Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everyday Carry

Last week I chatted with a friend who has moved to the city recently. (Full disclosure: we were chatting about LISTS.) We discussed how her handbag is the size and general weight of Rhode Island because she is adjusting to no longer having a car full of everything she might need.

I realized that my everyday carry (phone, wallet, keys and lipgloss) has been honed over the years, such that it now can fit in the front pockets of slacks, or in a sleek fish-shaped evening bag or whatever.

Clockwise from top: wallet, lipgloss, phone, keys. 
To conserve space further, I use a cardcase as my wallet and just fold the bills in half. I use a hairtie as a keychain for compressibility and wristwrapping when appropriate. I use an incase slider case for my phone.

While this is a short list and my everyday carry is pretty tiny, I pack a ton of stuff into these items.

What's in the phone: books, maps, music, internet, games, drawing apps, reference materials, etc.

What's in the wallet: cards, cash, A BANDAID, good luck charm, receipts I need to save, train tickets.

What's on the key chain: keys (duh), membership cards, library card, good luck charm, teeny dongle.

What's in the lip gloss tube: It's just lip gloss.

This is the baseline of what I carry, and often it's really all I go out with.

However, I also carry additional things based on where I'm going and what I'm doing there. I have headphones, a sewing kit and earplugs and a pillbox full of painkillers and a hairbrush now that I am growing my hair out, and small containers of spice mixes for use in case of boring food, each of which might get added to my bag on any given day. I've also got my to do list that goes with me whenever I am attending a work event or traveling, and of course I have various work documents and tools (full disclosure part two: those tools are chalk) in my work bag.

All the extras tend to live in the zippered part of my work bag while the four items pictured above go with me wherever I go.


  1. I don't have an every day carry, exactly. (I'm more of a big bag full of All Of The Things kind of girl.) But I do have a little bag inside my bag (this one: http://cdn100.iofferphoto.com/img3/item/508/006/102/longchamp-2012-new-waterproof-nylon-wristlet-f39c.jpg in navy) for everything I want with me when I'm going into an appointment or tag sale. I don't like to worry about where my bag is and can't carry it when I'm working. So I keep it in the car in these situations. The bag inside my bag has: business cards, loupe, naproxen sodium, MAC pro longwear lip colour, note pad, bobby pins, First Class Mail stamps, some spare change. I toss in my driver's license, paper money, keys if needed. I envy you the smallness of your basics but, also, it gives me a panic attack to look at so few necessaries. ;)

  2. Now with my phone replacing my need to carry a book and puzzle, the main reason I carry a bag is for snacks and a bottle of water. I'll often wander my neighborhood with just my wallet and my phone. But as soon as I need to get on a subway that may be delayed, I want to have a granola bar on me.

    Oooo, band-aid in the wallet. Good plan. I may steal that. I have a small first aid kit that contains band-aids, aspirin, tampons, and wet naps.

  3. Ali and Jocelyn, you've got me thinking that I should probably do a follow-up post that is my OOOOOFTEN carry, since many of the things you mention are often with me, even though they are not things I consider necessities.

    1. Yes, do that! It's interesting that this has highlighted for me that my wallet isn't a necessity like it is for most people. When I'm out and about it would be inconceivable to be without it, but for the majority of my day, I don't need it. Even my keys are just "often" carries, as I'm usually in someone else's car or with my husband, who holds his own key. My phone is creeping into the everyday carry category now that we pay attention to social media, but I still leave it in the car any time I'm in Cell Hell (aka all the richest neighborhoods).