Do you find yourself tossing rotten food due to poor meal planning? Have you paid more in late fees or premiums, because you couldn’t face the mountain of paperwork? Stop wasting money by getting organized!
We all think about saving money; but that’s only part of the picture. We also need to stop WASTING money! If we focus solely on spending less, we miss a big opportunity to save by trimming wastefulness.
If we focus solely on spending less, we miss a big opportunity to save by trimming wastefulness.
In two decades as a professional organizer, I have been waist-deep in people’s belongings and “overage”. They have overspent, overaccumulated, overstashed, and overdone it! While they likely know they have spent too much or procrastinated one-too-many-times, they may not realize their haphazard habits are siphoning their money!
Disorganization is expensive!
If you’d like to find out just how much your disorganization is costing you each month, download our free Wastefulness Assessment. This free resource will help you identify hidden costs to your disorganization.
The opportunity to save is in our home and habits. Expand your focus from simply watching pennies to trimming wastefulness. When you get organized, you will be amazed how much money you will save.
Here are 5 ways to stop wasting money and reclaim your wealth:
Pull the plug on shopping
A lot of people meet their need for social connection through shopping. Some are lonely and want to be around other people. Others shop for the thrill (more on that here). Often, people shop because they’re avoiding being at home.
Shopping may be fun in the moment, but the problem is when we buy what we don’t need! We acquire and get the high, and then bring our treasures home, add to our clutter, and feel guilty.
To stop this wasteful habit:
- Face the household clutter and turn your home into the respite you’re getting from shopping
- Find other ways to get inspired – pinning boards or magazines – and then use what you have to redesign your space into a place you love
If you’ve acquired things that you don’t need, ditch the guilt and get into action. Organize your returns and recoup the cash. You’ll feel the freedom of less clutter and more money in your bank account all at once!
Cash in on your clutter
Clearing out unused items frees up space and can add resources back into your budget. Win-win! This is a great motivator to prune your belongings!
A couple ways to cash in on your clutter:
Get rid of your storage unit
Do you have a storage unit that is filled with stuff you really don’t need? When working with clients, this is one topic that ALWAYS comes up. So often clients get storage units to store the “stuff” that doesn’t fit in their home or the “stuff” that is too difficult to deal with.
Are you spending a few hundred dollars a month for a storage unit? Here is some disturbing math for you:
- If you rent a storage unit for $200/month that’s $2,400/year.
- Keep that unit for 5 years and you’ve spent $12,000! Ouch!
If you’ve been paying your hard-earned money to put a roof over stuff you don’t use, do whatever it takes to clear it out ASAP! Just think about the money you will save!
Sell your overage or take a tax deduction
- Local thrift stores – look for local consignment shops that will accept and sell your nicer pieces to recoup some cash!
- Online shops – check local selling groups on social media.
(CAUTION: be careful! Never meet people alone or give out your address to a stranger. Also, keep in mind the amount of time this takes compared to the amount of money you’re receiving for each item. It may be more beneficial to donate the items and take a tax deduction.)
- Tax deduction – download a donation tracker app and keep track of all your donations throughout the year. Not only will you be blessing others with your overage, you’ll be able to take a nice deduction on your taxes!
Groceries and food make up a large part of many family’s budgets and are a major area of wastefulness! The key to trimming wastefulness and optimizing your eating is through PLANNING.
Limit eating out
How often do you end up eating out because you didn’t plan out lunch or dinner ahead of time? Add meal planning time into your weekly rhythm to limit eating out.
When you limit eating out, not only will you stop wasting money on expensive meals, you’ll also be (most likely) eating healthier options.
Use your food
Meal planning will promote nutrition and save you money. Plan meals that help achieve your health goals and have specific recipes in mind.
If you shop without a list or a meal plan, you’re likely to buy what “looks good” rather than what you need. Then, ingredients fail to be incorporated into meals and end up in the trash.
Another way to stop wasting money on food is to buy more fresh food than packaged. Not only is fresh food healthier, it is often intended for a meal – and used – in the immediate future. Boxed goods purchased for “in case” or with no use date in sight often end up forgotten on the pantry shelf.
Assess your pantry
One way we help our clients get organized to save money is to assess their pantry BEFORE they go grocery shopping. I recently challenged a client to go an ENTIRE month to use up what she had in her pantry and to only purchase perishable items such as milk, eggs, meat and veggies. She was not allowed to purchase anything that you would find in a pantry.
The result? She got creative! She started using up items in her pantry and in the process started creating much interesting and unique meals for her family all while saving money.
Are there items in your pantry that you could be using up? Try this month-long challenge and see how creative you can get!
When we first start working on a project with a client (no matter which room of the house we start in) we inevitably come across gift wrapping items placed all throughout the house.
We will find some wrapping paper under the guest bed, ribbons and bows out in the garage and tissue paper and gift bags in the office. Does this sound familiar?
As we go through each room collecting all the gift wrapping supplies, clients share how they can never find the tissue or gift bags so they just go out and buy more. Does this sound familiar too?
For our clients who have a lot of gifting supplies, we suggest a gift wrapping station so they can have one place to keep all gift wrapping supplies together. Make sure to store pre-purchased gifts here, as well! This will prevent you from forgetting what you’ve bought or where you put it.
The great part about the gift wrap station is that you don’t need a lot of room and it doesn’t need to be in a prime location. You can use a small closet that is underutilized or some cupboard space that has become a “catch-all”.
So, start gathering up your gift wrap from all corners of your home and stop wasting money on gifts and gift wrap!
Finally, examine your unique types of wastefulness so you can bring them into ORDER. Download our free resource to get you started!
When working with clients, I always ask this question during our first appointment: What is it costing you to be disorganized?
It is so important to completely understand the financial costs of disorganization. For many clients, they have been disorganized for a long time, which means they have been bleeding money for years.
Here is a list of examples of how many people waste money due to disorganization:
- Late fees
- Interest rate increases
- Canceled insurance policies
- Un-captured deductions
- Lost receipts:
- Inability to return items
- Can’t support deductions
- Can’t prove cost basis
If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to get in control of the driver’s seat and to start investing in getting your life, home, and finances ordered.
Here’s to reclaiming your wealth and your life!
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