How much 'junk' is in your bag?

British Handbag

When I think about what I cart around in my handbag I would be inclined to agree that my packing is a tad excessive, but when I really consider what I throw in my bag every day, I'm almost too embarrassed to come up with a reason for why I carry it all.

It's fairly safe to say that Mary Poppins has nothing on my handbag. There's the obligatory purse, phone, and keys, but then there's also the entire make-up bag, perfume, hairbrush, umbrella, tissues, notebook, paperback, and no less than 10 pens. Admittedly I use the excuse of being a writer for my excessive pen carrying ways, (and the feeble hope that one day I'll be struck with so much inspiration that I'll need 10 biro's worth of ink on my 40-minute commute), but in reality, I'm a bit of a handbag hoarder.

Yet according to a recent study carried out by Vape stick, (an electronic cigarette brand), on 3000 British women, I'm not the only one. Apparently 9 out of 10 women asked, admitted to carrying at least 10 items of what they considered junk in their handbag everyday. And it's this 'junk' that's causing the average woman's handbag to weigh in at 5.4lb, which is yes, the size of a small dog.

The study, which compares the handbag contents of the 1990's to that of today, unsurprisingly found that what women's packing has evolved over the decades. Whilst cash, cheque books and A to Z maps may have been top ranking items 24 years ago, today, smartphones, tablets and cards are considered the essential items. However, some things never change as gum and painkillers were still argued as important items in the modern handbag.

The brains behind the study have argued that the reason for the evolving handbag is our dependency on modern technology. Not only did devices such as the smartphone rank higher than keys on the importance list but a staggering 86% of women admitted to never carrying cash as they solely relied on their cards.

Yet despite an increasing dependency on technology and devices with apps that can do almost anything, women are still packing the most trivial of items. 'Out there' handbag items included, 56% of women carrying spare shoes and 36% packing additional underwear.

But do we ever use these items? Or are they just sat at the bottom of our bags collecting dust for months? Well according to the study, only 23% of women admit to using what they deem as 'junk' items on a regular basis, meaning for most these items will never actually serve a purpose.

So why do we pack so excessively not to mention put our shoulders under so much strain from the heavy load of our handbags? Well, it's the 'just in case' of course! Arguably the planning for every eventuality didn't become a female stereotype for nothing, and whilst it might not be needed on a daily basis, you never know when those 9 spare pens might come in handy.

By Stephanie Jade Sleaford

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