Phone, wallet, keys. These are the obvious must-haves that pretty much everyone needs to have with them when they leave the house. Then there are various additional odds and ends that are necessary for other folks -- lip balm, Advil, a notebook. All good.
For me, however, my list is a tiny bit different. Buried at the bottom of my purse, amongst the tangled earbuds and crumpled receipts, are my five essentials. These items help me take on the world confidently and feel prepared for most situations. Check them out below and maybe you'll wonder where they've been all your life. Then head to the comments and tell me what bag items you need to survive the day-to-day.
Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Chewing Sticks
Yeah, I go through packs of gum like you wouldn't believe, but for getting your mouth fresh in minimal time, without toting around a toothbrush and toothpaste or having to find a sink -- these are awesome. These handy sticks rid your teeth of any left-behind food but have the bonus freshening and antibacterial power of tea tree oil. After chewing on one of these for a good minute, my mouth feels minty fresh (thanks to the added spearmint, fennel and peppermint oils and menthol) and as clean as it would post-brushing. So necessary, especially if you love garlic as much as I do. Plus, they're made with renewable birchwood so you don't have to feel like a deforestation-promoting monster.
Portable Phone Charger
I've had the same iPhone for two years now, which means the battery drains a lot faster than it used to. Between texting, listening to music, checking my email and browsing my various social networks, I'll frequently be out and about when my phone decides to call it quits. It especially likes to do this when I'm trying to meet up with a friend and bam, suddenly my contact with the world is cut off, because who memorizes phone numbers anymore anyway? This is when my Powerocks Magic Stick phone charger comes in handy. I plug it into my computer when I'm home so it can charge up on energy (roughly enough for two full phone charges), and then throw it in my bag before I leave the house. That way, if I've got a long day (or night) of running around ahead of me, I know I can always keep in touch with my friends, or at least the cab company.
Few things can slowly grate away at my nerves quite like a raggedy nail snagging on my clothes. Chipping a nail and finding myself without a file makes me incredibly annoyed. This Tweezerman file is great because it comes in a little plastic case, meaning the grit won't scratch anything delicate in your purse. I breathe a little easier knowing it's in there, waiting to take care of any scraggly, broken nails that may pop up.
I know this isn't a weird or inventive thing to NEED to have in your bag, but for me it's about more than just killing germs. You see, I can't stand it when my hands smell like food. If I eat a burger or my beloved tacos, I will viciously scrub my hands afterwards in an attempt to rid my skin and nails of any savoury smells. Restaurant bathroom soap doesn't always do the job though, but I've found that alcohol-based hand sanitizers have the power of seeking out and killing food smells. And I will take hospital-clean-scented hands over burger-hands anyday. "Hospital" isn't remotely close to the scent that comes with Aesop's Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash though, because it's got mandarin rind extract and rosemary leaf, meaning your hands will smell like a fancy garden in summer. Two citrusy thumbs up.
Contact Lens Case (Full Of Solution)
I have a habit of crashing on people's couches when I'm too tired to walk home and too cheap to call Uber. Sometimes I just get tired of looking at people's faces. Few things feel better in such situations than being able to pop out my lenses into clean, fresh solution and give my eyes a damn rest. Because the one time I fell asleep with my contacts in was seriously terrifying. Never again.
Now tell me, what do you need to keep in your bag to keep it together?