21 Items You Should NEVER Keep in Your Purse

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A purse is your ultimate go-to for carrying almost anything you’d need while out and about, but that doesn’t mean you can stuff it with anything and everything you want. Sometimes, certain items can bring harm and hassle, especially in the unfortunate event of a stolen bag. 

PINs and Codes


While jotting down your PINs and security codes on a piece of paper in your purse might seem convenient, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. If someone gets hold of it, they could easily get access to your bank accounts or phone, and dealing with the aftermath is a headache you’d rather avoid.

The best thing to do is memorize your PINs and codes. For the truly forgettable ones, consider using a secure and encrypted digital note-taking app on your phone, but definitely ditch the paper trail!

Social Security Card

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Your social security number is like your financial fingerprint. If someone gets a hold of it, they could open accounts in your name and cause you a ton of trouble. 

It’s best to memorize your social security number and keep the actual card locked away at home. Only bring it with you when you absolutely need it, like for a job interview or opening a bank account.

USB Drives  


USB drives can hold a lot of personal information, which is great for you but not so great if you lose it. Anyone who finds an unencrypted drive can see everything on it. 

To keep your info safe, always encrypt important data on USB drives. Another option is to use cloud storage – it’s secure, easy to access, and you can ditch the drive altogether.

Too Much Cash

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Carrying a lot of cash is risky. If you lose your purse, that money’s gone. Plus, a bulky wallet can make you a target for pickpockets. 

Most places accept cards or phone payments these days, so keep just a little cash on hand for emergencies or those rare stores that don’t accept cards.


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Receipts might not seem like a big deal, but they can give someone a peek into your life. If a thief gets their hands on receipts along with other documents, they could pretend to be you. They might see where you shop and use that info to make fraudulent purchases before you can cancel your card.  

To steer clear of this risk, make it a habit to empty your purse of receipts once you’re back home. There might be other documents you should also dispose of, so be cautious about what you wouldn’t want a thief to get their hands on.



Losing your passport is a major headache. It can even lead to identity theft, and replacing it’s a whole process. Since it’s such an important document, especially for travel, keep the original somewhere safe, like a hotel safe. 

For everyday use, carry a photocopy or a digital scan on your phone for ID. Only pack the original passport when you absolutely need it, like on travel days.

Expensive Jewelry   


Carrying fancy jewelry around in your purse is as risky as it seems. It could get stolen, lost, or tangled up with other stuff. 

It’s best to wear the jewelry you want to use or leave it at home, and if you’re traveling or going to a special event, consider using a secure way to transport it, or maybe wear some less valuable pieces instead.

Sharp Objects


Having scissors, nail clippers, or other sharp objects floating around in your purse can wreak absolute havoc on the lining or other items. It would be a shame to see your favorite purse ruined by such mishaps!

If you really need these items, think about using a small, secure case.

Unprotected Phone 

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The last thing you want is a thief getting hold of your unprotected phone. It’s like giving them access to your entire life, your secrets, everything. In the event of your purse being stolen, it’s easy for anyone to access all your information and apps. Even a simple four-digit passcode isn’t foolproof. 

Never leave your phone unprotected. Opt for a longer, more complex code, or better yet, enable fingerprint, facial recognition, or voice recognition to ensure your stuff stays safe.

Spare Keys 


If your purse with spare keys gets stolen, it’s not just your stuff that’s gone – someone could use those keys to unlock your house, car, or even your office. 

Instead of carrying spares in your purse, leave a set with a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor. You could also look into a lockbox or a keyless entry system that you can control remotely.

Tons of Beauty Products


Ditch those bulky bottles of hairspray and other beauty products. While it’s understandable that you’d want to touch up your makeup on the go, carrying around your entire collection isn’t practical. Plus, carrying all that weight can strain your shoulders over time, causing pain. 

Instead, go for travel-sized versions to lighten the load, or simply pack the essential products you truly need for on-the-go touch-ups.

Sensitive Work Documents

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Carrying top-secret work documents in your purse is risky. If you lose them or someone gets a peek, it could be a confidentiality breach or even lead to legal trouble.  

Always transport sensitive work stuff securely, like using an encrypted digital format or a locked briefcase. Only carry what you absolutely need outside the office, and use secure methods like online sharing platforms to collaborate with colleagues.

Birth Certificate 


Your birth certificate is a crucial piece of identification. If you lose it, it can turn into a real nightmare, and replacing it is such a hassle you definitely want to avoid.

Keep the original in a safe and fireproof spot at home, and only take it out when absolutely necessary, like for legal stuff or proving your identity. For most things, a photocopy or a digital scan will work just fine.

Many Credit Cards 


Carrying a bunch of credit cards can be a pain if your purse disappears. You’d have to cancel them all, which is a hassle. Not to mention too many cards in your wallet makes it bulky.  

Stick to the ones you use most often to keep things light and minimize the damage if something goes missing.

Gift Cards


A gift card, or stored value card, is a handy payment option at retail stores, gas stations, and restaurants. Load money onto the card, and it’s ready for use by you or the recipient. And guess what?  Losing a gift card is like losing cash—it’s gone forever. 

Only carry them in your purse if you intend to use them immediately. If you’re concerned about forgetting them at home, consider stashing them in your car in a discreet container.

Random Loose Items


Random loose items like pens without caps, loose change, or random receipts can create a disorganized mess in your bag, making the interior look unsightly and chaotic. 

Steer clear of this chaos and invest in a purse organizer or use pouches to keep things tidy and organized, ensuring a clutter-free and aesthetically pleasing interior.



Carrying a checkbook isn’t the safest these days. Those numbers on the checks can be used to write fake ones and drain your account. 

It’s better to stick with digital payments or credit/debit cards for more fraud protection.  Keep your checkbook locked away at home and only take it with you when you absolutely need to use it.

Unwrapped Snack (Yikes!)


Unwrapped snacks can be messy in your bag. They might leak, damage your other belongings, attract unwanted critters, or leave your purse smelling funky.

Opt for packaged, non-perishable snacks that won’t go bad, and regularly clean out your purse to avoid any forgotten food surprises.

A Whole Bottle of Medication


Losing your purse with a whole bottle of medication is bad for two reasons– you’re out your meds and someone else might misuse them. 

Your best bet is to pack only the meds you need for the day in a labeled pillbox. Leave the bigger bottles safely tucked away at home or in your hotel room.



Leaving a cheat sheet of passwords in your purse is like giving a thief the keys to your online world. If someone finds it, your bank accounts, email, and everything else could be at risk.  

Instead, try a password manager app on your phone. These apps keep your passwords super secure and encrypted, so only you can see them.

Work Badges 


Flashing your work badge to a stranger could be a big security risk at your job.  

Consider having a separate bag for the weekends or simply take your work ID out of your purse when you leave the office.

Kate Smith, a self-proclaimed word nerd who relishes the power of language to inform, entertain, and inspire. Kate's passion for sharing knowledge and sparking meaningful conversations fuels her every word.