Fall is officially here, and now is the perfect time to declutter your home before the winter weather keeps you stuck in an overly packed house. Organizing, cleaning and deciding which items to part with can be stressful, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Even with these challenges, decluttering can ultimately improve your quality of life by rescuing your sanity — and your wallet. Follow these five steps to declutter your home and your life while saving money in the process.
Donate as Much as Possible
As you sort through all of the belongings you’ve accumulated over the years, make a pile of items to donate. Charitable donations are a great way to declutter and save money while helping someone in need. Keep receipts for all items you donate, and when tax season rolls around, you can deduct your charitable donations.To save by giving to charity, consider donating a car for a tax write-off. Giving your car to a charitable organization canresult in a sizable tax refund.
Only Purchase Essentials
To save money in the long run, it is crucial to re-examine how and why we spend our money. There are several ways to cut down on spending by only purchasing the things we truly need. According to CNN, Americans waste approximately $165 billion a year on unused and uneaten food. Overspending on food not only costs you money, but also creates clutter in your pantry. Reduce clutter and save money by limiting the number of times you dine out, purchasing canned goods and eating the food you already have at home.
This same rule of thumb applies with all items you purchase. Instead of dropping $5 at the local coffee shop, brew your own at home and take it with you. Rather than buying another pair of designer jeans, reassess if this is something you actually need. These small purchases add up over time, so learning to buy only what you need is essential for saving money and decluttering your life.
Organize Your Bills
The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that 23 percent of adults who make late payments do so because they misplace their bills. Late payments and fees are easily avoidable by developing a foolproof bill-paying system. One way to do this is to pay your bills online or have them automatically withdrawn from your bank account. If you do not feel comfortable with automatic bill paying, sign up for email alerts to remind you of upcoming payment dates.
Not all bills can be handled online,and there are always pesky parking tickets or medical statements arriving in the mail. This is where a simple designated bill-holder by the front door will come in handy. Consider having a slot for outgoing mail and another for incoming bills. This way you will notice the bills you need to send on your way out the door, decreasing the possibility of a late payment. Make one more station for your receipts and rebate offers. This way, you can return items and cash in on the rebates you deserve.
Create Storage Solutions
Whether it’s an overcrowded bathroom or a closet crammed with clothes, lacking the proper storage solutions can create a high-anxiety living situation. By creating ways of storing and organizing, you can avoid the costs of renting out a storage unit while learning how to get by with less.
Shelving units are a great storage solution for any room with wall space. This is a terrific way to organize your belongings by keeping them off of the floor and arranging them in a way that makes sense to you. Also, consider buying a few boxes or bins for extra items that don’t fit on a shelf. Remember to only store essentials and donate or sell the rest of your belongings. This is the best way to declutter for the long term, as you will be working to change the way you view your possessions.
If You Can’t Donate It, Sell It!
After you’ve exhausted your options for places to donate, try selling your remaining belongings. Use Craigslist, and look for free listing days on eBay so you can advertise your items without losing any money if they don’t sell. Contact your local newspaper to place an ad for your larger items and consider throwing a yard sale. Even if you only make a small profit, you will earn more money than you would have by tossing your unwanted things in the dumpster.
Start this winter off with a clutter-free home and a heavy wallet by following these tips. Rid your life of clutter, and you will soon experience the many benefits oftidy and organized living.
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