A spring clean for your house and finances
When shopping, get organised and use a list. Organise your mindset - know what unnecessary items tempt you and avoid them
I'm embracing minimalism - so chuck out items that are no longer useful and organise your life a little to save a lot
‘You’re not a bit of a hoarder are you?” remarked a colleague who baulked at the idea that, with more than 10,000 megabytes of storage (whatever that means), I’m paying for extra capacity in my email account.
I’m not one of those people with 18 cats and newspapers all over the house, but it got me thinking, just how costly is my lack of organisation? This year, then, I’m embracing minimalism. I’m chucking items that are no longer useful. I’ve given bags of baby clothes to friends and donated out-of-date items to charity. I’ve edited my papers and organised my kitchen. I’m bringing my library books back and paying my bills on time. I’m streamlining my larder to minimise duplication and waste.
Yes, it’s out with the old habits and in with the new. Just don’t ask me to bin my vintage dresses or the jumper my mother knitted when she was 16. I’m a sentimental minimalist, don’t you know?
Organising your kitchen cupboards will enable you to see what you have in your larder and prevent you buying more of the same. Keep your pasta, lentils, rice, flour and other dry goods in transparent jars or containers so you can see what you already have. While such products tend to have a long shelf life, it’s still a waste of both money and space to buy more than you need. However, if you’re lucky enough to have a large kitchen or utility room and, crucially, if you know you will use the product, buy in bulk. Large bags of rice and pulses cost a lot less in your local Asian store than smaller amounts in the supermarket. Organise your larder and save on waste and money.
The cry of “I’ve nothing to wear” is familiar to many and one that can result in a last-minute dash to the shops before a night out or an important meeting. By knowing what is in your wardrobe, knowing what suits you and what is in fashion, you can save money by making wiser and less frequent shopping decisions.
Assess what you already have. Look at the items you are discarding and ask yourself, why? Is the shape, style or colour unflattering? If so, avoid making similar, costly mistakes when you are next out shopping.
The old adage of you get what you pay for may mean a more costly initial outlay, but investing a little bit more in classic styles and good quality items means you are less likely to buy items that end up in the charity bag. Think about shopping for high fashion items in less-expensive shops while spending a bit more on versatile, classic pieces such as jeans, boots and coats.
Look after the clothes you have to prevent their deterioration. If it says hand wash on the label, hand wash it or, at the very least, use the hand-wash function on your washing machine. Check clothing labels before you buy – the cost of dry cleaning can add up. Try to avoid dry cleaning too often as it can be tough on your clothes – spot clean items when you can.