12 Months of Thrifting, Casual, Fashion, thrift shopping tips

Thrifting an essential tote bag

We’re wrapping up the 12 Months of Thrifting challenge so that means it’s time to hunt for an essential tote bag. I’m always carrying something, somewhere. For a while, I was stuffing my lunch, mail, laptop, iPad, and a million other things in several bags to work. Sometimes I used reusable cloth bags and even plastic grocery store bags. This summer, I decided enough was enough and bought a couple of large totes, including this one from Goodwill’s blue boutique. It has been such a lifesaver. Here’s a peek inside my bag:

• A notebook. A day to day diary of to-do lists, ideas, thoughts, goals.
• Laptop / iPad / Chargers
• A small bag for miscellaneous items like gum, pens, hand sanitizer.
Thank you cards. You never know when you need to send out a quick thank you card after a meeting or lunch. Having them in my tote allows me to get it out of the way right as I’m thinking about it.
• Postage stamps.
• A folder for miscellaneous papers. There’s nothing that irks me more than miscellaneous sheets of paper everywhere. This could be a receipt or an important document you need but doesn’t really merit an entire folder. I stick all of those things in a miscellaneous folder.
• A laptop sleeve for folders. There are a number of folders I access on a weekly basis. These are things I know I’ll need at any given moment so instead of filing them in our home office, I keep the folders with me neatly organized in a laptop case.
• Mail. The sight of mail accumulating at home makes me anxious. I simply grab the mail every night and stick it in the laptop case inside my tote. I usually go through it over lunch. Just don’t forget you have a stack of mail in your tote! That could be dangerous

Now that you see how useful a carry-all tote bag can be, let’s get back to thrifting one. There are dozens and dozens of tote bags out there in pretty prints and colors, which are very tempting but I highly recommend sticking to a neutral color to start off. A large tote in brown, tan or black will pair well with practically everything you own. Not to mention, they are professional and sleek. If you’re like me and need a little extra flare, try a neutral color with a little fringe, pretty hardware, bright lining, or colorful stitching.

Bag: Nine West from Blue / A Goodwill Boutique
$10 after 25% special event coupon

Before you head to the thrift store, check out these great totes for inspiration: