Feb 28, 2013

10 Ways Decluttering Saves You Money

This is a guest post from Tiffany, who took on a massive decluttering mission last year and quickly learned that not only could she make some money from decluttering, but that she actually loved living with less. She writes about her decluttering & organizing missions on her blog, No Ordinary Homestead, as well as how to organize your life and create more balance in all that you do.

Take a quick glance around your home. Does it seem that more and more things are going lost lately, and less and less gets put away? If your home looks to be covered in a layer of clutter and chaos, it’s time to start thinking about tackling the mess. Not only will you start to feel better emotionally and probably become more productive, but you will likely even save yourself money.

Find that hard to believe? Well, here are 10 simple ways that decluttering saves you money:

1. Find stuff you lost & stop buying multiples – As you start cleaning things up and getting more organized, you are going to find many things that you may have thought were lost forever. It’s happened to me time and time again. The great news is that once you’ve found these things again, you can create a specific home for them so they don’t end up lost again.

2. Stop worrying about late fees for overdue bills you’ve lost – Don’t you hate that feeling looming over your head that you have forgotten to do something? Or when you know you’ve forgotten to pay a bill but can no longer find it in all the stacks of paper around you? Once you create a system for your bills and other incoming mail, you’ll never have to feel like that again. Or pay late fees and higher interest rates!

3. Waste less food - When your pantry, fridge and freezer are organized, you can not only find the food you’ve purchased, but you also don’t end up wasting food because it expires or goes bad. Keep an inventory of your food items so that you can make sure to use up your food storage wisely in your weekly meal plans.

4. Discover the joy of empty spaces – Once you start getting really organized, you’ll probably find yourself being happier while living with less. And you might even end up with empty drawers or shelves. Although you could buy things to fill them up, you’ll likely discover that those empty spaces are far more satisfying than the “stuff” that once filled them.

5. Impulse buys have less control over you – We all get suckered in by impulse buys from time-to-time. But when you are more in control of the things in your home, and give some thought to where you would actually store those purchases, you’ll often find you don’t feel compelled to buy those gadgets and trinkets anymore.

6. Collections become less attractive —Avid collectors who once lived only for the next item to be added to their collection quickly find that decluttering and living organized makes maintaining and adding to your collections seem less worthwhile. You find yourself not wanting to give up more space (or money) for new items.

7. You need less living space – Clearly it’s not something you have to do, but you’ll probably find once you start decluttering that you actually need less space to live comfortably because you have less stuff. You can save a lot in rent or mortgage payments when you need less space to live in, not to mention lower heating, electric, water and other utility bills.

8. Save more on moving and storage costs – If you have a move coming up or are sending a child off to college, you will find yourself facing some unpleasant costs to move items, even if you plan to do most of the hard work yourself. The great news is, if you’ve gotten rid of all the stuff in your life that you don’t need or care about already, you’ll have a lot less to move.

9. Think about the sunk costs – I don’t recommend dwelling too long on this. But if you really want to make an impact on your brain regarding your finances, tally up the cost of things you bought but never used or only used once. I’m pretty sure that the number will be shocking – and I’ll bet it will make you think twice about your buying habits in the future.

10. Sell your stuff & make some money – One of the very best things about decluttering? Making money off your stuff! Regardless of how you decide to sell your old stuff, I’m sure you will find many things that someone else will want to pay you money for. {Ed. note: My favorite way to sell stuff is on Amazon.}


Thabal said...

Points 1 and 4 applies more to me. Thanks for this article, i have been organizing the house and this really motivated me :)

Chief Family Officer said...

Yay! I'm glad it's motivating - I too love empty spaces, but my family seems to enjoy filling them up! We are going to have to have some kind of discussion, I think ... :)