Forrest Gump's mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes – where they go, where they've been.
While this is true, I believe the things a man carries with him on a daily basis (EDC) may offer a better summary of his career, personality, and interests.
You can be certain a man with an overstuffed wallet lacks some organization skills.
A key ring packed with thirty customer loyalty cards can give insight into the owner's level of financial discipline.
And the wearer of a rubber sports watch is going to have a very different lifestyle than one with a gold Rolex.
The most important thing for me is to avoid any unnecessary junk and to keep everything well organized. Physical clutter seems to weigh on the mind, especially when it's in the form of swollen pockets.
Benefits of streamlining your EDC
Have you ever misplaced your keys?
I haven't (seriously).
The reason for this is because I only carry the essentials and they fit comfortably in my pocket. I never have to set them on a table, ledge, or counter top.
If your key ring resembles that of a building superintendent, it may be time to think about paring it down.
Tired of forgetting things in the morning?
If you carry the same few items every day, you'll notice instantly when something's missing. Your pocket will just feel wrong. It's important to develop a routine to streamline your morning.
Want to be viewed as someone who's in control of his own life?
Don't be one of those guys who's always running around looking for his phone, wallet, or keys. Bosses typically aren't too keen on handing over important assignments to a scatterbrained employee.
What I carry on a daily basis
While I don't carry every one of these items every day, this is a complete list of the accessories I may have on me when I leave the house. Each is simple, classically designed, and well-maintained.
Watch – I like to stick to a versatile timepiece. This is the only one I own and I can wear it with a suit or on a camping trip. Despite its affordability, its performed flawlessly over the past five years. I'm also able to inexpensively swap out the band, which further adds to this piece's versatility.
Wallet – Specifically, a card case. I only keep a few essential cards and a spare $20 with me. If you purchase a bi or tri-fold wallet, you will fill it with junk. Limiting space forces you to decide what's most important. Take advantage of your smartphone to manage all of your customer loyalty programs.
Sunglasses – A year-round necessity. I opt for classic styles and materials.
Keys – When wearing jeans, I like to use a leather key fob, but ditch it when dressing up. I only keep two keys on it since I don't have to drive on a daily basis. All my other keys are kept at my apartment.
Wedding Band – The only ring I wear. Just a clean, simple design made out of titanium.
Bracelet – Adds a little punch of rebellious style and, as an added bonus, can make your arm look more muscular. I like to buy a bracelet in every new city I visit as a souvenier. They're more practical than a snow globe, anyway.
As a man, wearing a bracelet is adventurous enough, so I prefer subtle designs in natural materials (wood, glass, rope, leather) to keep them from looking too flashy.
iPhone (no photo necessary) – Modern phones replace so many items it's ridiculous. No need to carry an address book, pen and paper, calculator, camera, or iPod anymore.
Pocket Knife – I don't always carry one, but when I do, I always find a reason to use it. I got this knife with the tip broken off. A little crude filing and a couple passes on the stone and it's good as new. Not to mention it jibes well with my hillbilly DNA.
Back to you
What do you think of my EDC? Is there anything you'd add or remove? Got any tips for reducing pocket clutter? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
All the best,