Ten Essentials

The List

  1. Keychain multi-tool
  2. Keychain LED flashlight
  3. Personal first aid kit
  4. USB thumb drive
  5. Tape measure
  6. Mini pen
  7. Notepad
  8. Pocket Tissues
  9. Sewing Kit
  10. Folding brush/mirror

My criteria for items to be included in the Purse Accessory Kit were very simple and straightforward: each item had to be as small, light, reliable and inexpensive as possible.  The tricky part was how I chose to interpret each of those criteria as it applied to each item, and how I chose to compromise.

The Choices

  • Purse

After a long and exhaustive Internet search (by me), my wife finally settled on the CitySafe 200 by PacSafe.  Why? It was just the size she was looking for ("not too big, not too small"), she liked the "simply elegant" styling, the price was reasonable, and it had a lot of nice features, especially the anti-theft security features.

City Safe 200 security features

  • Multi-tool

We decided on a stainless steel keychain size multi-tool with scissors instead of pliers.  Turns out my wife has a lot more use for a handy pair of scissors than a small pair of needle nose pliers.  We found four tools that fit our needs: the Leatherman Micra or Squirt S4, the Gerber Shortcut , and the SOG Crosscut.  These are all high quality tools.  Just pick your favorite.

  • LED Light

I like the Photon X-Light Micro .  For the money, you can't beat the features on this little guy: smart circuitry, single button operation, polycarbonate case, easy battery replacement, lifetime guarantee and made in the USA.  All for under $10 (sometimes under $5).

  • First-Aid Kit

Ever heard of Adventure Medical?  They've put together all kinds of well designed first-aid kits for lots of uses.  Check out their Pocket Medic. It's perfect for throwing in a purse or glovebox.

  • USB Drive

There are plenty of options out there for you to choose from, but I prefer the really small drives.  Have you seen the Kingmax Superstick?  It claims to be the world's smallest.  You also don't have to worry about accidentally washing and drying it.  Plus, there's no cap to fiddle with or lose.  Another tiny option is to get a Micro SD to USB adapter and a Micro SD card.  You might have a spare outgrown Micro SD card from your cell phone.  Recycle it!

  • Tape Measure & Sewing Kit

Don't buy one! Lots of companies give these items out a promotional item.  Have a little patience and wait until you see one available for free.  Free is good.

  • Mini Pen & Notepad

For size, price and coolness factor, it's hard to beat the Fisher Stowaway Space Pen.  These pens write at any angle on almost any surface (even under water), almost any temperature.  They're under $10 and made in the USA.  Post-It brand makes lots of note pads that are the right size for purses.  They have the added advantage of letting you stick a note where you need to.  For an all-in-one solution, check out the Picopad Wallet Notes.

  • Folding Brush with Mirror & Pocket Tissues

Folding brushes have lots of advantages.  Of course they take up less space, but they also stay cleaner and many have a built-in mirror.  You can usually find pocket tissues and lots of other useful purse items at your local pharmacy chain store.  Take a look in their travel and sample size area.