De-Clutter Your Wallet, De-Clutter Your Life

Sometimes the littlest things can cause us the most stress.  Have you ever watched someone in a checkout line, cursing under their breath as they rummage through their wallet or purse, frantically looking for a credit card or coupon?  Maybe that person is you.  I used to be that person.

My worn, stretched leather wallet bulged from the pressure of cards, papers and coupons stuffed inside.  I carried everything I could possibly need.  The irony is that I usually forgot what I was carrying.  And if I did remember that I had a coupon, I would struggle to actually find it.

The final straw came on a cold winter morning.  As I pulled a coffee club card from my wallet, a scene unfolded that was eerily reminiscent of George Costanza’s famous exploding wallet on Seinfeld.

It was time for a change.  I de-cluttered my wallet and I haven’t looked back since.  I’m not loaded down with unnecessary papers, I don’t stress to find my wallet’s contents, and to be honest, carrying a smaller wallet makes me feel as if I’m moving through life a little more lightly.  That’s a good thing.

Here are 5 easy steps to de-cluttering your wallet:

  1. Be ruthless – Take all of the contents out of your wallet and put them on a table.  Now grab a trashcan and start pitching.  Really consider whether you need to keep each and every item that came out of your wallet.  Do you honestly think you’ll use that twenty-five cent off dog grooming coupon?  Do you even own a dog?

  2. Create a file – Okay, I know you couldn’t bring yourself to part with certain items in step one, but that doesn’t mean they belong in your wallet.  Create a home file for those items.  Don’t carry your frequent flyer card and foreign currencies with you when you haven’t stepped foot on an airplane in months?

  3. Embrace electronics – I’m going to guess that you carry a cell phone.  It’s time to use it for more than calling and texting.  Phones are a great place to keep photos, phone numbers and notes.  And, uou’ll be able to carry more information in your phone than even the largest of wallets.

  4. Tell them to look it up – Membership and reward cards can quickly clutter a wallet.  Leave your video store card at home.  When they ask for it, tell them to look it up.  A quick flash of your drivers license and they’ll confirm it’s you.

  5. Get a new wallet – By now you should have only your essential wallet items remaining.  That’s great, but if you keep your old wallet you’re likely to fill it up again.  Remember this twist on Parkinson’s Law – the number of items expands to fill the space available for their storage. Purchase a new, slim wallet that’s only large enough to hold the items you need.

What tips do you have for de-cluttering your wallet or purse?

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