See this bag?
It hangs over the back of my chair in the office.
You never know where life is going to take you. A trip to the library. A walk around the lake. A coffee date that turns into a work date. A last-minute shopping trip.
And the amazing thing about this bag? It’s always ready for an adventure. It’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.
I’m always on the go and along the way I had to learn to be prepared.
So I filled this bag (and the bag before this bag and the bag before that) with my on-the-go essentials.
The kind of things that you didn’t know you needed until they weren’t there and then you wish that you had them.
Want to see what’s inside?
Here are 17 things I always take with me in this bag.
17 Amazingly Useful Things to Keep In Your Bag
1. This laptop stand
It goes with me everywhere. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it. It folds flat and fits perfectly in the bag without taking up too much space. It puts your laptop at the perfect height for ZOOM calls. The stand allows your wrists to be at the perfect height when you are typing. I’ve used it at coffee shops and restaurants and my office and so many other places.
2. Gold hair clip
When I’m working or going for a walk my hair gets in my way. I also use them if I’m having a bad hair day and need to look cute for a ZOOM or lunch with a friend.
I found gold clips like these a couple of years ago and I love them.
My favorite one is the rectangle one at the top. It goes with me everywhere.
3. Clip on video light
A friend recommended this light and it’s kind of a game-changer.
You can clip it on your phone when you’re face-timing or on a ZOOM call.
You can clip the light on your laptop too. It’s so good and lights up your face and there are three different settings depending on the light around you. There are so many versions of this and I’ve tried several this clip on light is the best.
4. This laptop charger (and cord organizer)
I wish I could tell you I was squared away enough to keep everything charged.
But I don’t.
Not even close. I keep a laptop charger in my bag (I have another one at my desk, too) along with a cord organizer to prevent tangled cables. This way, I can charge my laptop whenever I need to. I LOVE this collapsable charger organizer that attaches to the charger. All you have to do is pull it out and you can wind the charger cord around it to keep it organized in the bag.
5. Listerine strips
When I was growing up we weren’t allowed to chew gum.
My mother was NOT about it (and still isn’t about it now).
So I never really got in the gum-chewing habit and mints taste too much like candy. So what’s a person who wants fresh breath to do? I found these Listerine strips. You just put one on your tongue and it melts and leaves behind fresh breath.
6. Hand lotion for dry skin
You can thank me later for this one.
This No. 7 hand lotion is amazing. It’s not greasy, but not too creamy. It’s kind of thick and glides over the skin and adds a layer of protection. I always use it before a photo shoot so my hands look smooth and hydrated.
And it’s small enough to fit perfectly in the bag.
I am old school.
In a world of screens, I use a pen and paper. Having a small notebook like these in your bag can be incredibly useful for jotting down important notes, ideas, or to-do lists.
Having a dedicated space like this for putting down whatever I’m thinking helps me stay organized and I never forget anything.
If I have a notebook, I have to have a pen.
And these are my favorite.
They glide and don’t leak (which is super important when you keep them in your bag).
9. Tide Pen
I am a spiller with extra spills on top.
This Tide Pen is an amazing stain remover that gets rid of fresh stains on clothing or fabrics. I have one of these in my laundry room, my upstairs closet and my bag.
10. Hand sanitizer
Watching out for germs is more important than ever.
Carry a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your bag to keep germs at bay. This hand sanitizer spray from the Honest Company is made with aloe and other botanical extracts to prevent your skin from drying out. It has plant-derived ingredients and it isn’t sticky.
You can see the hand sanitizer here.
11. Mini pack of tissues
One thing you might forget about for your bag?
A mini pack of tissues. Whether it’s for wiping your hands, cleaning surfaces, or dealing with unexpected sneezes, tissues can come to the rescue. Choose a compact and easily resealable pack to keep them clean and easily accessible.
12. Folding brush
The best thing about this brush?
It folds up in half and is so compact that it’s easy to tuck into the pocket of your bag. It has a mirror on one side, but I like a compact mirror instead (see number 14 instead).
13. Lighted compact mirror
Isn’t this the cutest compact mirror?
You never know when you’re going to need to fix something or put on lipstick or check to see if there’s anything in your teeth.
I’ve been using these super affordable earbuds for four months now and I’m HOOKED. They don’t fall out. They have extra cushioning for the ear and they fit perfectly and the earbuds have different levels of sound depending on how much volume you need and they come in tons of colors. I’m never ever ever using another earbud. I have them in my bag and use them all the time to listen to audio books and music when I’m in a coffee shop.
And in amazing news? I have a 15% off code THISTLEWOOD.
15. Small lint roller with cover
Lint and pet hair on clothes can be so frustrating. A small lint roller like this can quickly remove fuzz from your clothes.
A roller like this will easily fit in your bag, but make sure you get one with a cover so you don’t waste so many of the peel-off strips.
16. Red lipstick
And of course, it wouldn’t be a bag without red lipstick.
I have about seven of these red lipsticks that I keep everywhere including one in my bag.
If I’m having a tough day? Nothing makes it brighter than a little red lipstick.
And now you know what’s in the bag.
It’s packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Just in case there’s an adventure waiting. 🙂
disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post.