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A surprising way to save money that works

IMG_3425It started at the drug store. Do I need more lotion? Umm I’m not sure, so I’ll get some just in case. Deodorant? I think I’m low. Throw it in.

What was different about this store run is when I got home; I actually looked in the cabinets to see what I had really needed. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was pulling out the contents of all the bathroom drawers taking an inventory of toiletries and supplies. I had more stuff then I knew what to do with! I had half used products, unopened products, and stuff I had plain forgotten about.

I was wasting money on things I didn’t need because I had no idea what I had.

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour earned.” —Benjamin Franklin

When you are buying things you don’t really need, or are duplications of similar items you already have, the item doesn’t add any value to your life. Buying more deodorant when I had five tubes at home was wasting money and space in my house. Buying another black sweater, because you forgot about two you already have, has the same effect. When you are aware of what you have you will forgo a new purchase altogether (wahooo!) or buy the blue sweater instead, both decisions add more value to your life.

I took this idea and applied it to my clothes. I started keeping a give away bag in the back of my closet. If I continually pass over a blouse to wear, it goes in the bag. If I haven’t worn something for a long time and it doesn’t look good (or I don’t feel good in it), its gone. I want to be able to SEE everything in my closet and for each piece to be something I love.

When we keep our closets and drawers cluttered, it keeps us confused about what we have and thinking we need more then we do. Clearing it away creates space in your life for the things you value and keeps some dollars in your pocket.

Surround yourself with the things you need and love, discard the rest.

Now it’s your turn:
Take one step today to declutter. What are you holding on to that is taking up space in your life? Where are you spending money on things because you don’t know what you have?

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