You don’t need us to tell you that rummaging around for minutes in a giant bag and coming up with crumb-covered lip balms when you’re looking for your wallet is not a good look. But, oh, have we all been there—look no further than this excellent illustration by Gemma Correll for proof of this phenomenon’s universality.
But there’s a solution to your bag problem, and it’s…more bags. It’s simple, but true—layering isn’t just for cardigans, and stocking up on a few interior compartments can help keep your overstuffed tote from turning into a total morass. There are a few ways you can go at this: 1) simple, zippered pouches or 2) a more sturdy organizer with pockets that sits in the base of a bag (see this New York Magazine guide for some specific recs). The perk of pouches is that you can easily grab and transfer them from one bag to another so you’ve always got your essentials handy, even when you opt for that cute clutch. If you prefer to dip a hand into your carry-all without having to unzip (perfect for sneaking a snack during meetings!), option two creates a kind of interior filing system for your stuff. Now look who’s tote-ally on top of their organization game!