Show Me the Goods

30th November 2010

I just lost an hour to Jason Travis’s Persona set. It’s similar to the What’s in Your Bag pool on Flickr, but you get to see the person behind the stuff.

I often used to ask to look through friends’ wallets and bags, and I’m especially fascinated by folks who carry almost nothing with them. I tend to be a pack mule, I feel like it affords me more opportunities for spontaneity if I have my stuff in tow. In fact, after looking through these photos, I’d like to start carrying around a switchblade, a tiny bottle of airplane tequila, and my passport. You never know.

What do you always have with you when you leave home?

39 thoughts on “Show Me the Goods

  1. Ali

    wow, the amount of stuff people carry around amazes me. I leave home with my phone, bank card, ID, 1 key and some lip balm.

  2. Leslie

    Wallet, keys, phone, chapstick – these are top tier items. I can live with just these.
    If I carry a purse, I have an emergency kit which includes bandaids, dental floss, tweezers, a wetnap, and eyeliner. Aaaand I just checked my purse and for some reason there’s a bungee cord in it? ADVENTURE!

  3. Erin

    Haha, I love the idea of always carrying a switchblade, airplane tequila and your passport! You would no doubt forever be the hottest girl at any party with that kind of bag.

  4. Megan G.

    I don’t have a car and live in a city, so when I head out for the day, typically, I’m out all day long, and I want *everything* I might need for the day with me. Sometimes I do get tired of all the schlepping.

  5. zan

    I feel totally naked if I leave the house without a book in my bag.

    Also always: wallet, keys, phone. Very often: a pen & notebook, a hair tie. Today’s oddities: ear plugs, a man’s plaid handkerchief, a hotel receipt from one night in Columbus, Ohio.

  6. mely

    Thanks for the awesome links! I love seeing what people are carrying around. Also, where they live and what books they have. Seems I’m sometimes more interested in their stuff than in the people proper. *g*

    As for me, only my iPod and Labello (chapstick for you USians) are absolutely indispensable, turn-back-and-get-them-if-forgotten items. The next tier, that’d be mobile, wallet-with-stuff (money goes into the iPod case, that way I know there’s no way it’ll get stolen), mini-notebook, comb, keys. And last and least, the things that lurk in the depths of any bag, like random USB sticks, tissues, bus/movie ticket stubs, chestnuts, bills, nail files etc.

  7. Desi

    When it’s just me, I carry my bank card, my chapstick, my phone and my keys. No purse. When I’m going to meet up with my girls, I bring a small canvas shoulder bag with all of those things, plus a book and my wallet. When it’s me and my crew, I carry the Go Bag (training pants, change of pants, wipes, emergency contact sheets, mini-first aid kit, a diaper), which is a small MEC cragging pack. I LOVE the way those glorious big leather handbags look, but they’re just so not me. I like to travel light!

  8. Tawny

    In my purse:
    Phone, chapstick, netbook, wallet, tampons, whatever book I am reading and a pen.

    In my car at all times:
    At least 3 reusable bags, road side assistance set, 2 jackets, chapstick and tissues.

  9. Nicole

    Bags. I love bags. I also LOVE shoving stuff into bags.

    I have: my wallet, a water bottle, a blue pencil bag that has pens, lip balm, flashdrives, and lipstick. I carry a paper planner, my phone, a journal, a book, camera, house keys and car keys, ear phones, sketchbook and colored pencils. I occasionally have files in my bag too.

    My favorite comment from my husband this morning, when I handed him my bag to stick in the back seat, “Wow! This is so much lighter then I was expecting.”

  10. latenac

    Wallet, keys and chapstick. When I lived in a big city and didn’t have to drive everywhere then a book and water bottle were must have items as well.

  11. Meredith

    I carry a big bag on a daily basis with:
    wallet; phone; at least 2 lip balms (one must be Rosebud Salve); moleskine planner; notepad; pens; small bag with tampons, hair ties, headband, flash drive, and bandaids; keys; sunglasses; hand lotion (right now I have two – one with SPF and super thick Nivea); nail file; hand sanitizer; altoids; handkercheif; compact mirror; and matches.

    Think that’s enough?!

  12. Heather

    mens-sized wallet for my back pocket, cell phone for my right front pocket, and maybe a set of keys – depends on whether I’m on public transit, taking the Ghia, or riding the motorbike (I hide my house keys in my back yard. Bad squirrelly habit…).

  13. Nicole

    checkbook/cards; hand sanitizer; makeup; comb; spare house keys; tampons; advil & ativan (-:
    plus a lucky pebble and a broken necklace, apparently.

  14. Kara

    What do I always have? Hmmm… lets take a look!
    Wallet
    Smartphone (HTC Increadible)
    Keys
    pen
    moleskin notebook
    chapstick (Burt’s bees)
    lipstick (Revlon “wine with everything”)
    pocket mirror
    small comb
    perfume solid (L’Ocittane Verbena)
    Kindle
    Library Book

    Dang, that’s a lot!

    If I am not taking my purse with me, and have to rely solely on jacket/pants pockets, then that list gets pared down to – wallet, smartphone, keys, chapstick

  15. BeckyC

    Black ink, fine point clicky pen (no cap to lose). Keys (2). Orange mini Sharpie (on keychain). Notebook. Wallet with ID, debit card, insurance cards &n cash. Lip balm. I forgot my cell phone today, or I’d add that, as well. Carrying less stuff means I think about losing less stuff. The more I pare down, the less I need. This goes completely against my former life as a pack-rat art student.

  16. Heather

    My fancy phone, Blistex silk and shine, wraparound earmuffs, two giant purple velcro rollers for my bangs. License. Debit card.
    Clearly, the essentials…

  17. Cindy

    I always have my little elephant change purse (carries ID and credit card) and a notebook. If I’m lucky I have keys and a cell phone and most times I have my camera.

  18. Florrie

    I’m a longtime reader of your blog and haven’t ever commented before, but I just had to today because Jason Travis is a friend of mine! He has done a “Persona” portrait of my husband. He’s actually having a show here in Atlanta that opens tomorrow. Small world!

  19. KJ

    -cell phone
    -pair of glasses in a Vera Bradley eyeglass case
    -wallet
    -birth conrol pills
    -Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
    -travel size bottle of Ibuprofen
    -pair of sunglasses in a fabric pouch
    -an empty earplug container (where did they go?)
    -2 black pens
    -a 1GB flash drive
    -a handful of tampons
    -1 Mary Kay lipstick in Apricot Glaze
    -1 Guerlain lipstick in Brown Toffee
    -1 Softlips lip gloss in Shell Pink
    -1 package of Neutrogena shine-control blotting sheets
    -4 sticks of Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum
    -a bunch of old receipts

  20. AnnGeeDee

    I’m a small purse kinda gal. In it: wallet, key, various receipts, business card case with cards, iphone and my canon powershot. Done and done.

  21. auntie

    Keys (apartment, car, parents’ house, desk at work, mailbox). Droid. Wallet (driver’s license, misc cards, cash). Gum (Trident original flavor). Gloves. Sunglasses in fabric case. Small bag with 1 tampon, hand sanitizer, pill box, bandaids, earrings I wore last Saturday night. Another small bag with nail clippers, dental floss, Kleenex, pen, Shout Wipes, small tape measure, two-dollar bill from my boyfriend. Small hand lotion (Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion). Um, yet ANOTHER small bag with mirror compact, Chapstick, 4 lip glosses, 1 lipstick. And another wallet with discount cards, gift cards, punch cards. Notebook with pen (basically my planner). Another pair of earrings held together with a small hair clip. Couple of movie ticket stubs. Services menu from my new hair salon. Check from my sister that needs to be deposited.

    Clearly missing: kitchen sink.

  22. Shevon

    I carry a wristlet purse, and next to nothing in it. My phone, wallet, keys, a pack of gum some Splenda and a chapstick. I used to carry a much larger purse with crayons too, but it became too messy.

  23. dgm

    Always in me bag: driver’s license; credit card; swiss army knife (the big one with lots of stuff); pepper spray (so I don’t have to whip out the knife); a small moleskin or some index cards; lip moisturizer; a book or the crossword puzzle or the remains of the sunday nytimes I didn’t finish on sunday; two pens; a pencil; a smooth stone I rub with my thumb if I need calming; my keys.

  24. Jasmin

    besides the standard wallet/keys/phone, I always have at least one slim fiction paperback, one nonfiction, a NYTimes crossword book, my gorgeous journal for jotting down random brain bits, a blue pen, a black pen, a red pencil, a mechanical pencil, and correction tape.

    I obviously need an editor-style intervention. and a Kindle.

  25. Stef

    That was totally worth a look, and the coolest part, for me, was that so many of the pics were taken in Atlanta.

  26. Mar

    I truly wish I could leave home only with some coins and one key, but currently my purse includes: wallet, coin purse, cell phone, card holder, keys, several lip balms, 2 lipsticks, small handcream, kleenex,pad and pen, small camera, glasses case, folding shopping bag, candy and mints…

  27. haya

    the switchblade kind of cancels out the passport because they wouldn’t let you on a plane with that… i guess you’d have to be willing to ditch it if good travel plans came up.

    i like to travel light around the city and my purse is kind of small (i need to get a bigger one). usually just phone, wallet, keys, maybe some chapstick/lip gloss/etc, and possibly a bottle of water. i like winter because jacket pockets afford me a bit more space for tiny things.

  28. Maggeh Post author

    Florrie, how awesome! Please congratulate him for me.

    Danielle, the passport thing wigs me out too. They’re such a pain to replace. But the intrepidness is part of the appeal.

  29. Mary

    wallet
    pen
    ipod
    blackberry
    shopping list
    tissues
    lip balm
    comb
    keys
    stupid little store club cards
    floss
    hair bands and clips
    yucky old cough drop

    sometimes a tiny camera, but not today

  30. r8chel

    Things I DON’T carry in my purse that a lot of other people seem to:

    passport
    sunglasses
    gum
    headphones
    lipstick
    book
    receipts (yuck! They come out the instant I get home!)
    cigarettes
    pain reliever

  31. ElJay

    I’m another minimalist — men’s wallet in back pocket, keys and cellphone. All I need for spontaneity is cash. ;)

    I got a bottle opener belt buckle after it was featured on MightyGoods a couple of years ago, and have been wearing it recently. . . I don’t drink beer, but I thought it was cute. So now I usually have a bottle opener, too, and have found it makes you rather popular at parties.

  32. Lisa

    Right now I have a wallet, coupons, small bag with liners, small bag {with friend’s extra key, tiny water gun, sunblock lotion, lighter, pen, gum, fireball, eyeliner, MAC lipstick, blue fine point sharpie, MK Lipgloss, hair tye, e-cig case with refills}, Tums, sun block stuck, 2 lotions, hand sanitizer, pill case, more gum, chapstick, another pen, a black fine tip sharpie, tissues in a cute case, click black sharpie, a ring, dayquil, plastic hopping spider, and an airhead….WOW that’s a lot!

  33. Teresa

    Am I the only one who wishes they could see the bag too? Make it a triptych!

    In my bag: moleskin, pens & pens & pens, turquoise blue leather gloves, hand knit scarf, floss, chapstick, tissues, wallet, keys, & phone.

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