A wallet is one of the few things that are very much integral to our everyday life. It holds all our ID cards, cash, bank cards, and more. If you have ever carried a wallet in your daily life, you will have realized that it gets messy at times with all the useless receipts, crumbled currency notes, and overlapped cards in the same pockets. The question is how to organize your wallet so that you don't carry mess in your pocket?
A well-organized wallet is slim, accessible, and clean. It is a testament to your minimalist personality and how you prefer to keep all the other things in your life.
So, how to organize your wallet? To organize your wallet:
- Start by taking all the things out of your wallet and put them separately on the table.
- Single out and put away or discard all the things that you don't need.
- Organize the rest of the items and put each item in its specific pocket/spot.
- Do this every once in a while.
Of course, this is easier said than done. So let's dive in and see things step by step.
Why your wallet needs organizing?
We use our wallets to store almost everything that can go inside. Unfortunately, this causes the wallet to become bloated, fat, and disfigured over time. When this happens, it's time to get everything out, organize them, and put them back in. But what are the benefits of a well-organized wallet?
It's easy to find things.
"organization" by definition means keeping things in some order or category. This makes things easy to find when we need them. For example, if you know where you always keep your driver's license, you won't be emptying your entire wallet to find your license the next time a police officer pulls you over and ask for identification.
It makes your wallet thin.
When everything is organized nicely in your wallet, your wallet looks and feels thin. You won't be walking around with a big bulge in your pocket. A fat wallet can also cause severe spinal injury if you have a habit of sitting with your wallet in your hip pocket.
Overstuffing can damage your wallet material. Organizing your wallet better also helps your wallet last longer.
Decluttering is therapeutic
Decluttering your belonging has a psychological effect too. When your things are clean and organized, you feel a certain sense of calm and control of your life. In addition, medical research indicates that decluttering can be therapeutic, reduce stress, and promotes healthy life.
An organized wallet is a testament to an organized life.
If you are organized in one aspect of your life (it can be as small as your wallet), chances are you are organized in other areas of your life. In this way, a well-organized wallet is a testament to your organized and disciplined life.
How to organize your wallet?
Now that you are convinced (or pretty much convinced) that an organized wallet is better than a cluttered one, let's discuss a few practical tips and hacks to organize your wallet.
You should realize before trying to organize your wallet that you don't need everything that is currently inside your wallet. We often keep things "temporarily" in our wallets, and they start living inside rent-free.
1. Declutter your wallet before organizing
Decluttering is your first step towards a well-organized wallet. By decluttering, I mean getting rid of everything that is not necessary or is unimportant. That receipt you got at a shopping mall last month, paid parking ticket, a business card that you only received out of courtesy and never intended to use, these are all the things you should be carrying around.
How do I declutter my wallet? To declutter your wallet, empty all your wallet on a clean table and separate everything. For example, put all your cards on one side, the cash on the other side, and arrange everything else around your wallet. The next step is to decide which one is necessary and which one is useless trash.
My rule of thumb is: If I haven't used something in a month, I most probably won't use it ever.
Not always true, but it works. If you don't need something in the immediate future, you can put it away in your drawer. If it is entirely useless (like an old shopping receipt), you can trash it.
Once you throw away all the unnecessary items, you will only be left with the things you need daily.
2. Prioritize your wallet items
Not everything in your wallet holds the same importance daily. For example, your driver's license is more important to carry around than the library membership card you only visit once a month.
Prioritizing your items is crucial because you might have to leave something behind in your quest to have a slim and well-organized wallet.
Arrange every card on your table in order of importance.
3. Clean your wallet
Before putting everything back in, it's an excellent opportunity to clean the wallet while empty. Cleaning your wallet not only gets rid of the dirt but also keeps the leather fresh, smell-free, and shining. You can read our detailed guide on how to clean leather wallet and how to remove smoke smell from leather
4. Put everything back in the wallet.
This last step is probably the most important one. Don't overstuff your wallet trying to make room for everything since we have prioritized our wallet items in step-2, its easier to leave the things behind which don't get a space inside.
If you have enough room inside your wallet for all the things, well and good. But if you own a rather minimalist wallet with fewer pockets, you will have to leave something behind.
Start with the front pockets. Put all the frequently used cards in your front pockets so that you can access them easily when you need them. These include your frequently used ID card, your debit card, and your credit card.
Remember that you have to put one card in one pocket. If you use a single pocket to store multiple cards, you can scratch and damage your cards. To protect credit cards from getting damaged in your wallet, always store one card per slot.
Since most of your cards are standard credit card size, you can easily store them in your wallet pockets. If you have non-standard size cards, either leave them at home of see if you have a bigger pocket where you can put them.
Put all the remaining cards in the back pockets or inner pockets of your wallet including any non standard items like wallet size photos. Since wallet size photo dimensions vary, if you are carrying one, you have to find a pocket that fits it well.
Next, organize your bills in ascending order from front to back and put them in your wallet in such a way that the smallest bill is in the front and the largest bill is in the back.
After you organize your cards and bills, see if you have any coins or other small wallet items (USB, keys, necessary receipts, visiting cards, etc.) and put them into their respective pockets.
Viola! You now have a clean, slim, and organized wallet ready to go.
How do I keep my wallet organized?
Now that you have your wallet all good and organized, the next question you might have in your mind is how to keep it that way. Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years to keep my wallet clean and well organized.
- You don't usually need purchase receipts. You can throw them away in most cases unless you plan on using them for return or bookkeeping. You can take a picture with your smartphone and throw the paper out.
- Visiting cards are rarely used when you have a smartphone. Some apps can scan a visiting card and store the information in your smartphone digitally. When someone hands you their business card, scan it with your phone and get rid of the physical card.
- Avoid coins as much as you can. Coins are hard to carry and organize, especially in a leather wallet. Under pressure, they also damage your leather by leaving permanent prints.
- Keep your cards to a minimum and avoid overstuffing your wallet pockets with excessive cards. If your current wallet is small or has no room for all your cards, get a new one that is better suited for your normal usage [check out our collection of minimalist wallets]
- Where do you put things in your wallet makes a significant difference. Don't put your cash in card slots, and don't put your cards inside the cash pockets. Wallet designers have designed each pocket for a specific purpose.
To summarize our discussion above, the first thing to organize your wallet is to take out all the unnecessary stuff and only leave what you use daily. Then, once this decluttering is done, arrange all your cards and cash in their respective pockets and compartments.
To keep the wallet well organized for a long time, follow the tips in the section above.
But do keep in mind that no matter what you do, your wallet will be cluttered and disorganized over time so make this your routine once in a while.