of a pencil case to big enough to hold an 11-inch tablet, comes in earthy blush and brown colorways in addition to the black we tested. A Teflon-coated exterior on each pouch makes it durable and spill-resistant, and recycled leather detailing on the zipper, edging and pockets of the two largest prevent pieces from veering too sporty.

Privacy Multitasking Pouch Set


Privacy Multitasking Pouch Set

Transparent pockets

Need to see your essentials at a glance? The transparency Marie Kondo Kawaii Accessory Pouch Set is what Neylon uses for this reason, citing the added benefit of color-coded zippers. “You can have a separate category for each bag,” she points out; “for example, makeup, medical supplies and office equipment.”

Marie Kondo Assorted Kawaii Accessories Pouch (Set of 5)

The container store

Marie Kondo Assorted Kawaii Accessories Pouch (Set of 5)


Protect cords and cables from unauthorized entanglements with the Leatherology Small Cord Wrap Set Suggested by Milwaukee-based Ashley Hines, Founder of Organizing Service Your tailor-made life. Like little wallets for your tech accessories, these deluxe leather envelopes (which come in a set of four) feature a magnetic closure – a strong one – that makes access to your USB cord, Lightning cable, headphones or other load accessories a puzzle-free task.

Small cord wrap set


Small cord wrap set

Cinchable bag

Waterproof and easy to clean, Dagne Dover’s versatile dry bag is the perfect place to store anything that needs to be compartmentalized or tucked away. “You can keep wet gym clothes separate from everything and nobody has to know what’s inside,” Porter says, or use it to hold an extra sweater for a chilly office. The adjustable roll-top lid features a plastic clasp closure, making it easy to maneuver into a sleek, jar-style handle or rim.

Rae Wheeled Dry Bag

Dagne Dover

Rae Wheeled Dry Bag

Any advice, recommendations, or rankings expressed in this article are those of the WSJ’s Buy Side Editorial Team, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our business partners.