An Experiment In Minimizing


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

Related Post Roulette

19 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Some years back I changed to these guys’ wallets and found that it made a significant difference in total bulk. After what I consider a meaningful amount of time, they appear to wear as well or better than leather.Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      Someone should make a humorous episode of a dark comedy series about this very issue. It has potential.

      Good for you. I bought a thin travel wallet for a trip years ago and just never went back to my old one. I think i have 6 cards and my license. I could skip a couple of the cards by my wallet is light enough that i run with it so it isn’t any issue. Less is More.

      My wife went through the “OMG is can’t find things in this purse” deal while we were getting pita’s yesterday. Of course she eventually found what she was looking for after going through several hundred items first. I calmly ate my pita while she searched. Gotta stay calm and focus.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      Possibly meaningful endorsement(s): After I decided that I really liked the thin wallet, I bought a second one and tucked it away in a drawer because I didn’t want to be disappointed at some point in the future to find that the company had gone out of business. Recently, my wife decided she was jealous of the thinness of my wallet and demanded that I give the backup to her (and she carries her wallet in a purse, not a pocket). I now have a new backup hidden away.Report

  2. Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

    About a year or so ago I realized my George Costanza sized wallet wasn’t really working for me. I ended up switching to a non-folding ID wallet. It has enough room for my license and a couple cards and not much else. The store loyalty programs I use let you enter a phone number in lieu of scanning a card (I don’t even bother with the keychain variety). Once I got myself out of the “I might need this someday” hoarder mentality I found I didn’t really miss the old, bulky wallet.Report

  3. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Personally, I have capitulated on the idea of having my phone, keys, and wallet every be slim enough to comfortably fit in all my pants, even the slim-fitting ones – I wear a purse (I could call it a “wallet belt” or “waist satchel” but let’s be real, it’s a purse) from these folks (apparently their Etsy page is on hold, or I’d link there.

    I’m really liking it, actually – not only do my pants, IMO & more importantly that of my wife, look better on me, I don’t find myself leaving the house and then running back to get something out of my other pants. It even has enough room I can even carry a few extra things of somewhat less frequent use – a pocket knife, a lighter, maybe a phone charge cable.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Yeah, I often envy my wife her purse and the ability to carry it around within the boundaries of social acceptability. A male friend has an idea that is at once silly and thought-provoking: a bandolier. Work with us for a minute here. You make it out of nylon, with the clip in front as an anti-theft mechanism, and different pockets of various sizes, closable with velcro. We’re thinking five pockets: a pocket for cash, a pocket for the various plastic cards, a pocket for spare change, a pocket for keys, a pocket for the phone. No need for a weapons holster; this is just for carrying stuff around.

      Strap it around the non-dominant shoulder (your left shoulder, if you’re right-handed) and the opposite hip, and the pockets would be easy to access with the dominant hand. If you like, you can thread it through a shirt so the back strap runs underneath the back of the shirt.

      I like the idea of being able to carry around all my stuff like that. And it might feel a little silly, but if lots of men wore them, it would feel less so. Not sure how it would work with formalwear like a suit — you’d look a little bit like a Latin American dictator, with a sash running diagonally across your chest over a dress shirt and tie but underneath a sport coat.

      But a bandolier of pockets like this wouldn’t have solved the problem I had this weekend: too many fishing customer loyalty cards.Report

      • Avatar dragonfrog says:

        Oh, here they are

        They have some stuff that would come reasonably close to a bandolier.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW says:

        I’ve got a side-pack (backpack with one arm-strap that goes over the shoulders) that’s essentially unisex and extremely handy for carrying around a small amount of stuff (wallet, keys, iPad, water bottle, a book). Check out your local outdoors stores, see if they have anything. It’s very casual, so no good for upscale events, but good for everyday. (Or maybe most days are a formal/semiformal event when you’re a lawyer?)

        While we’re envying the opposite gender, I say guys are lucky to have pants with actual decent-sized pockets in them. About half my pants have tiny pockets, no pockets, or most annoying of all, fake pockets.Report

        • Avatar krogerfoot says:

          Don’t get me started on pants. Well, too late—let me tell you, things have fallen a long way from my glory days of pants-buying. My habit of carrying change in my right front pocket means that every pair of work- and suit-pants I own have a discolored patch on the thigh. I hardly walk around all a-jingle with coins, but it amazes me how quickly my pants start falling apart. The Gap is the worst offender—the pockets just blow out eventually, resulting in a slapstick cascade of coins pouring out of my pants leg. This has happened repeatedly. Other suit-pants actually start to tear over the pocket.

          My mother-in-law gave me a gorgeous leather change purse from Italy, so I have everything I need to solve this problem, but my will to change a personal habit is no match for my commitment to inertia.Report

  4. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I am a long-time big believer in the minimalist wallet. Mostly because at one point years ago it had gotten so huge that it made sitting uncomfortable, but also because, like you, I often couldn’t find whatever I was looking for in it.

    It’s one of the things I appreciate about the way Starbucks and other stores has those kind of points systems tied to apps in my phones.Report

  5. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    11 years ago I met a woman who made fun of my wallet. I asked what I should get, and she selected something almost exactly like this:

    I’ve used it ever since, and it’s awesome. It stores five credit cards and two band-aids. I keep the card I actually use in front, so I can produce it without even taking the wallet out of my pocket. And it looks the same as the day I bought it.

    It did take me a while to pare down the cards I use, but I did manage it.Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    I’ve never seen the need to carry all those do hickeys. I only have a few and I only carry them when I need to. I know women at work that have almost an entire key ring with those things on them. Sheesh.Report

  7. Avatar nevermoor says:

    I’ll ask the off-point question that’s bugging me: couldn’t they have put two stamps on a new card, then combined later? There’s one specific place where I probably have 8 different cards with one or two stamps, though I always forget to bring them back in.Report

  8. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    My father is a big proponent of money clips, with your cash folded around your cards. I think I could get behind this idea. One thing about carrying a wallet is that if you work at a desk, you’re liable to be sitting with one buttcheek an inch higher than the other, which can’t be good for your back.

    I hate how much stuff I seemingly have to carry around in various pockets—phone, wallet, train-pass case, wi-fi doohickey, keys. I’m tempted to empty my pockets in order to sit comfortably, but I don’t think people want to share a dinner table with my lumpy wallet, and if I put it anywhere else I’ll inevitably leave it there or have it stolen. I have, weirdly, only one key, which paradoxically needs to be on a weighty keychain or I won’t know whether it’s in my pocket. I guess I have other problems, as well.Report

  9. Avatar aarondavid says:

    A while back my doctor ordered me (due to back issues) to get rid of my wallet and get a front pocket wallet, or money clip. It forced me to get rid of all the stuff you are talking about, has a clip for cash, a couple pockets for cards and a main one for business cards. I don’t use any punch cards, nor do I carry any of the club type cards. If they can’t type in the number, I don’t want to go back there (Its Norcal, so they seem to be able to punch in.)

    I also tend to be a cash person, and I find that it helps a lot.Report

  10. (Chocolate custard and kiwi ice, if you must know.)

    What in God’s name were you thinking?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I was thinking I wanted the kiwi ice to be swirled in to the vanilla custard, like they do. Only the kid heard “swirl” and gave me the vanilla-chocolate swirl of both custards. Because that’s what I said, because I was all flustered from not finding the punch card and distracted by the chaos of small children milling about and frustrated because my wife’s order seemed to take the kid a long time to fill.

      Besides, he’s sixteen. Sixteen year old boys eat all sorts of gross stuff. And not all sixteen year old boys possess the confidence and presence of mind to ask, “Really? That’s what you want?” when the order would sound strange to an adult with sufficient self confidence to inquire before acting.

      We got it cleared up. And by “we” I mean my wife and the manager.Report