7 reasons it’s frugal to de-clutter

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve started on a path of getting my house in order. I’m in no way affiliated with Flylady, but I heartily recommend checking her out if you have any desire to become more organized and feel better about your home. Things are happening here, and it feels good.

This Friday I re-organized my entranceway and I finally feel proud of how it looks. And feels! It’s remarkable how wonderful it feels to enter into a tidy, organized space instead of a cluttered, cramped, smelly entrance (it’s where we keep our cat litter–no other place in our apartment that is also out of the way of baby fingers).

So I’ve been de-cluttering along with Flylady and I’ve been thinking about how frugal it is to get rid of our unwanted possessions. Here are some of the motivating thoughts I’ve come up with:

1. You will probably find some useful things. These might be useful things you’d lost, or things that have a new use since you last set eyes on them. Or even things you can give as gifts.

2. When you have fewer things, the things you have are easier to take care of. You will notice them more, appreciate them more and use them more, making them more valuable to you.

3. Giving your unwanted things away is an inexpensive way of donating to worthy causes. Whether your recipient is a charity thrift store or a silent auction going to a good cause, you can send wealth their way without spending a penny. In this way it benefits both you and the recipient.

4. Own less, want less. When you uncover (gasp) bare surfaces and clear floor spaces, you may discover the beauty of minimalism. Luckily minimalist decor is both hip and frugal.

5. When you have fewer cluttered areas, things have fewer places to hide. Thus, you may save money on library fines, late video fees, or the cost of replacing lost items.

6. If you have less stuff, you can live in a smaller place. Lower rent, lower heating costs, even lower moving costs.

7. Apparently the storage locker business has grown more than the music industry in the last few years. Free yourself of your excess stuff and you won’t need to rent a storage locker.

Not that the frugality of this project is what is spurring me on. The sheer enjoyment of my newly cleaned-up spaces is truly inspiring. But it’s nice to know there is a financial up-side too.

What are your goals for where you live?

Throw out fifty things

We took a little holiday last week, back to Sudbury to see the folks. While I was away, I decided that I really really really really really want to do some de-cluttering. (I almost wrote re-cluttering . . . yikes!!!). So I picked up a used book for a dollar about de-cluttering by the host of the show “Clean Sweep”. I’ve never seen the show, but I take it the premise is that this guy helps hopelessly cluttered couples “get their lives back” by mucking out their closets, basements, attics, etc.

I wish he would visit us!

But in lieu of a fairy god-father, I guess we’re going to have to do it ourselves. He has a lot of good rational responses to typical excuses for keeping stuff, which is good for me. He really is relentless.

Besides that book, while I was in Sudbury I got myself a Sudbury library card (isn’t that amazing?!? I was thrilled!) and took out this book called “Throw Out Fifty Things” where she coaches you to do just that. You keep a list, and then you can post your list on her website. And just in case you think “I’ll just throw out these fifty dried out pens and be done with it,” sorry–multiples of a kind only count as one. Oh and by “throw out” she also means “recycle” or “give away” or “sell”. In the book there’s a whole part on “throwing out” mental garbage too, like bad attitudes, regrets, and so on, but I’m aiming for fifty real things, and I figure lots of mental things will probably follow quite naturally!

So we got home from our vacation this evening and within seconds of stepping in the door, I was already de-cluttering. I was like a parched woman finding water. Our suitcases are not yet unpacked but I have so far thrown out eight things. I’m recording my list in my sidebar to keep me motivated.

Some of these were actually kind of a big deal. For example, I threw away two old pairs of shoes. I wore them into the ground. Into the dirt. They were falling apart. And yet I have not replaced them. Why? I’m sure there are many disturbing reasons, but the fact that they are now GONE means that I don’t have to wear gross shoes any more–in fact, even if I want to, I can’t! This is important for me, and it’s only ONE THING!

Oh, what other changes are in store . . .