I’ve already told you that one of my goals for 2012 is to waste less in order to save money. We’re already into the third week of January and I’m pleased to report that I’m doing pretty good! ;) I’ve made some great progress in wasting less in the kitchen (more on that next week) and have been doing pretty good at not purchasing more stuff.
One of the other things I’ve been doing to waste less is to get rid of stuff. Yes, you heard me right: I think that getting rid of stuff – stuff that you’ve paid hard-earned money for – is key to wasting less and saving money.
Don’t believe me? Here are five reasons that I think getting rid of stuff will help you save more by wasting less:
→ You’ll be disgusted at how much money you’ve wasted.
Go through your closets, drawers, and cabinets and throw away everything that you aren’t using and will not use in the next nine months. Be honest with yourself and admit that you really don’t even want to start/finish those craft projects you bought the supplies for a year ago.
While you’re doing it, keep a tally of how much you spent on all that stuff. (Feel free to not count the cost of anything that you really did get good use out of for awhile but isn’t serving a purpose anymore.)
Trust me, you will be absolutely disgusted at the amount of money you spent on things that you never used, and you’ll be seriously motivated to not waste money like that again.
During my recent cleanouts I found a bunch of birthday and Thanksgiving-themed ribbon that I had purchased at 90% off at the Target dollar aisle. Yeah, great deal, but it added up to a few dollars and I know that it’s been sitting in that drawer for at least three years. I donated almost all of it to Goodwill, knowing that if I haven’t used it in three years, the odds of me using it in the next three years are slim.
I’m super mad at myself for spending even just a few dollars on it, and the memory of that Goodwill donation is likely to quickly come to mind next time I’m faced with a 90% off sale on ribbon.
→ You’ll discover unfinished projects.
Feel like doing something creative or sprucing up a room or two? Do a major cleanout and you’re likely to find more than a couple of projects that you have most or all of the supplies for. Finish those projects – you’ll not have to spend any money and your desire to make something will have been met!
→ You won’t need to buy organizing containers.
This tip comes from my friend and Facebook fan Paula, who pointed out that by doing a good, honest decluttering before you try to start organizing, you will likely need fewer organizing containers and storage solutions. Why waste time organizing things that you’ll never use, and wasting money on storage solutions for those items? Get rid of stuff and you’ll likely save yourself a trip to the storage container aisle at Target!
→ You’ll know what’s in your stockpile.
How many times have you bought something at the store, only to come home and find that it was already in your pantry – just hidden behind so much junk that you’d never seen it! My friend Amy’s post reminded me of this today:
It seems I was rather ambitious on a shopping trip in the weeks before Christmas, because I found lots of unopened, unused baking supplies, in addition to duplicates that I never needed to purchase in the first place. Arg!
By getting rid of stuff, you’ll not only have more room to organize what you have, you’ll also have a great chance to visually survey everything that’s in your pantry so that you can hopefully recall whether or not you have something.
→ Your head will clear so you can make better use of what you have.
There is something powerful in getting rid of stuff that you know you will never use. Not to be overly dramatic, but having stuff in your home that you know you should use but in reality know you never will can really weigh a person down.
I can’t tell you how much more inspired to cook I felt when I finally got rid of the rice paper wrappers and rice noodles that I’d purchased three or four years ago in anticipation of a Japanese friend teaching me and a few other friends how to make spring rolls. That event never happened and the supplies have set in my pantry since then, taunting me every time I opened the door. (Yes, I’m being a little dramatic – but only a little!)
My friend Jen has encouraged people to minimize what doesn’t work in their wardrobe so that they can maximize what does. Oh, she is so spot on!
I have way too many clothes, and with that excess, I miss out on quickly putting together great outfits because I spend too much time weeding through things that are just “maybe’s.”
We have so much junk in our homes that’s taking up space in our heads and preventing us from being creative with the stuff that’s not junk! We put ourselves on a guilt trip for purchasing something that we didn’t use, and that guilt trip turns into an extended vacation when we keep the item in our home.
Those extended guilt trip vacations take up time in our lives – time that we could spend being joyfully thrifty and making wise use of our resources.
If the item doesn’t work or you can’t muster up the courage to use it for its original purpose, free yourself by getting rid of it. Don’t forget the memory of it – that memory will be powerful in keeping you from making similar mistakes again – but clear your head and start new!
Getting rid of stuff will save you money.
WIth my life getting busier (I’m eight months pregnant with baby #5!) and prices of just about everything rising, I’m focusing on ways to make better use of my money that require little time investment. While on the front end, getting rid of stuff does take a little bit of time and does feel a bit like you are throwing money away, ultimately, it saves money and time and is well worth the effort.
Have you found freedom and savings in getting rid of stuff? I’d love to hear where you’re at on this issue!