How To Organize Your Wallet & A Special Cameo

I have organized a great many wallets in my day. From my extensive fieldwork I can tell you two things: a. people’s wallets are filled with crap and, b. they really are. Besides this being an open invite to identity thieves, it’s also just a super clutter situation. It’s time for a wallet intervention kids.

First things first: empty your wallet of its contents.

Second: sort through the pile and toss any trash.

Here’s what should be put back into the wallet:

– Driver’s license or alternate form of ID (not your passport!)

– Credit card/ debit card (both personal and business)

– Insurance cards (health and car, and perhaps AAA card if you have one)

– Transportation card

– Cash (enough to float you for the day with maybe a little extra, and not so much that you would go broke if your wallet were to be stolen)

Here’s what shouldn’t go back into your wallet:

– Receipts

Receipts are the number one thing I see commonly cluttering up people’s wallets. Receipts are bad for the wallet because they make it feel bulky and junky, and storing receipts in your wallet is also bad for the receipts, themselves; often the ink will get all smudged out from being crumpled and rubbed up against, thus defeating the purpose of holding onto the record of purchase in the first place. Wallets just aren’t an appropriate home for you receipts. It’s fine to stash them there during the day while you’re out and about, but, once home, receipts should be transfered to whatever file or canister you use to collect receipts (you do have one of those right?)

– Gift cards

A lot of people store gift cards in their wallets, thinking that they should be handy on the off chance the individuals decide to visit that particular store. Break this habit. Much better to keep gift cards at home in an organized fashion. Plan ahead of time to visit the shop at which you have credit, and at that time, and that time only, transfer the card into your wallet.

– Business cards

Since we all love to distribute our business cards, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up racking up more than a couple. Business cards can be a great thing to have, but not necessary items to keep in the essentials-only confines of your wallet. Make it a habit to transfer other people’s cards out of your wallet once at home.

– Social Security card

Always keep this precious little guy at home and never in your wallet. Your SS card is a gateway to all kinds of purchases for thieves, including buying a car, opening up a credit card, and even taking out a loan. Memorize that shit.

– Back up credit cards

If you have duplicates of your plastic, keep the extras at home, not in your wallet. You’ll want those back-up’s safe and secure if you somehow lose the primary cards, and you don’t want to give thieves access to any more cards.

Optional but allowable:

– Pictures of loved ones

It’s totally okay in my book to carry around a couple small photos in your wallet. In fact, other than reminding you of those faces you so love, keeping a few pictures may have other benefits: Real Simple reports, “According to a study done in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2009, wallets with photos are more likely to be returned than wallets without photos, and a photo of a baby takes the lead—88 percent of wallets with baby photos were returned, compared to 53 percent for puppy photos, 48 percent for happy family photos and 28 percent for photos of an elderly couple.”

– Stamps

I say it’s alright to keep just a few stamps handy in your wallet- never know when you might need one on the fly. Just one or two should do it.

Bonus points:

– Make photo copies of the fronts and backs of your credit cards to keep at home. These will come in very handy if your wallet were to be stolen, since you’ll have easy access to your card numbers.

– If your wallet is stolen, don’t close your credit card accounts. Doing so can damage your credit rating, and can cause you to lose all the rewards you’ve racked up. Request instead to simply have your account number changed.

Image credits: Apartment Therapy, Les Composantes, Tory Burch, Price Mug


And now, without further ado, may I please present to you Miss Catherine, Lady Chic Geek. After discovering her blog, I knew there was no better person with whom to consult on the issue of wallets. Now that you know how to keep one neat, Catherine is here to help you choose the perfect wallet.


Hi Live Simply readers, I’m Catherine from the blog, Chic Geek.  I’m so excited to be sharing my picks for his and her wallets.  You never have to sacrifice style for function.  This is especially true when it comes to wallets.  As an everyday accessory, wallets can say a lot about a person.


My pick for the ladies is the Rebecca Minkoff Passport wallet. This sturdy piece boasts a magnetic-snap closure, interior currency pockets, and sixteen card slots! There is ample room for organization, but also the ability to downsize. The removable zip-top coin purse has you covered whether it’s a quick jaunt to the store, or a dressy night out with an itty bitty clutch. I often downsize for a night out- carrying simply my bank card, ID, and cash. I’ve never found a wallet that covers all of my needs like the passport does.  When it comes to style, choices abound! I’m drawn to the funky statement stripes  (33% off right now). The playful “paper” and “plastic” labels on the inside are such an unexpected, quirky design element. If that’s not for you, keep it classy with the leather option in grey, black, or blue. For your luxe fix opt for the ostrich-embossed style. Lastly, the colorblock look is right on trend. Honestly, you can’t go wrong when making a choice. Form, function and style converge to make this wallet the perfect choice.

For the men I’ve kept it classic with this Tumi “Sierra Global” wallet. This selection allows you to be ultra-organized and efficient without sacrificing style. There are interior currency pockets, eight card slots, and a removable passcase with ID window. The removable passcase not only provides convenience, but can also serve as added security when traveling. Don’t want to have all of your cash and credit cards in one place? Not a problem; just pack the passcase separately, and be ready for any unexpected inconveniences. Now the only hard part is choosing the color? Are you a black leather or brown leather kind of guy?

Shopping Links

{Rebecca Minkoff Passport Wallet: Stripes $96.90, Leather $225, Ostrich-Embossed $250, Colorblock $195}

{Tumi Sierra Global Wallet: Black or Brown Leather $140}

Thanks so much for having me, Annie!

The perfect companion piece to a post about organizing your wallets? I’d say so! Heed the girl’s words and check out those wallets, and then skip on over to her site.
Happy humpday little ones!


  1. Great post Annie! I’m guilty of letting receipts build up in my wallet- they are so bulky! I always do a clean out of my wallet weekly to make sure I’m not carrying around anything unnessary. Love all of the wallet picks too! xx

  2. livesimplybyannie says:

    Yeah, receipts will get you. Great habit you have of cleaning your wallet out weekly– things definitely accumulate that quickly!

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: