Can’t Afford to Declutter? Can’t Afford Not To!

Do you delay decluttering because of the cost?

Well, all those co-ordinated storage products, drawer dividers, matching coat hangers and new shelves can really add up. And let’s not forget a label maker so your labels look at good as the ones in the magazines.

We’d all love to splash out on stylish co-ordinated products. But in reality, this comes second to paying the gas bill – or should do! So start thinking cheap and cheerful.

The good news – you can declutter without spending a penny – and better than that, decluttering can actually SAVE you money!

Firstly, let’s remind ourselves of the essentials of decluttering. That is, to purge your possessions keeping only what you love, use or need to keep.

The aim is to get stuff out of your home, not more stuff in.

The next step is to organise your storage effectively, looking at where, and how frequently, items are used. None of which costs a bean.

Of course, once you have sorted your stuff, you will probably find you do need containers. But before you buy – shop the house!

And by that I mean, have a good look around what you already own – and realise its potential.

  • The tub the Christmas chocolates came in may just be taking up room now – but use it to store the different bags of rice or flour and it can actually save you space.
  • Chipped but pretty mugs can hold pens
  • Plastic margarine tubs are useful for small items – and come with lids.
  • Shoes can be stored in the boxes they came in.
  • Tissue boxes can be stuffed with folded up carrier bags – just pick one through the opening.
  • Tupperware can hold practically anything.
  • My personal favourite is the two litre plastic ice cream tub – a useful size, easy to clean and comes with a lid. I use these for holding everything from folded underwear, to recycling to snacks. (OK, I eat a lot of ice cream).

If you don’t enough handy containers yourself – do your friends a favour and take them off their hands.

OK, so you will be a lucky lady (or gent) if you can get away without buying anything. So let’s look at the best way to do this.

Firstly take your time – and resist the sales hype. That sock tidy sure looks cute – but wouldn’t your socks look just as neat rolled and lined up in one of the free plastic tubs you already have?

ALWAYS follow the golden rule: measure twice (or even three times) – and buy once. Nothing is more annoying than a plate stacker that is just too tall for your cupboard, or a Lazy Susan that jams the kitchen cupboard that little bit open.

So draw plans of your cupboards and shelves with measurements, and keep handy when you are shopping.

Take a little time and shop around – you won’t’ have to look long on the web to find the same items are wildly varying prices. And don’t forget to factor in postage – some is free – some, to say the least, isn’t!

Check out pound shops, DIY superstores, a certain Swedish furniture store and those funny shops with laundry bags stacked outside and mops and buckets in the window. All can be treasure troves of handy products.

Now for the bit you have been waiting for:

Can decluttering really save you money?

For a start, time is money, especially for the self-employed. Ever worked out how much do you spend looking for lost items? Too much, probably. Do yourself a favour and get organised. You should aim to be able to find most things in a couple of minutes.

How many light bulbs, towels or tubs of paprika do you have? Most people have three or four items that they just keep rebuying. Organise your space properly – and leave the duplicates no place to hide.

Busy, bursting wardrobes make choosing an outfit nearly impossible. You may have less clothes after a declutter, but you will have more real choices.

Do you spend money going out because you are either too embarrassed to have folks over – or just want to avoid the mess in your own home? Make your home somewhere you want to be and are proud to show off – and save yourself a fortune.

Ever brought new gardens shears, even though you can distinctly remember buying a pair last summer? Declutter your garden shed and save your money.

Who hasn’t treated themselves as a reward for a busy and stressful life? Cut the stress, and you won’t feel same need. Relaxing in your calm and organised home will be a pleasure in itself.

Part of decluttering is storing items correctly – and this means stuff lasts longer and is less likely to get broken.

Who knows – you may even end up selling your old stuff and MAKING money.

Still think you can’t afford to declutter? By now you should have worked out – you really can’t afford not to!