Now that the weather has finally begun to show signs of spring, it seems a natural inclination for many of us to look around our homes and begin some cleaning, organizing, sorting out and donating. There is a lot to be said for the psychological impact of a clean and tidy homestead, but these activities can also go a long way in helping to spend smarter.
How many times have you bought something and discovered – after the fact – that you already had one, or two, or five?! Staying reasonably organized can save significantly on unnecessary/duplicate purchases. This can apply to everything from batteries to bandages to beef. Here’s a simple action plan to help you rediscover and use what you already own and plan for smarter shopping going forward:
- Choose one area at a time to clean out and sort, such as the kitchen pantry, laundry, bath, garage, closet, or office. Some time spent smartly this spring will reap rewards for your budget
- For the kitchen, laundry or bath organization, have paper and pencil handy to make shopping lists for items that need to be replaced or replenished. Be careful not to automatically replace anything and everything that has gone “bad”. It’s important to assess the actual current need. Many items in the medicine cabinet have a limited shelf life. If something is expired and it was barely used, it’s probably not necessary to buy more of it. Consider multi-purpose products when applicable.
- Try to repurpose items that are no longer wanted or needed in one area for use in another area. For example; an older trash can from the kitchen or bath can become a bin for recyclables or for hose or extension cord storage in the garage.
- Sell, swap or donate anything else that is still usable by someone, and get receipts if needed for tax deductions.
- Once you’re down to the items to be kept in a certain area, assess what your organization or storage needs are and if you are lacking, then take a trip to the store:
- Food storage that helps items stay fresh longer
- Closet organizers
- Storage shelves
- Clear storage bins (or have good labels)
- Desk organizers
- Be on the lookout for sale items and feel free to have some fun with colors or design. If you like them you’ll tend to keep them organized.
- If during your spring cleanout you discovered a lot of duplicates or if you find yourself with food or other items often expiring before you can use them, try to get in the habit of keeping a running shopping list handy where you can note when items are running low to avoid guessing while you’re going down the store aisles. Also, give some items a try that are designed to replace more “disposable” ones, such as microfiber cloths in place of paper towels for cleaning.
Some time spent smartly this spring will reap rewards for your budget and the environment, not to mention a little more peace of mind.
Spring At Last!
It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!