Yesterday we decluttered our purses, and today it makes sense to get rid of the clutter in one of the main things you carry in your purse, your wallet!
How To Declutter Your Wallet
Decluttering your wallet is simple, and follows much of the same instructions as when decluttering your purse.
The first step is to take everything out of your wallet so you can actually see what you've got in there. Don't forget all the compartments, even the ones you don't use often, and make sure to empty out all of the change you're holding in there as well.
Once you've got it all laid out in front of you, go ahead and remove all of the obvious trash, such as old receipts, ticket stubs, expired cards, and random slips of paper that you've shoved in there. (Obviously, file any receipts that you should keep and potentially shred any papers or cards that could give away personally identifiable information!)
Don't keep too much excess change in your wallet. It weighs it down and isn't necessary, although obviously some is a good things to keep.
For the cash you've got in your wallet
I highly suggest you flatten out all the bills, place all like bills together, from smallest to largest, and then place them back in your wallet in this organized fashion. It may seem a bit much but keeping your money orderly like this really does help make it easier as you're paying for items.
Almost everyone has a couple of photos in their wallet, and I think you should too! They make your wallet special, to see the people you love most in the world each time you open it. Just don't have too many. Go ahead and keep just the most special ones, and a couple currents ones as well so it isn't excessive.
As you place every item back into your wallet, which is the second step of the process after clearing out the clutter, you need to evaluate the item, to make sure it has earned its spot in there. Some questions to ask yourself about each item include:
Whether you use that item often enough to justify it taking space in your wallet;
What would happen if you suddenly needed the item but it wasn't there?; and
What would happen if the item was in your wallet, but it got lost or stolen?
To help you with some of your evaluation of what should, and should not, stay in your wallet, here's a short list of items you should not keep in there.
Social security card - This is a very important number, but it is one that is like gold to identity thieves. Just memorize it and leave the card at home somewhere safe.
Passport - Leave this home as well for similar reasons as with the social security card. It is a huge pain to have to replace your passport and you don't need this form of identification on an everyday basis.
Excess cash - I do think you need to carry around some cash for quick purchases and times when credit cards or other forms of payment are not accepted, but if cash is stolen or lost it is gone. So don't carry more than you're willing to lose.
Excess gift cards - Unless you're going to that store right then, or quite soon, keeping these cards in your wallet just takes up a lot of room in there for not much benefit. But in addition, gift cards are really just like cash. If they're lost or stolen they're just gone. (Here are ideas for organizing gift cards).
Too many credit cards - You should keep a couple of credit or debit cards in your wallet, one for use and one as a back up is ideal, but if you have more than that, why do you need to keep them in your wallet? It just adds to your headache if your wallet is lost or stolen, and gives thieves more ways to steal your money, without much added benefit. Just keep the extra cards at home.
Checkbook - I debated whether to put this on the list of items you shouldn't keep in your wallet. Many financial experts suggest you don't carry your checkbook around because it has your address, bank account information, and perhaps even an imprint of your signature on later checks, which would be a wealth of information for crooks. On the other hand, if you use your checkbook frequently it might be a huge inconvenience not to have it when you need it. So just weigh the pros and cons of this one for yourself and make a decision.
Once you've got your wallet clutter free see my suggestions below for another task I think you should do with regard to wallet organization!
Once your wallet is clutter free there's an additional step I want you to take, if you haven't done it already. I want you to make a wallet inventory.
This was actually a Declutter 365 mission in an earlier challenge, but if you haven't done it yet now is the perfect time now that you've got all the clutter out of there.
The article linked above explains how to make a wallet inventory in more detail, but the basic idea behind this inventory is that it helps you quickly deal with the fall out if your wallet is lost or stolen, so this already stressful event is no worse.
An inventory can help protect you from identity theft and also help you get your life back on track much more easily if this happens.
Make Wallet Decluttering A Habit
Finally, I know I have this mission on the Declutter Calendar just once this year, but realistically you can't just declutter your wallet one time in a year. That isn't often enough.
Instead, cleaning out your wallet is something you need to make a habit. I suggest clearing out junk and clutter from your wallet each time you also declutter your purse, which should happen weekly. In the declutter purse mission I discussed how to make this a habit, so the same advice is true for making it a habit to clear out your wallet!
Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?
I hope these instructions have inspired you to clear the clutter from your wallet.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!