The total weight of your purse and its contents shouldn't exceed 10 percent of your body weight, according to the recommendations from the American Chiropractic Association. If you want to solve the mystery of your aching back and sore shoulders, you might want to upend your bag and take inventory of all those small items, whose cumulative weight adds up. Here's how to shave pounds from your shoulder bag.
Cull only the most useful objects. Dump everything out and ask yourself some hard questions. Why do you carry three lipsticks when you wear only one? When do you plan on sharpening that broken pencil?
Create little kits. Organize pouches -- workday, weekend, makeup -- that are easy to pack when you need them and easy to ditch when you don't. Use clear-sided bags -- they let you quickly assess the contents.
Leave the computer at home: A phone and a tablet can serve most of the same purposes as a laptop without weighing you down. Bonus: In airports, you don't need to remove a tablet from a bag for screening, according to TSA guidelines.
Put your phone to work. If you tend to carry a book, try downloading an e-reader app so you can read on your phone. With the Key Ring app, you can store all your shopper-rewards numbers and gift cards. Your wallet can lose weight, too, with an app like LifeLock Wallet, which lets you upload (and password-protect) your various IDs and membership cards. Granted, when you rely on your phone so much, you don't want to be caught with no juice, so carry that backup charger.