Andrew Jorgensen
It's better than bad, it's good!

Slimmer Pants

No, this post isn't about how I lost 17 lbs over the last few months (more on that later maybe) it's about how I don't like to carry a lot of stuff in my pockets. It's kinda one of my pet peeves. At the same time I can't stand to find myself unprepared. I've learned a few things about how to accomplish both.

The first step toward slimmer pants is to stop carrying stuff you don't need. My wallet contains my preferred credit card, a Visa card from my credit union in case someone doesn't take American Express, driver license, temple recommend, and a pen. No cash, no receipts, no loyalty cards. I have a small key ring with the keys to the car, the truck, and the office. I'm almost ready to give up the key to the car and the remote key fob thingy.

I also carry a Kershaw Leek clipped to my pocket. If anyone asks me what kind of knife I carry I can say, "I gotta leek." It's a great conversation starter. I am in the market for a slimmer one but the Leek is pretty close.

Receipts go into my back pocket when they don't ask me if I want one, and then into the recycle bin. I can look up transactions on a website if I need to. Cash also goes in the back pocket on the extremely rare occasion that I carry it. Loyalty cards can often be avoided by not shopping at places where they make a big difference or making the cashier look up your account by phone number. No need for a house key since I'm almost always driving and there's a garage door opener in the car. The mail key I gave to my son so he can pick up for me after school every day.

Now that's not to say I'm unprepared. You see the real trick is to put all the other stuff somewhere else. I have a man purse--a very manly olive drab one made of ballistic nylon. This thing holds almost everything else I might want to have with me but won't carry in my pockets. It doesn't look even slightly feminine. It holds a great many things: A second wallet with some emergency cash, medical and dental cards, lesser-used bank and credit cards, library card, etc.; A second key ring with house keys, the shed key, a mail key, etc.; A multi-tool and a flashlight; Digital camera; Various USB drives and flash memory cards loaded with software and media; Common medicines like excedrin, ibuprofen, and benedryl; Consecrated oil and some hand sanitizer; And a few other oddities like my spectrum analyzer, my square reader, and a tiny sewing kit I picked up at a hotel. I used to keep my e-book reader in there but there's an app for that. The whole thing stays tucked away in the truck, in the office, or at home so that it's close by if I need something but not on my person. Running out to get the insurance card is a small price to pay for having less junk in your pocket.

I'm in the process of choosing a new wallet and in the next weeks I will review some of the best options. Traditional leather wallets, especially tri-folds, can be thick without anything in them and enormous when fully loaded. Even the little card case I've been using proved to be much thicker than it needed to be. You can slim your pants even further by getting a much slimmer wallet. Stay tuned.