When I was pondering the topic for this post, the image of my mother’s wallet flashed into my mind. It’s a sprawling red hub of receipts, credit cards, bank cards, business cards, pictures, papers, hair ties, make-up, gum, and many other items. Yes, I am talking about her wallet, not her purse, believe it or not. Somehow, she manages to mush these things into the tiny space that is not meant to hold them and usually can’t even close it because of the abundance of diverse objects. It’s a melee of the moneybag and it can’t seem to be contained. Or can it?
Some of us absent-mindedly use our wallets as an easy storing spot for small items. Things like receipts get crumpled, bills get mixed with the receipts, business cards slip into an abyss, and pictures cover important pieces of paper. We may stuff objects in there that we are not supposed to like my mother does (sorry for picking on you mom!) and we end up with a disorderly assortment of paraphernalia.
I would like to stress an important point here: the wallet is not meant to be a catch-all.
One way to start organizing your wallet is to be more conscious of what you are putting into it. Be more observant of the things you are stuffing in there. Ask yourself if it really belongs inside.
Second, keep only the essentials. Don’t carry your whole life around in your wallet! At the end of the day, empty out all of the pieces that need to be filed away. Pictures can be displayed at your home or office; receipts and business cards should be filed at home; things like gum, make-up, and other miscellaneous items should have a place in your purse or bag. Also, think about downsizing your card collection. Ask yourself: How often – if ever – do you use those points cards that every store seems to have? The card clutter these days is ridiculous and it’s taking over our wallets! I have realized that I never use certain ones (or maybe once or twice a year). Either throw these away or keep them filed at home. When you know you are going shopping there, take it with you, and then return it to it’s filing spot when you get back home. Little file folders like the ones pictured below are great tools to keep your tiny paperwork (receipts, points cards, business cards, notes, etc.) in one spot:
Another tip that may help some people is to keep a tiny pouch for your receipts with you. This way, they’ll never get mixed up with everything else. Those Lulu Lemon zipper pouches just came to mind…
Other cards to consider downsizing are credit cards. Having too many can get some people into financial trouble, so it may be a good idea to cancel a few of them and lessen the load. A quick note I should mention, however, is to check with a financial advisor before cancelling any of them. Doing this could potentially hurt your credit score. If this is the case, you can file unused cards away at home. In addition, it’s easier to keep track of your bills when you only have one or two cards.
Third, don’t carry around cards (or things like your passport) that have sensitive information on them. Things like your birth certificate, health care card, social insurance number, etc. can be photocopied. Keep the photocopies in your wallet and the real ones safe at home. You really don’t want the real ones stolen if you lose your wallet. Moreover, having to pay for replacement cards can be expensive.
Fourth, deal with change. Don’t toss change haphazardly anywhere into your wallet – use the coin holder section! If you tend to build up large amounts of change that make your wallet bulge, start a coin jar at home.
Fifth, another way to reduce wallet clutter is to go digital. There are numerous apps on smartphones for storing all kinds of card information. Keep it in your phone and out of your wallet. Some recommended apps are: Key Ring, CardStar, and CardMobili.
I hope these tips were helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.