Revive your daily carry

It’s a new year. Get it off to a good start by paring the things you always have with you down to just the right ones. Clear out the accretions of the past months and don’t weigh yourself down with the obsolete.

Take your wallet, purse, backpack, or any other container o’ stuff that you carry with you most of the time and empty it completely onto a table. Clean the container; shake out the dust, even vacuum the bottom of that big bag if it will help clear away the needless grit of the past.

Now take a moment to think about your true minimums. What do you always want with you? What routinely saves you from hassles? It’s very nice not to schlep around unnecessary weight, so don’t automatically put back in everything you were carrying before. Has your life changed such that you use different things while you’re out and about? Have you upgraded or streamlined any of your tools such that you can eliminate redundancy? Can you go to a smaller wallet or bag and lighten your load?

Set yourself up for having just what you need, both in the sense of “exactly” and “only” what you need.

Author: dinahsanders

Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

3 thoughts on “Revive your daily carry”

  1. I have four containers I’m cleaning and re-evaluating today: my wallet, a Timbuk2 laptop bag, a map-case style purse, and a slim purse (one step up from a clutch on a strap) which I use when I don’t expect to need much more than wallet, keys, and phone. My wallet is very streamlined. It’s made of a thin, no-rip fabric and weighs, with everything in it but however much cash I happen to be carrying, 1.75 ounces. A purse has not been a constant in my life, but after getting a smartphone I found myself wanting to avoid lumpy pockets. The small purse is a great example of my minimums: room for wallet, keys, and phone, plus handkerchief, a pen, two index cards, a dose of ibuprofen, a cough drop, and a few extra business cards. I can take notes, relieve a headache or runny nose, and make a connection (as well as pay for things, prove I’m old enough to buy a cocktail, get back in my house, and do anything my phone permits).
    My larger (but still smaller than a loaf of bread, and certainly smaller than my ass) purse, has a bit more in it, but only a little bit. Much of that extra is preparedness materials because I’m a member of the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team. Along with a couple promotional flyers about the free program and a damage assessment form used after a big incident like a major earthquake, I carry a little ziploc bag with medical gloves and a compact gauze pad. (These last items have come in handy more than once over my city-dwelling years as I’ve come across people who have taken a fall and were bleeding.) This purse also has a couple personal contact cards, a couple cards and a button for the cocktail blog I write with my boyfriend Joe, a pencil, earbuds for my phone, a small comb, 50 cents (for parking meters or an emergency payphone call), mini hand sanitizer, lip balm, and my Square reader for accepting credit card payments for coaching or book sales.
    The laptop bag is big and certainly could wind up with a lot more in it, but it’s primary function, apart from being big enough for my Macbook Air, is to have space for whatever else I might be carrying around, whether outgoing parcels to the post office, a hoodie in case the weather turns chilly, or some groceries for dinner. What it has which the purses don’t is an emergency whistle (actually a London bobby’s whistle!), a couple extra gauze pads (a.k.a. maxipads) for injury scene response or a gal pal with an irritating surprise arrival, a Go Girl for emergency bathroom situations (part of my disaster kit), a Shout wipe for saving clothes from a stain, a USB/iPhone connector cable so I can use my phone to provide internet connectivity to my laptop, and some strong peppermints in case of bad smells on public transit.
    Note that the only things that move between bags are the wallet, keys, and phone. This is one area where duplication makes a lot of sense; it’s supremely easy for me to switch to the least bag I can get away with as I leave the house, grab those three essentials, and trust that the other stuff I might need is already in the bag (because I make sure to restock it if, for example, I use the ibuprophen or dirty the handkerchief).

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  2. Guys are probably the worst at having thick, posture damaging leather lumps in their back pockets. I was like that for years. Then someone pointed me to “The Wallet Diet.” Changed my life. http://www.esquire.com/features/man-at-his-best/thinwallet1107
    Two other easy ways to force yourself to carry less: Money clip or card case/magic-fold wallet. When I’m out on the town, wearing a nice suit, I don’t want the wallet dragging down my pants, so I switch to the slender money clip. My wife swears by the magic-fold wallet. http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Leather-Wallet-Credit-Holder/dp/B001RUS6GM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325881468&sr=8-1

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