Is decluttering your home one of your New Year’s resolutions? 

Is 2019 your year to explore minimalism and finally sort your stuff? There are benefits to sorting out your possessions – and it can save you lots of money too.

JUNO spoke to Steph Knight, director of organising service Less Mess, to find out how decluttering can save you money.

1. You don’t buy things more than once

Have you ever not been able to find something, so you go out and buy it again...then you find the first one? Living with clutter can make it easy to lose things, so you spend money on buying it again. Decluttering, giving everything a home (and putting it back there) means you can find what you want when you need it. You won’t spend money buying the same thing over and over again.

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2. You don’t lose bills or paperwork

…. or the winning Lotto ticket! Piles of paper, or even an overloaded inbox, means things get lost, and this may mean late fees, more interest to pay or it may even have an impact on your credit rating. Creating systems for your incoming mail, or stopping paper statements, will lessen your piles and your workload, and decrease the risk of spending unnecessary money.

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3. You’ll have less food waste

Having an organised fridge and pantry is a great way to save. You’ll save money by not buying things you already have – because it will be easier to see what you already have. It will also make your shopping list and grocery shopping a lot easier because you will be buying what you need, not what you already have.

Being organised also means that you won’t have cupboards full of expired food. I have worked with many clients where we have ended up throwing out a huge amount of expired/unusable food that has been hidden or inaccessible in the pantry. In some cases, this has been hundreds of dollars worth of food. It’s a huge waste. For tips on how to reduce your food waste visit Love Food, Hate Waste.

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4. Time is money

If you’re organised, you can find what you’re looking for. Have you been late for work or an appointment because you can’t find your keys? Or can’t find that work you brought home to do, or you’re late handing in some important documents because you can’t find your laptop charger. 

If you are lucky enough to have a cleaner, how much more efficient would it be for your cleaner if they could manoeuvre around your house more easily. They might get more done in that time, or reduce the time needed to clean. The less you have, the less time you need to organise it, meaning you can spend your time doing what you love.

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5. Save on storage items

Some people think that to be organised, you need to run out and buy lots of fancy organising items or storage boxes – but you don’t. I’m all about reusing what you already have and upcycling items. By decluttering, we often end up with multiple boxes or other storage items we can reuse or repurpose. 

You can also use Google or Pinterest to find hundreds of creative ways to store different items around the house. By decluttering, there’s no need to buy items to store your hoard in! And another bonus – if you reduce how much you own, you’ll have less items to store.

6. You don’t spend money being out all day

Hands up if you’ve ever avoided being at home, or have left the house because you don’t have the energy to focus on what needs to be done? You can spend a lot of money on coffee, food, or entertainment just by not wanting to be around the clutter in your home. Living a life full of clutter can also have an impact on your health. It’s likely you’ll suffer from more stress, potential anxiety, and this could lead to getting sick more often. Decluttering can, for many, really help clear your head and boost your mental, and sometimes even physical health.

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7. Have financial goals

Think about what your values are, or what your goal or dream or aspiration is. If you could save money just by decluttering and being more organised, what would you do with it? Save for a house, a holiday, pay off some bills, get something fixed, have a life experience of some sort? It’s useful to have a think about what your values are, what your behaviour is, and what you would like to change. Prioritise what matters. Your life should be a living space, not a storage space. And all that clutter used to be money!

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Published January 2019

This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with a financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.