If you’re someone who regularly carries a purse with them, you probably know just how fast those things can gain weight. Before you know it, it feels like your constantly carrying a cinderblock with you.

Sure, it may come in handy should you ever need to knock someone over the head with it, but let’s be real. Your bag shouldn’t be so heavy that you dread to pick it up on your way out the door.

In fact, WebMD sites your purse as a possible culprit for lower back pain. Although we carry them on our shoulders, it’s the lower back that’s supporting the weight. This means it’s even more important to learn how to keep a light load.

Follow these tips – whether at home or traveling – and you’ll find your purse losing pounds by the day. Soon you’ll be able to focus more on the world around you and less on your aching shoulders.

Don’t toss your change inside

Loose change is probably one of the #1 items that weigh your purse down. And it’s because there’s so much of it.

Every time you get back those couple pennies and a quarter, don’t simply dump it into your purse to take care of later. It always takes longer than you think to actually get around to cleaning out your purse, and by that time you’ve got a hundred more nickels and dimes clinking around in there.

Instead, have a designated, small pocket to store your change. This will help remind you to empty it regularly, and when you go to do so you won’t have to rummage around the bottom of your bag.

You could also simply put your change in your pocket (if you have pockets) and dump it in a change jar at the end of the day. No purse involved!

Either way, if take more care with your extra change you’ll have less strain on your shoulders and be saving money, all at the same time.

Pick the right purse to bring with

Sometimes we don’t realize that the reason our bag is so heavy is because the bag itself is just too heavy.

When you go to purchase the perfect purse, make sure you test its weight against the other options. If this is a purse you want to take traveling, definitely don’t pick the heavy-duty one even if is the cutest.

Check out this list of the best travel purses according to Expert World Travel. With some searching, you can find a sensible purse that doesn’t leave your valuables open for easy picking, without having to break your back in the process.

Have multiple purses for multiple occasions

Why do you have your lipstick for going out in the same purse that you bring to work? And when you go out at night, do you have to take out that notebook and water bottle and those extra pens every time?

Instead, think about the occasions when you need to bring a purse with you, and try to place them into categories. Perhaps they fit into work and leisure, or day and night, weekday and weekend. However you differentiate, determine what items you need and when, and get yourself a second purse for that second category.

The only things you’ll need to swap back and forth are probably your wallet and your keys. This will cut down on how much you accumulate in any one purse and diversify your style.

If you’re traveling and can’t take a second purse with you, store your going-out items in a plastic baggie for easier swapping at the end of the day.

Get serious about regular purse cleanings

We all know and dread it. That day when you realize you can’t actually see the bottom of your purse anymore, and you think you may have seen a spoon swimming around in there somewhere. It’s time for a purse cleaning.

So you overturn your bag on the coffee table and a mountain of miscellaneous items come tumbling out. Hey, there are those earrings you were looking for a month ago! Get ready to spend the next hour picking through this treasure trove.

I have an alternative for you. Don’t wait until you can no longer ignore your purse’s messiness. Be proactive about it instead, and get into a routine of regularly going through your purse. I promise it will take a fraction of the time and the effort.

Ideally, you will check every day for trash or things to take out and leave at home. But even if you don’t do it every day, getting into a routine of cleaning out your purse every week will make your life a whole lot easier.

If you’re traveling, however, you really do need to unpack your purse every evening. The number of random souvenirs and keepsakes that you accumulate throughout the day demands a good purse cleaning at night, otherwise, you’ll have no purse space the next day. And that’s not including trash and, yes, loose change!

If you stay on top of it, you’ll be so much happier attacking your next day of travels, and you won’t ever struggle to fit your things inside.

It will take some effort to change your habits at first, but if you stick with it you’ll find yourself keeping your purse light without even giving it a second thought. So whether on the road or at home, follow these tips and keep your back and mind stress free!