How to Organize Tote Bags

I love a good tote bag. They’re great for throwing whatever you need inside and heading out. I own several tote bags, some leather and some canvas, and I use them to carry around two books, my emotional support water bottle, and anything else I might need with ease. 

But the greatest benefit of a tote bag is sometimes its biggest problem. Because it’s so easy to throw whatever you need inside your tote, it’s also very easy for the inside of a tote bag to become a chaotic mess. If you love the ease and utility of a tote bag but hate the mess, here’s how to organize tote bags.

Items Commonly Stored in Tote Bags

Tote bags are perfect for carrying around everything and anything you might need, like:

Tools for Organizing Tote Bags

Because tote bags are typically just one large pocket without divisions, some extra tools will be very helpful in keeping your tote bag organized so you can find what you need without digging around in a jumbled mess. 

Organizer Insert

ZTUJO Felt Purse Organizer, Multi Pocket Bag in Bag Organizer For Tote & Handbag Shaper, Speedy 30,…
  • Felt Purse Handbag Organizer Made of Sturdy Felt Cloth with High Quality and New , Soft and Pliable ,Lightweight and Well Constructed.
  • The Organizer Bag with Many Pockets to Hold and Protect Your Phone Glasses, Tablet and Camera or Ipad etc. Keep Your Items Easy Find and Well Organized
  • 3 SIZE: Medium Purse Organizer:9.5″*5.9″*5.1″—Fits Speedy 25 & 30 (Slouchy Style Preference). Large Purse Organizer: 11.8*6.5*6.1inch—Fits Speedy 35 and Neverfull MM Perfectly and Fits Speedy 30…

This organizer is a felt container with several pockets to hold different items. It comes in several sizes and colors to match your tote bag and needs. There are designated spaces for phones, glasses, pens, makeup, or whatever else you care to organize in your bag. There is enough space for a water bottle or a coffee cup too.

This is a great practical option if you want to add divisions and extra pockets to your tote bag. It’s budget-friendly and will help give all your items a designated place in your bag. 


Gejoy 12 Pieces Multipurpose Canvas Cosmetic Bag Makeup Pouches with Zipper Canvas Bag Blank Makeup…
  • Colorful zipper: there are 6 colors of zippers for you to choose from, each color has 2 pieces, which can separate your different items orderly, such as cosmetics bags, coin bags, etc., to meet your…
  • Washable material: these makeup pouches are made of canvas mainly, it’s durable and lightweight to use, cotton canvas cloth makes it soft, easy-care and not easy to fade, the bag can be washed…
  • What you get: come with 12 pieces multipurpose cosmetic bags in total, sufficient quantity can meet your different needs in daily life, you can also share them with friends or family as gift

I love using pouches to organize my tote bags because I can divide all the items into categories and have a pouch for each. One for makeup, one for headphones and charges, one for first aid, and so on. 

These large pouches are great because the colored zippers allow you to color code what items are in each pouch, so you always know where to find what you’re looking for. 

Durable and washable pouches are a great option for organizing tote bags – they won’t fall to pieces with everyday use and washing. Pouches are an easy and inexpensive way to keep everything organized in your tote bags. 

Tech Folio

tomtoc Felt & PU Leather Tablet Sleeve for New 12.9-inch iPad Pro M2&M1 (2022-2018) with Magic…
  • Slim Appearance Patent Design: This slim design allows you to carry your table on the go while protecting it from daily scratches. The zipped accessory pocket, makes it easy and convenient to store…
  • Intelligent Magnet Closure: Designed with sophistication and innovation in mind, our Intelligent magnet closure allows you to easily slide your iPad in and out, without the hassle of zippers and is…
  • All Around Protection: Made with smooth felt & PU leather on the outside and soft ridge microfiber padding on the inside to keep your tablet in place while providing adequate protection without making…

A tech folio is a great option for organizing tote bags because it lets you keep your tech and tech accessories in one place. This folio is primarily a sleeve for a tablet but also has an outer pocket that will hold chargers, a wireless mouse, or headphones. 

If you carry a lot of tech in your tote bag and want to keep it protected and organized, this folio will work great, but only if you’re an iPad Pro user. If you have a different kind of tablet or a laptop, this folio won’t work for you, but a similar option like this one might. 

Card Case

Handmade Minimalist reclaimed leather Card Case Wallet for Men & Women Front Pocket Card Holder
  • MATERIAL: ​This sophisticated card case is crafted in supple reclaimed leather and features an envelope flap snap closure
  • Dimension: Small but big capacity, 4*2.7*0.2 inches (10X6.5X1cm), 1card slots..It has 1 card slots on where you can put 3-9 cards into each card slot.The leather card holder is designed to be slim ….
  • EASY TO CARRY: ​This mini card organizer, more light and slim, you can put on you hand also can easily put on your pocket, handbag, backpack, cross body bag ect.

Since I rarely use cash anymore, I carry around my big wallet less and less. But I still need something small for my ID, library card, and credit cards for places that don’t take Apple Pay. This card case will hold 3 to 9 cards, and it’s super slim, so it won’t take up tons of space in your bag. 

If you still use cash or checks, this probably isn’t the most practical option for you. But if you’re like me and you need something small to organize all your cards, this is an excellent choice to streamline your wallet. If you need something a little bigger, this wallet organizer will keep everything neat in your bag while also helping you budget! 

Habits for Maintaining an Organized Tote

  • Go through your tote bag and empty it weekly: this will help keep everything organized and help you avoid carrying junk you don’t need.
  • Only carry what you use: if you find yourself carrying around things you never reach for week after week, it might be time to take them out of the tote. 
  • Contain like items: whether it’s with pouches, folios, or an organizer, find a way to divide up your items so they don’t just end up tangled at the bottom of your bag. 
  • Figure out a system for receipts: receipts are the number one thing that makes a mess in my bags. Usually, I end up just tossing them, but if you need to keep receipts for your records, either be sure to take them out and file them when you get home each day or designate a pouch or space in your bag for receipts. This also applies to loose coins.
How to organize tote bags

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