As far as day-to-day packing, I do have a few favorites.
1. Space-Saving Items: If you must carry it with you, at least try to find it in a compact size. Some of my space-saving items:
- fold-up shopping bag from Target -- For 99 cents, I get a reusable shopping bag that folds to the size of a check book. The bag isn't huge, but it works for quick trips, and I don't forget to bring it into the store because it's already in my purse.
- fold-up hair brush with compact mirror -- Gotta have it, and it would be completely impractical to carry around a full-size hairbrush.
- teeny tiny flat Bible -- Not completely necessary to carry around everywhere, but nice to have at times. I got this as a gift. It is the thinnest one I have ever seen, and it's leather bound, so it holds together well. I think it would make a great backpacking Bible also, for my outdoor-adventure-seeking friends.
- planner: Instead of carrying a calendar or planner, use the iPhone to access your Google Calendar.
- wallet: Instead of carrying around huge amounts of store membership cards, take digital pictures of them, and put them in your iPhone. Sonja gave me a great demo of this on her iPhone. It really is snazzy.
- address book: Duh, you don't need one if all your contact info is accessible by iPhone.
- If you don't use it, don't bring it. I used to carry around one of those little tiny stuffed-in-a-bag rain slickers in my purse, but I never ever used it. Too much trouble. I keep it in my glove compartment now, and that pretty much does the trick. By way of another example, I don't carry Advil anymore. I only rarely need it, and it's usually at work, so I keep a bottle in a locked desk drawer at work. No more rattly purse.
- Empty spare change periodically. For as much as I do not use cash, spare change weighs a lot for little benefit. Put it in a jar at home, and buy something when the jar gets full.
- Carry in pockets when practical. The last thing I want to do at a concert is lug a purse. I'll put my driver's license and my debit card and maybe some cash in my pocket and lock my purse in the trunk. This would work well for movie theaters too if I could remember. Theater floors are gross and not really somewhere I want to put my purse.
- Carry a smaller purse. Instead of using a huge purse because you have all kinds of crap to put in it, try using a smaller purse so you'll be forced to take only the essentials. You'll be surprised by how well you can live off a small one in most cases.