I did a lot of cleaning out of closets when we were getting our house ready to sell, and as I did, I became convinced that straightening up and cleaning out your closets is a huge source of savings that most of us overlook! Here’s why:
I discovered that I’d purchased products I already had.
Though I think it’s only the bride that’s supposed to wear “something old, new, borrowed, and blue”, I did that somewhat when I was in my best friend’s wedding in January. Not wanting to spend money on shoes, I borrowed a pair of black heels from my mom. (I don’t know about you, but heels are just not practical when I’m constantly chasing toddlers! Someday I’ll wear them again, but those aren’t the kind of shoes I really want to buy at this point in my life.)
My mom has the amazing talent of wearing shoe sizes 7 through 8.5, depending on how much she likes the shoe and how good of a deal it is. :) So, while our feet are pretty similar in size, the shoes were a bit big and I ended up buying no-slip heel pads for the shoes so they’d stay on.
I was cleaning out a closet a few weeks later and found the exact same type of shoe pads in the closet, and plenty of them. No clue where they came from or when they were purchased, but I totally could have saved myself $5-10 if I had just kept the closet more organized. Honestly, the closet wasn’t even that bad, but because I didn’t clean it out regularly, I had no clue what was in there and didn’t even think to look for the shoe pads.
I’ve totally done the same thing with kids’ clothing, too – purchased a pair of shoes and didn’t realize I had the same style/size in storage. Gah!
(Another point: saving items “just in case” is not a great way to save money because I don’t usually remember that I had them, or where I had them, and end up re-buying them anyway and stressing about it because I just know I have them somewhere but I can’t find them so I feel guilty about spending the money on something I should be able to find.)
I realized we are set on lip balm for a long time.
As I cleaned out the closet, I found a ridiculous amount of lip balm that I’ve picked up for cheap or free over the past year or two. Maybe ten tubes or so, which will last us quite awhile as long as the girls stop twisting it all the way up when they partake of the lip balm.
Right after that, Chapstick was $0.50 after coupon at King Soopers and I was this close to buying some, but the budget was really tight and I realized that I really did not need to buy any more lip balm if I could spend the few dollars on something else that we actually needed that week or the next. Had I not cleaned out the closet and realized just how abundant our supply already was, I would totally have bought the Chapstick.
I had a similar situation with toothpaste – just knowing the inventory of my closet kept me from spending money! Granted, in this instance we are talking about saving a dollar or two, which isn’t a ton but on occasion, it is! (And there are lots of more expensive things that this could apply to as well.)
I found things I could sell.
While I was cleaning out the closet, I found refill cartridges for an old razor that Jeremy no longer used, and I couldn’t find the handle to it so I couldn’t even use it for my legs. I’ve actually known that we had some abandoned cartridges for awhile, but was keeping them around in the hopes that the razor handle would appear so we could use them because those razor refills are expensive!
This time, however, it occurred to me that they might be worth a few bucks to someone else, and I happened to be listing some stuff on eBay at the time, so I listed them on eBay and made around $12!
So, I think that regularly cleaning out closets is a big source of savings and potentially earnings, too.
Have you had any Doh! moments lately when you discovered something in a closet?
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.