Friday, January 16, 2015

Frugel Friday #1: How Clutter Costs Me Money

I return to work in just one week from now after having off for the last ten weeks on maternity leave to care for my third (and final) baby boy, Thomas.  I have really enjoyed my time home with him and my middle son part time for three days a week (he goes to day care for the other two days to keep some routine in his life). Our day care bill is about to go from $240/week to $635/week, so we need to be mindful of our spending.  REALLY mindful of our spending. 

We do not have a lot of areas we can cut back on.  Our mortgage is already pretty cheap, we don't have car loans or credit card debt, we don't have cable or super huge cell phone bills.  Our family has done "no spend" months in the past and those have been popular posts on my blog (see here, here, here, and here) so I thought it would be fun to pop in once in awhile on this blog and share how we're saving money where we can.  I'm calling it, Frugal Friday.

Frugal Friday will be a day where I can share our ups and downs, share tips on how we save, and hopefully have you the reader do the same!  PLEASE!  I love reading blogs about saving money, if you have a great tip, please share it with me.

So let's begin by talking about one area where I think this family loses money:  CLUTTER.

Dun dun duuuun. 


Clutter costs this family real money.  You see, everything is so disorganized in this house, I'm guessing many of you can relate.  When things are disorganized you can't find the "thing" you are looking for.  When you can't find that said "thing" you go out and buy a new "thing" to replace the "thing" you can't find.  Suddenly before you know it you have 35 of that same "thing" in the house.  For us, this happens a lot.  The "thing" is: hats/gloves, batteries, dishtowels, lip gloss, plastic containers, socks, crib sheets, etc.  I could keep going but I think you get the picture, I'm sure you all have plenty of your own "things" that multiply.  Not only do they cost you money when you replace them but the time you spent looking for them is precious time you can't get back.  I read we all waste something like 40 minutes a day looking for stuff.  I believe it.  Sometimes it is just easier to go buy a new one than to look and find the one you're looking for, right?  This mindset costs us money, real money.   So it is time to get rid of this money drainer. 

I've been slowly working on trying to organize our house.  With three little boys in the house (and one big one), that hasn't been easy but so far I have managed to organize and group a few areas that I think were costing us money.  Here's one:

Household Supplies

Our entry closet has been under utilized since the day we moved into this house (11 years ago!).  Look at that hot mess!  Every time I opened that door, something fell on top of me.  This is nothing but a waste of space and a place where we were losing money.  You might be asking how this dirty closet was costing us money.   This closet was supposed to be holding our supply of paper products and cleaning supplies but you can't see them behind all the clutter....and because you can't see it, we went out and bought more.  More than we need.  We bought two huge packs of toilet paper in the last two weeks because we thought we were out.

Seriously?  Look at this closet!  That floor mop is suspended in the air and defying the law of gravity.  Like that isn't waiting to fall and get broken and then I would have to buy a new one that would cost me more money.  

And that poor shelf up above has so much potential but is being under utilized by disorganization.  

I cleaned out this under utilized closet and got to work.  Usually this means a trip to target to get some new and pretty organizational crates, baskets, plastic containers ($$$), etc BUTTTT, remembering my neighbor's recent post on her blog challenging us to living simply, I reorganized organized this closet for ZERO DOLLARS!  ZERO DOLLARS people, come on, I should get a high five for doing that!

I grabbed a shelf from the basement that wasn't being used.  My husband wanted to put this ugly beast in our tiny office off of our bedroom.......gasp......the horror..... so I needed to come up with a purpose for this shelf stat.

So here it is, being put to use.  Isn't this closet all nice and pretty now?  Now I know just how many rolls of toilet paper and paper towel we have, the answer is too many.  Oh, anyone need a lint roller?  We have more rolls than we will ever use!

Look at all those Swiffers!  My kids love to push those around It is nice to know how many boxes we have (enough to last us till the kids move out of the house).  I mean seriously, they don't love to push them around that much and I'm smart enough to realize their love for cleaning will wear off before the Swiffers run out)!   Oh, I even found a battery operated push broom new in the box inside this closet, I didn't know we had that! I had just added that to my "to buy" list the day before.  Score! 

Then this morning, I found myself searching for pretty over the door organizers and had a light bulb moment when I thought, I bet we have one of these in the basement and I can put all of our hats and mittens in it!  Sure enough, I found one in the basement (a couple actually) and got to work. The one on amazon was really pretty but this one was free and it is going inside a closet, no one is going to see it....oh, and did I mention our increasing day care bill? 

I gathered all of our winter hats, gloves, and scarves (you know, the ones we can never find so we go buy more of them) and now they are all nicely sorted and stored in one location.  No more need to buy hats!

I challenge you to find the areas in your house that are costing you money because of clutter and take some action this week to organize, sort, and get rid of stuff you no longer need/use.

Let me know what you find!


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  2. High five is definitely in order. Looks great, Ericka!