How to not carry so much stuff

I got home after school yesterday to find my mom shredding a bunch of paper and stuff. Apparently, she was an accomplice to a crime and was destroying evidence. (Just kidding.)

We got to talking about organization, then she brought up that one of her coworkers only carries around her driver’s license. My mom ranted that in her purse, she has checks, bills to pay, loose papers, and a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t remember. On top of that, if she brings lunch, that’s another bag to carry. I could see self-realization rearing its head. Once again, I told her about setting up and using a tickler file. (I print labels and make the 43 folders for her later.) This time, I think she’ll give it a shot.

I wrote about streamlining my backpack (part 1, part 2) awhile ago. I’m happy to say that I’m still good. I don’t have to bring any cables anymore. I’m going to buy a messenger bag soon because when I go to work, I basically just have my handful of gadgets, a couple pens, and some index cards.

As for my wallet, I barely have anything. Cash, driver’s license, debit card, student ID, auto insurance card, proximity card for work, and a few stickies for my debit card in occasions where I’m at a restaurant with a group of friends. I do have a Blockbuster card, library cards, a Borders Rewards card, AMC rewards card, Ralph’s Club card, etc. — they’re just in a small inexpensive Five Star Xpanz Zipper Pouch that I keep in the door compartment in my car. I also have more index cards and a spare pen.

Lastly, I have a portable inbox for random scraps of paper/stuff I might come across during the day.

All in all, my mom notices that I don’t that many papers lying around. Shredding/discarding stuff regularly is only a small part of my system. I figured I’d explain myself here — you can take and tweak the system to suit your needs.

What’s in your bag? Can you see where you can change? And finally, read “Zen Pockets” — he explains more stuff.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

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