The superfluous contents of your purse may be a running joke at this point—even we Real Simple staffers giggled at our over-stuffing—but a too-heavy bag is no laughing matter. If you find yourself toting around everything from makeup to gym shoes to heavy electronics, remember that the extra weight can lead to neck and shoulder pain.
Consider this advice from Heidi Prather, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis: Your bag should, ideally, weigh no more than 10 percent of your body weight or 10 pounds, whichever is less. A quick way to tell if you’re carrying too much? Hold your purse in one hand and a gallon of milk in the other. The milk weighs 8.3 pounds, so your bag shouldn’t be much heavier.
Looking to really pare down? Try one of these cute clutches.