This article was written by Heather from Family Friendly Frugality
One of the hardest techniques the “money saving gurus” suggest we put it into practice is to eliminate clutter.
I have to admit, I’ve always struggled with clutter. I am NOT a neat-by-nature person by any means. Mess and clutter bug me, but typically not enough to propel me into action.
However, I am a frugal gal, and if it will help me save money I’m generally forced to rise to the challenge.
That said, clutter control is an ongoing battle around here.
Here are a few things this messy mama has picked up to control the clutter and save us money:
1. Keep Hot Spots CLEAR! We have several hot spots in this house. Probably more than your ordinary household (that’s what happens when two messy people meet and fall in love and produce more messy little people I guess!). When I’m trying to keep clutter to a minimum, I try to focus on the dining room table, the kitchen counters and our living room couches (does anyone else notice how much clutter can pile up on your couches? Or is it just me…?).
2. Find a perfect home for something new as soon as you walk in the door with it. I’m famous for opening up something and than just leaving it where I opened it. Inevitably, it gets lost or broken. The wrapper lays on the floor for days and forget about the receipts and other papers that came home with the bag as well. Now, I don’t even set my purchases down until I’ve opened them, discarded the associated trash and placed the item in it’s new permanent home.
3. Give stuff away. I’m not good at this one at ALL. I can give my own stuff away, but I still have every bit of baby equipment and clothing we’ve ever purchased for our kids! I can’t say I’ve made progress on this one. You might just have to pry this stuff away from me on my deathbed! However, when it doesn’t involve my kids, I try to use the rule of 30 days. If I haven’t used it in 30 days (some exceptions of course), it gets donated or trashed.
4. Go paperless. I have an e-reader (my Kindle and I are BFF’s), I utilize Evernote and Google Docs and most of my bills are set up so I don’t receive a paper statement. I’m still drowning in paper, but it’s a lot less than it used to be. I also have a filing system in place that I try to keep up with on a weekly basis. Cutting down on paper clutter is great because it forces you into a system for keeping track of warranties, receipts and other important documentation that could save you big money in the long run.
5. Keep an inventory of your stockpile and be realistic about your family’s needs. This is a big one for us frugal folks! It’s easy to bring home 30 boxes of cereal when it’s FREE or super cheap. Is it practical though? What if that cereal clogs up your pantry and you end up missing expiration dates on the food behind it? What if you simply do not have room for that cereal and it ends up in a pile in your living room? Be realistic about your stockpile and don’t allow your money saving (stockpile) to add to your money draining (clutter).
What are some tips you have for keeping up with the clutter? Are you convinced that staying clutter free is one of the keys to a frugal lifestyle?
Heather is a wife and mom of 2 living in the amazing state of Texas. She’ll teach you how to coupon and how to save money on Family Friendly Frugality. She’ll teach you to sew and cook on her blog A Southern Mom. Now she wants to know who is going to teach her to slow down?