This morning I woke up with a pain in my left shoulder. It was a dull ache and there was a band of tightness right round my arm just below the shoulder. When I sat up I realised I couldn’t lift my arm more than a few inches. My first thought was that I had been lying on it during the night. My OH at this point had different ideas and was making unhelpful comments such as ‘Maybe you’re having a heart attack…or a stroke! It can happen at any age you know!’ I gave him one of my withering looks as slowly it began to dawn on me just what had happened.

I have had the same pain twice in the past and the cause of it was…my handbag. The first time I had it was several years ago. I went to see the doctor and, once I had described my symptoms to him, he leant over, picked up – no – struggled to lift my overflowing hand bag from the floor and told me he was pretty sure he knew what the problem was. The same thing happened again a few years later with a different handbag.

The Hazard of Handbags









About six weeks ago my OH bought me a beautiful Fossil Weekender bag and I have used it daily since then. I love it but friends have commented on the weight of it when they pick it up. It’s not so much the weight of the bag as the weight of the contents. It is quite a large bag I have to admit but I just cannot understand how some women seem to manage with the tiniest of handbags! When I’m on a night out I can cope with a small bag but on a daily basis? Impossible!! Anyway, I know that the weight of the contents of the bag are what’s causing a trapped nerve in my shoulder. Just so you know, I stepped on the scales without my bag and then I got on again but this time with my bag. The difference was 14lbs. A WHOLE STONE!

So, I thought today I would show you what I carry around with me on a daily basis.

Armani Diamonds perfume
Avon Skin so Soft (a brilliant midge repellent)
Fossil Purse
Hemp handcream
Personal Size Filofax (packed)
Make-up bag (also packed)
iPhone and headphones
Cheque book



When I looked at this I did wonder whether I really needed a camera when I have my iPhone and iPad. Do I need both my iPhone and iPad? Is it necessary to have a notebook when I have my Filofax, iPhone/iPad and actually, do I need my Filofax in my bag at all? I need to have a rethink but, in the meantime, I will just keep it all where it is and carry my bag in the crook of my right arm until my shoulder heals.

So, my questions today are…does anyone’s handbag weigh as much as/more than this? Has anyone’s handbag actually caused them an injury? Does anyone else carry as much in their bags as I do?
There is a follow up to this post. You can read it by clicking here


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  1. 1

    Now that I always have my Filofax I generally don’t take a notebook, which is good. I also don’t take my iPad with me to places much.
    I’m one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink people but I’ve streamlined the basics.
    So now when I go out for the day all I take is generally phone, keys, iPod (if I know I’ve got a train journey or something), book, glasses, Filofax (which is also purse and notebook as well as containing two pens), bottle of water.
    It all fits perfectly in my handbag with space left over for a jacket.

  2. 2

    Lily, I’m so impressed with how little you can take with you and still survive!! :-))

    It just proves that I don’t need everything though and I think it’s more like a security blanket thing with me. Since I wrote the post I have managed to leave the house without my iPad and the notebook so that’s progress.

  3. 3

    Great post Denise. I am so glad I’m not the only one who insists on carrying her whole life in her handbag.

    I use a Radley handbag which is similar in style to yours, same colour,and I use it everyday.

    In answer to you questions:

    Mine weighs (just weighed it) 16lbs – but then I do have a pair of shoes hiding at the bottom).

    I suffer shoulder injuries every day and am in constant pain, but refuse to lighten the load.

    I carry my whole life in my bag (including my laptop). My friends are always taking the mickey out of me and often ask me how long I’m going away for!

    In spite of their ribbing though, they are always grateful I have a little bit of space left to carry something of theirs that won’t fit into their pill-box hangbags.

    Maybe we should start a club!

    Hope your shoulder gets better soon.

  4. 4

    Hi Pauline and thanks for making me laugh. 16 lbs is incredible!

    Like you though, people are always asking me to carry things for them. Keys, bottles of water, purchases… If they had decent sized bags they wouldn’t have to. No wonder we have sore shoulders.

    I think a club is a great idea. I’m quite sure we’d get lots of people joining.

  5. 5

    I’m very late to the party here, but I have had the same issue. I don’t carry a ton of stuff, but when you carry more than you should inside of a heavy bag, it gets to be too much. I love my Coach bags, but the bags themselves are a bit heavy. Lately I’ve been using a LeSportsac tote, which is great because of how light the bag is. Empty, you don’t even feel it on your shoulder. Now that I have the iPad, my bag is the heaviest it’s ever been going to and from work but most of that time, my bag is laying next to me on the passenger seat, so it’s not too bad.

    I hope your shoulder is feeling better soon!


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