The Things We Carry — A Visual Inventory of Personal Belongings

The Things We Carry — A Visual Inventory of Personal Belongings

Lynn Kiang, a videomaker travels with her tripod!

In cities, it seems like your whole life can be found inside your purse, tote, backpack or messenger bag. New York City-based graphic designer and Krrb member, Janine Toro, is taking note, revealing the contents of bags the world over on her website What Do You Carry. What began as a side project for this School of Visual Arts graduate student is now an ongoing conversation among creatives about their stuff. Just like Krrb corners, one’s personal inventory is a (hyper-local) visual catalog of one’s life.

The Things We Carry — A Visual Inventory of Personal Belongings

Along with her electronics, Janine doesn't leave home without her emergency pack of Nutella.

Janine was curious to see what necessary items creative types have with them and use on a daily basis. If what we carry is what we use, then cataloging our belongings says a lot about our preferences, our daily schedules and even our personalities.

The Things We Carry — A Visual Inventory of Personal Belongings

Illustrator Julie Teninbaum carries two pacifiers; the rhinestone adorned one is for when her baby is "going out".

The contents of our bags is a way to see the similarities and differences among people. “Whether we prefer Field Notes or Moleskine notebooks or maybe both,” says Janine. “It says a lot about our workflow, what inspires us and our personality.”

The Things We Carry — A Visual Inventory of Personal Belongings

Architect José Lorenzo-Torres carries a complete set of art supplies including water colors, crayons and stamps.

Over time, the listings on a Krrb corner reflects one’s personal narrative whether it’s a move across the country, a marriage or a new member of the family. In the same way, the essential items on one’s person gives us contextual clues about where that person is going and where they’re at in life.

Tell Us

What are the contents of your bag?

  • Jessica Blackman

    oh my gosh, i have so much crap in bag. Here is goes:

    – The New Yorker
    – Bon Appetite Magazine
    – House keys  
    – Work keys
    – Wallet
    – Pay stub
    – Box of business cards
    – Notebook
    – Meow Meow Tweet body oil
    – Travel size sunscreen
    – 2 pens
    – 3 lipsticks
    – 2 chapsticks
    – 1 Sprout Wellness All Over Cream travel size
    – Manual breast pump
    – Crumpled recipes, like 6 of them
    – Print out of Parisan flea markets
    – Book on Parisan flea markets
    – Burts Bees hand sanitizer
    – Trident
    – Pocket mirror
    – Sunglasses
    – Aveeno Baby sunscreen
    – iPhone w/ headphones
    – 3 hair clips and 2 bands
    – 1 Plastic knife
    – An entire other tote bag.

  • Andrew A. Wagner

    Oh lord….a’ight, here we go:

    – One copy of the April 16th issue of ‘Time,” specifically for the article “Farmers’ Marketing” by Salma Abdelnour on page 62

    – One copy of “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach – seriously one of the best books EVER!

    – Beats by Dr. Dre headphones

    – Notebook

    – Checkbook

    – Daily Calendar from 2011 (???)

    – A bunch of mail

    – Sunglasses

    – “Mentos” gum. Old “Mentos” gum. Still good.

    – Passport

    – Pens

    – Keys (many)

    – Contact lens case

    – More junk mail (why am I hanging on to this?)

  • Cindy@Pharma CRM

    Looks like my bag is more
    cleaner :D



    Pocket Mirror




    A face towel



    I have the lowest amount of personal
    belongings! To be honest I’m lazy :D


    Maybe that’s the reason I have
    such a few things in my bag.

  • gayley

    I am CONSTANTLY switching bags, but, the things that always make the transfer are:

    My pencil case
    My Mason Pearson brush
    My wallet
    My ipod headphones
    My headphones
    Hand lotion
    A newspaper with a crossword puzzle
    An extra pair of reading glasses

Back to top

More from the blog