Frugal Friday: Cleaning and Dejunking Can Save You Money

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A home with 8 inhabitants is a clutter-magnet. Kid stuff, mom stuff, papa stuff – we’ve got it all. And need I mention all the things that I think I should keep? What if we go to the snow? I should keep all 20 sizes of children’s cold weather gear. What if someone wants to play soccer next year? I should keep those size 4 cleats. And on and on. The rationale for holding on to stuff is to save us money. But, it doesn’t always work that way.

In fact, excess stuff can weigh us down in life. It can get in the way, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that tidy surroundings can help your thought processes. And help you get your bills paid on time.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a foodie, not a cleanie. But, I know that regular dejunking, cleaning, and organizing can save me money or in some cases, make me money. Oh, let me count the ways…

Dejunk and sell your unwanted stuff in a garage sale, on ebay, or on craigslist. I finally unloaded a diaper changing table for $15. I didn’t get a changing table until Baby #5 and by that time, my habits of changing baby on the floor were already ingrained. It was taking up space, first in the girls’ room and then in our garage and now someone else benefits from a great price on something they really do need.

Organize your stuff and you’ll find that the office supplies on your “To Buy” list are already in your possession. I call this “shopping in my garage.” I regularly find all sorts of great stuff when I go through the storage areas. Often it’s something that I was going to go buy because I wasn’t sure if I already had that item. Silly me. Yes, yes, I did.

Get your paperwork in order and you’re less likely to have late bills, missed deposits, and other paper pushing snafus. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened too often around here, but it does happen. I stuff mail in a drawer, thinking I’ll get to it tomorrow, but tomorrow becomes next week and then I’m sweating it to get things taken care of.

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of reasons why it’s good to be organized. Personally, I need these gentle reminders from time to time. Currently, I’m in the process of troubleshooting some problem areas at my home: my office files, my closets, my school room. These are places that drift toward disorder. I know that getting them ship-shape will save us time, money, and stress. And I’m all for that! If you’re interested in cleaning along with me, check out my Spring Cleaning series.

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  1. How do you balance the thought of saving things for later or buying and stocking up when on sale with disorganization? my son is almost 2, and my daughter 4.5 months. I look at his toys and clothes, and tell myself that she will play with them or wear them so I cannot get rid of them. Unfortunately, I live in England at the moment, and storage within a house is NOT a priority in real-estate here….so my house gets cluttered and stuff is everywhere all the time. (it also doesnt help that the trash only comes every two weeks here). Help!

    1. Well, I think it’s a balance. I don’t believe in excessive storage…. my family tree has lots of pack rats. But, there’s the cost versus benefit. If you really want/need to keep it, then you have to make adjustments or find compromises. Maybe you don’t keep other things? Or, if it is easily replaceable or not really important, be generous in passing it on to someone else. It’s a tough question. But, it’s rare that I say, “Oh, I wish I had kept….” and I can’t even recall what those things were, so they probably weren’t that important in the first place.

  2. I had to laugh about the office supplies – how true! I started reorganizing a cabinet & found some bags of stuff (pens, pencils, etc that I had bought over the summer when so many stores were having GREAT back-to-school sales). Forgot all about it. I have lots more than I realized.

  3. I’m one of those folks who LOVES to help other people go through and organize their closets and bookshelves. 🙂
    However, I apparently have am not such a great speller as I spelled my name wrong in the Mr. Linky. Pretty sad when I was posting about homeschooling…thank heavens they have spelling books.

    1. @Wendy, Oh my again. Bad spelling and proofreading…that sentence should read: However, I apparently am not such a great speller as I spelled my name wrong in the Mr. Linky.

      Time to get off the computer!

  4. The toughest part is to find time to do these wonderful things you’ve suggested. And I agree with all your enticing reasons to clean. Smiles.

    1. For me, it’s more motivation than time. I find “time” for lots of things besides cleaning. 😉

  5. Just something that I find helpful – I don’t have yard sales anymore. I also donate without getting receipts. The reason I do so is that God blesses me freely why not bless others in return? We are a one-very-modest-income family. Yet, I feel blessed with what we have. It gives me joy to just give.

  6. This is good encouragement for a disorganized mom like me. I know what to do, but I usually procrastinate or give up entirely. However, when it comes to creative projects and cooking, I am much more motivated. =)

  7. Decluttering and organizing is a never ending project for me. I organized my office supplies a couple of months ago and it’s made life so much easier.

  8. One way I have recently discovered to save much money is rewardrobing! I found this simple way to fashionize my bigger boxie blouses and voila! They become a new expensive looking fitted blouse! I’ve also done this with sweaters too, taking them in at the sides, fitting them first inside out.

    This week I gave away over a dozen pair of shoes that are no longer comfortable, and a dozen or so clothing items that are beyone fitting.

    I enjoyed your blog here, I have four daughters at home, ages 16 to 27 and the training in homemaking is ongoing for us all! : ) Blessings! ~Amelia

      1. @Jessica Fisher, Thank you so much! What a wonderful encouragement to me today! The Lord knew I needed to see this today. : ) Bless you! Love your site so much, I always enjoy keeping up to date with your down to earth & thought provoking posts! A blessing!

  9. I give myself one full day around the tiem the seasons change to go through the kids closets – I throw out the unusable stiff, box up the donation stuff, and box/label/inventory everything I’m saving for the next kid. I make a list of everything I’ve got for the coming season, everything I need, and a few things that I would just like them to have. (Raincoats, for example, are not a “must” in Iowa, but they are so dang CUTE!)
    When hubby brings the kids home later that evening (with dinner – he’s such a great sport!), he updates the “kids clothes” spreadsheet, prints me a copy and I keep it in my purse – now when I see a great garage sale, I know if I really need those size 5 snow pants or not, because my full inventory is tucked right into my wallet!

    1. WOW! Can you come do that for me?! That is amazing. I am lucky to get through the first part, but a spreadsheet, too? You rock!

  10. Your so right. A decluttered home cuts back on the stress making everyone a little happier. I plan to start decluttering this week. We are getting ready for a garage sell so wish me luck!

  11. Organizing and decluttering really are sanity-savers. Just this week, I couldn’t find an important receipt, something my husband needs each month to submit for his expense account. Now, I always put this where I can find it. Somehow, though, I misplaced it and now we have to wait to have the company send us a copy.
    In my efforts to find it, I went around and gathered every and all pieces of paper from bills to notes to scraps. I just dumped them in a big box then went through it systematically. I got rid of all the trash and put the things that have to be shredded in a box. (I’ll be shredding 10 or so papers at a time). I also separated out the things I have to act on soon and the things that need filed. It has been a long job, but I hope in the end I will catch up and won’t lose another important paper.

    1. Eww, paper is one of my “trouble spots.” I was going to ignore that area, but now you’re making me think I better get it together. Ick.

  12. Organizing is so important, but sometimes I get too busy. And my family doesn’t like me to get rid of things. LOL. I’m still trying to figure it out.

    In the meantime, I send friends eCards so they don’t have more clutter to deal with.

    Annie Kate

  13. Over the past few months I have been cleaning out closets and I am going to participate in our neighborhood yard sale in a few weeks. And what I don’t sell is getting boxed up and going to the Salvation Army. Now I just need to make a pledge to myself to keep my closets clean.

  14. I love organizing..sounds crazy huh??? I love the feeling of going through an area and decluttering it! I always take containers with me ( usually an empty laundry or rubbermaid tote) 1 for donating or selling, 1 for trash, 1 for needs to go in another room. This helps with time and energy!