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Keep Your Wallet Clear of Clutter

Updated on December 26, 2013
A starting stack of travel and discount cards.
A starting stack of travel and discount cards. | Source
A sample of an Oulook note with member card numbers.
A sample of an Oulook note with member card numbers. | Source

I was recently frustrated with the bulk in my wallet and recognized most of the items in my wallet were club membership cards from stores, hotels, and airlines. While I appreciate the discounts they provide, I have also found that most of the companies that offer the cards can enter the number manually at the point of sale or can look up the number with proper photo identification. In some cases, like travel, the number is only needed when placing reservations, which I do online most of the time.

Given the fact that I do not need the cards at a regular frequency and the number on the card is the most important feature I decided to choose an electronic method of storing it so I could carry it with me on mysmart phone. To make this easy I have a note in Evernote, which synchronizes to my computer and smart phone. Prior to using Evernote, I used Microsoft Outlook’s notes feature to synchronize with my phone. This ensured I have it in my phone, which I am rarely without and never without when traveling, and it ensured I have a backup on my corporate network and laptop. Using an online tool I know have a contastant backp-up on the internet and available anywhere I can access the internet.

While my form matches the function I was looking for you could also use an on-line document (such as Google Docs) or print a laminate a single card to replace the multiple cards you would eliminate if you are less likely to have a smart phone with you.

There have been a couple instances where this approach is not appropriate, like membership cards that contain a photograph and act as an identification card. This is common with in the case of discount club and gym memberships.

By using this simple approach, I have been able to remove nine member cards from my wallet and substantially reduce the bulk.

Reader Question: Do you have a favorite technique to eliminate clutter from your wallet or purse?

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