I'll admit that I have a lot of stuff. A lot of bags, specifically. I'm a bag lady. There are my bags for days spent at conferences. On-the-go purses. All-day diaper bags. Satchels. Backpacks. Camera bags. Roller suitcases. Guitar slings.
Some people like the glitz and glamour of shoes, but the function of bags is more my thing. They give me security, offering whatever I need at-hand. As the Boy Scouts so diligently recite, we must BE PREPARED.
But as I've started babywearing more, I've found that there is nowhere to put said bags. My shoulders are occupied with carrier straps. My hands are taken up with children.
Breaking from a lifelong dependency, I've sloooowly moved away from carrying totes. I'm still practicing my mom mantra and remaining ready. The necessities are just a little more compact now, often stowed in a pocket, stashed in a cleverly-designed iPhone case or stuffed into a teensy clutch that can be clipped onto the baby carrier. I've discovered a newfound love for wristlets, which hold a carefully-curated selection including my phone, credit cards, ID and a small power stick or lipgloss.
The outside of my baby carrier has a pouch that's big enough to stash one extra diaper and a single antibacterial wipe, so we're taken care of if a quick change needs to be made. If the kids dirty their clothes….well….tough cookies. They either walk around looking sloppy or they go shirtless until we can pop into a store and buy a new outfit. Snacks are also procured on-the-go, and the little guy is taken care of through the magic of breastfeeding.
But I HAVE run into problems as far as gift cards are concerned. There is no place in this whole setup to stash a bunch of extra plastic monetary devices. I try to plan ahead and grab the ones for stores I know we're heading to. Unfortunately, though, we inevitably run into places unplanned and it is ALWAYS a spot for which I had perfectly good money sitting at home. I know it's a first world problem and all, but this drives the frugal side of me absolutely bonkers. I don't shop often, so it's unlikely that I'll get around to using up my gift cards anytime soon.
We recently started working with Gyft, which offers up the perfect solution for minimalist moms like myself. Available on IOS and Android, it's an app that lets you store gift cards you own. So you can stash those Christmas and birthday cards in your phone to have handy when you want to use them – without hauling around an extra wallet full of plastic. The app also lets you send gift cards redeemable for top retailers like Whole Foods and Amazon via text, Facebook and email along with a personal video that can be created on-the-fly in case you find yourself on the way to a party sans present (not that this EVER happens to me). I love that option when I'm not sure what to get someone, because it lets them pick out whatever store they like to shop at. You can also buy Gyft cards for yourself to places you shop like Target and Starbucks, earning 1% in rewards towards future purchases. On top of all that, everyone who downloads the app gets a $5 Gyft card that can be used towards any $15 gift card within 24 hours. FREE. MONEY.
So that's how I'm making the move towards minimalism. One baby step at a time.