Heavy lifting

I guess I’ve always known, somewhere in the back of my mind, that the bags I usually run around with are too heavy and that this isn’t really a healthy habit, even though I never gave it any conscious thought or really tried to change anything about it.
In order to confront myself into a wake-up call I put my current one on the scales and learned it weighs 1,3 kilo (which all in all is still kinda acceptable). While at it I also checked the contents to see if I could get rid of anything.

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Left to right, back to front:

– a small bag with basic cosmetics and some basic medicines (allergy, headache, stomach trouble,..)
– a foldable shopping bag disguised as a fluffy kiwi (zespri sponsored a Belgian Girl Geek goodie bag earlier this year)
– my deodorant
– some envelopes that will go into the mail later today when I pass by the postal office
– paper towels
– some random paperwork and my colour chart (which you can have a better look at here)
– customer loyalty card holder thingy and business card holder
– a collection of house-, car- and other keys
– a handbag holder (from the Ladies at the movies “Fame” BGGD goodiebag, which I threw out since I don’t ever use it)
my wallet
– my own proper chopsticks, which often get me complimented when I dig them out in an Asian restaurant where they only have the disposable kind (the ones where you risk getting a splinter in your tongue)
– my sunglasses

In order to motivate myself to keep a lean purse and think of my back, shoulders and neck, I went in search of some guidelines and tips on the subject, which I’ll gladly share:

Ideal weight
The ideal weight for a purse stays under a kilo, but anything up to 1,5 kilo is still acceptable (see, I’m not being such a bad student), anything over 2 kilo is definitely to heavy.

Type of bag
If you feel that everything in your over 2 kilo bag should be dragged along, then maybe you should consider switching to a backpack model, which will distribute the weight more evenly.

Straps
When choosing a bag, make sure to look at the type of the straps: thin straps and metal straps will more easily cut into your shoulder muscles whereas a broader strap or straps will once again distribute the weight more evenly.

Posture
Make sure not to cut into your trapezium muscles, but carry your bag more towards the bony part of your shoulder.
Don’t carry a shopper on your elbow, but hold it in your hand to avoid injury.
If you choose to carry a backpack, don’t sling it over just one shoulder but use both straps and make sure it sits high enough on your back (ending at the bottom of your ribcage and not the small of your back).

Content management
The best way to avoid a purse that is too heavy, is by managing what you carry around.
You can do this by having a regular clear out or by regularly switching purses, which usually results in a clear out.
Another way to do it is by choosing a smaller bag, which will prevent you from taking too much along, but for me this only leads to an overstuffed smaller bag and lots of frustration.

Now that I’ve jotted down all of these tips I will try to live by them and maybe even post an update (if I don’t forget).

So, how heavy is your handbag and what do you carry around in it? Have you got any other tips to add to these and do they work for you?

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