You may have heard that decluttering is beneficial to your mental and emotional health. An extra bonus of decluttering is that it can actually save you money, and in some cases, even earn you some. All that extra stuff in your cabinets and closets, counters, shelves, hallways, garage, attic, and storage unit is potentially money in your pocket. Read on and feel inspired to save by paring down your things and getting organized.
1. Know what you actually have
When you’ve got so much stuff that you’ve lost track of what you have and how many, you end up wasting money when you re-buy items you already have, but can’t find. You also spend more than you need to when you’re buying multiples of things. Decluttering allows you to see what you actually already own. And once you’ve organized what remains after you’ve decluttered, it will be easier for you to find what you need, saving you money (and time!). You will minimize or even completely say goodbye to those times you’re at the store, thinking, “We need ______ but do we already have one? Where is it?”
2. Sell or donate your clutter
It’s quite possible your clutter is worth something. Months before I moved two years ago, I decluttered my kids’ toys and games. A majority of items went to donations or garbage, but I made a small mint selling sets of major brand name toys (e.g., LEGOs, American Girl, Sweet Streets, Barbie). Gently used or brand new clothes, jewelry, and accessories can be sold at Poshmark, eBay, thredUP, Queenly, or Kidizen. Home goods, antiques, and furniture at Bonanza, Ruby Lane, and Cherish. Books at Half Price Books, BookScouter, and SellBackYourBook. Usable electronics at Swappa and Decluttr. Localized places such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are also great places to sell things where the buyer can just pick up themselves. Make some dough out of that clutter and it will be a doubly great feeling to get organized!
Don’t forget that items you donate can also be a write-off come tax time. Make sure you get a receipt from the donation center.
3. Avoid late fees and penalties
Have you ended up paying a late fee or a penalty because you couldn’t locate a bill due to a messy home office, cluttered computer desktop, or disorganized pile of paperwork? Getting your financial and household documents decluttered and organized will definitely save you money. When your documents, whether paper or electronic, are organized into a filing system it will be so much easier for you to keep track of and find things. This can also help keep track of annual renewals for things like car registration, insurance policies, memberships, and subscriptions, whether you wish to renew or cancel.
4. No need for a storage unit or larger home
With so much less stuff, you can finally say goodbye to that storage unit and save some serious cash, since the average rate for a 10×10′ unit is $132/month. Of course many people have a temporary need for a storage unit, such as when they’re moving or living overseas for a stretch. But if you’re using it as a permanent storage solution, and it’s full of things you never need or use anymore, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, get in there, and do some serious decluttering and paring down.
By the same token, if you’ve got rooms in your home that you’re using as an onsite storage unit, you can also free up space by decluttering that room. You may not need that bigger house after all—you could find your house is large enough once it’s been freed up from unnecessary clutter and extra stuff.
5. Save money on organization
Simply put, the less things you’ve got, the less you have to store. You’ll spend less money on organizing solutions such as overhead garage storage shelves, Elfa closet shelf systems, or customized pantry shelving. You’ll also spend less on organizing services, dump runs, and hauling services.
6. Become intentional with your buying choices
Once you’ve decluttered and organized, you’ll be more mindful and intentional with what you buy. Do I really need to buy this item in bulk? Maybe not. Do I really need another black cardigan when I know I have two others? Nah. If you’ve sold off, donated, or thrown away a huge amount of items after you decluttered and organized, you may think twice about how much you spend on things now that you’ve seen how much you just got rid of and what that all cost. After all the work and time you put into getting your spaces pared down and calm, you’ll work harder to keep it from getting cluttered up again. Like I always tell my kids when they ask for something, “Is this a want or a need?” Consider that!
7. Decluttering may unearth unexpected financial rewards
While going through a pile of paperwork, a junk drawer, or an old box of random stuff, you never know what you might find. Our organizers have found amazing things while helping clients! Some examples: cash, a roll of 100 Forever stamps, gift cards (Starbucks, Nordstrom, grocery, restaurants), uncashed checks, a missing Apple Watch.
8. Saving time is saving money
When your home is organized and you don’t have an overload of unnecessary things, you’ll save time by having less to clean and declutter, being able to find what you need quicker, and having the time to do other things.
Ready to begin your decluttering journey? Start small, be diligent, and don’t get discouraged—no one ever said decluttering and organizing was a quick and easy process. Enlist others in your household to help, and of course, if you ever need more support, don’t hesitate to contact us.