How to Organize Your Credit and Gift Cards

 How to organize all those plastic cards you have. Everywhere.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #165

When I was young, kids collected baseball cards. Being a total geek, I never collected baseball cards, myself. My friends would all say, "But the cards have all these great statistics!" It never made much sense to me. Why in the world would you want pictures of baseballs on cards? And what kind of statistics? Unemployment statistics? Housing prices? It was a mystery. I collected Wacky Packages, instead. Wacky Packages are fun drawings of fake products that are take-offs on products, so instead of AJAX Cleanser, they would have AJERX. I loved them. I really loved them. (And I'm thrilled to know they're back  on the market!)

How to Organize Gift and Credit Cards

 As an adult, I still have cards everywhere. They aren't fun, brightly colored, humor cards, though. They're cards that are a veritable altar to the gods of crass materialism. I have a Starbucks card, Barnes and Noble gift cards, frequent buyer cards from my local independent bookstore, credit cards that I use only rarely, and a Subway card where I rack up enough points to simply buy the franchise. I also have five car garage cards. 

(To the tune of 12 days of Christmas:) four car rental membership cards, three hotel frequent visitor cards, two theater company cards, and an ACE hardware store buyer card. CARDS!!

The Best Way to Store Cards

Somehow, all those cards aren't nearly as much fun as my Wacky Packs used to be. Adult cards are supposed to get us excited about buying stuff, about being an exclusive member (along with 743,809 other "exclusive" members), and about getting discounts galore everywhere (in return for deeply personal information about our buying habits that get sold to shadowy organizations for nefarious purposes). Unfortunately, we have to carry this entire stack of a gazillion cards with us if we want the benefits. As if! We don’t carry them all. We tuck them away. We tuck them in our desk drawer, on shelves, underneath stacks of mail, in filing cabinets, and pretty much anywhere a card might fit. Cards are small and thin. They fit lots of places.

If you want to get the most out of your cards, you need a system for storing them and getting them back when you need them. Reader Corey LaRue wrote in with a brilliant suggestion. Unlike me, he realized that all these high fallutin' plastic cards are really no different from Wacky Packs or baseball cards. We were very organized when it came to our cards as kids. We can do the same as adults.

Use Trading Card Storage Pages to Organize Your Cards

Group your cards geographically if you travel often.

First, you need the physical materials. If you're on the super-cheap, buy yourself a cardboard Duo-Tang folder. You know the kind; you probably used them in fourth grade to turn in your reports. Duo-Tang was acquired years ago by Esselte, which has acquired almost every stationery manufacturer on the planet, and is no doubt itching for a fun, humorous, highly paid spokesperson who can teach Esselte customers how to "get it done" using Esselte products (I'm just sayin').  The Duo-Tangs we loved so much are now Esselte's Oxford 2-pocket folder series 577. Buy one.


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.