Keeping extra stuff around isn’t doing any harm, right? After all, you’ve already bought it, so why not keep it?
Though this logic might make sense, it may actually be more beneficial to get rid of that extra stuff. Clutter makes it difficult to keep your space tidy, and it can also cost you money.
Clutter may cause you to purchase duplicates of something, prevent you from seeing the potential value of an item, and lead you to pay staggering amounts for its storage. These challenges can affect your buying habits, budget, and overall financial well-being.
Here’s a look at how decluttering can help you save money and make progress toward your financial goals.
Avoid Accidentally Repurchasing the Same Items
When you have too much stuff, it becomes challenging to remember what you’ve already bought. Before you know it, you have multiples in your spice rack, laundry pile, and other cluttered areas.
Beyond forgetting what you already have, it’s hard to use the stuff you own if you can’t find it among the clutter. When you need a kitchen utensil, for example, it doesn’t matter if you already own it if you don’t remember where it is.
Take inventory of the things you own, and get rid of anything you don’t need. Organizing useful items so that you can find them without searching for them is another productive step toward reducing duplicate purchases and saving money.
You may have duplicates of some items in your home, especially if you live with others. If the items are frequently used, such as cooking utensils, it might be helpful to have more than one on hand. If the duplicates are just collecting dust, however, it may be time to streamline your belongings and get rid of the ones you don’t use.
Upcycle and Repurpose Old Items
Do you own things you don’t use anymore? These old items could have great potential for alternative uses.
Clothing, containers, furniture, and other household objects can be transformed when you repurpose them. Often called “upcycling,” this process involves using your creativity – or social media for inspiration – to turn old items into something you can use.
Upcycling can be as simple as repainting your desk a fresh color. More involved projects could include turning a vintage suitcase into a unique chair or creating a bookshelf from an old ladder.
Although repurposing items takes more time and thought than tossing them out, it can be a productive process. Some upcycling projects can generate new storage options. You might even end up with imaginative pieces of art you can sell to make some extra money on the side. Plus, engaging in creative projects can help you practice mindfulness and reduce stress.
Stop Paying for Storage
If you don’t have enough space in your house for the stuff you own, you may need to rent a storage unit. These units can cost up to a couple hundred dollars a month. Insured and climate-controlled units are often even more expensive, and rates in certain cities and states can be higher as well.
Decluttering helps you keep your belongings in spaces you already own, so that you don’t have to pay to store them. If your storage unit costs $200 per month, you can save more than $2,000 each year simply by eliminating payments for renting that space.
Where can you store the items you still use? Many houses, apartments, garages, and other spaces come with clever solutions for convenient storage. If you can’t find those dedicated spaces, make them yourself by sliding bins under your bed, stacking vacuum-sealed bags of out-of-season clothing in the back of your closet, and choosing furniture that doubles as storage – like an ottoman where you can hide board games for family game night.
Encourage Smart Spending Habits
When you declutter your space, you’ll likely find plenty of items that have seen almost no use. Instead of regretting those old purchases, use it as a lesson to be more mindful of your spending habits moving forward and to ward off future cases of buyer’s remorse.
What things are you keeping? Something you wanted for weeks before buying or had to save the funds for and items with various practical uses are more likely to survive decluttering. While the goal is still to have less stuff, the things you keep may help you decide whether a future purchase is worthwhile.
Stick to Your Budget
The new buying habits you develop while decluttering can help you see the value in sticking to your budget.
When you’re more intentional about the purchases you make, you’re more likely to spend less, which means you have more money available to put toward savings goals or paying down debt. Reaching goals and eliminating monthly payments is a great motivator to continue developing and following a budget that works for you.
Work Toward Your Financial Goals with PSECU
Finding resources you can trust is crucial to improving your spending habits and decluttering. Let us be a part of that essential first step. Visit our WalletWorks page for more tips on managing your money.