How decluttering can improve your finances ~ by deanna ar USA
With contributions from her husband Randy
The last few years hubby and I have noticed an improvement in our finances because we were purchasing less, in order not to add items to our home, when we were in fact working to declutter it. It was easy to see that I had not Â shopped Coldwater Creek (my favorite) in a couple of years. In fact I had not been compelled to shop anywhere because so many items were decluttered that we hadn’t needed anyway, i.e. household items, hubby’s hobby items, tools, etc. About the only place I was shopping was thrift shops and, of course, grocery stores. I’m still learning what clutter is.
We didn’t set out to actually focus our decluttering skills on finances, but we were aware that we wanted to reduce expenses. We had talked about it often but didn’t really take enough action. I do think that having been actively decluttering for awhile and learning to release things, it was easier to release some things in our financial world too…like DirecTV (subscribing to Netflix and Hulu instead)…over $100 savings monthly. We’re now hoping Â to reduce homeowners and auto insurance. We’re going back to a mail order pharmacy, it’s much cheaper. Our prescriptions are all generic now. We’ve also reduced the number of times we eat out each week. And we generally drink wine only at home now, except for special occasions. We’re in the midst of these changes now, so we’re eager to see how much this is going to affect us monthly. Last month was great! But we are finding that, like most decluttering, this too is a process.
I was not raised to declutter. My mother saved everything. Even though I did it in spurts, I never considered that it was ok to let some things go. However, I’ve been decluttering clothes (mine and hubby’s) for several years. But we traveled halftime for hubby’s work so, not being home much, I just couldn’t get started on decluttering the house. It helped that I had been reading several minimalist blogs regularly. I already knew that if I wanted to clean out my closet, then I could read my favorite style blog to get motivated. When I found Colleen’s blog and started reading it, it quickly became my favorite. I was so taken with her style and how active many of the readers were. So I started reading her archives and learned a lot of things I’d never considered before and became so very motivated to get rid of stuff I wasn’t using or didn’t love (even when it involved finances and entertainment).
These are a few of the things that have helped along the way:
1. Natural progression…the more you declutter, the more you want to declutter.
2. It’s ok to destroy pictures (or pass them along to relatives), especially duplicates, unflattering pictures, people you don’t know…
3. I thought some things were off limits. But what about those who lose everything in floods, tornadoes, etc…instant decluttering!
4. I thought I knew myself well, but after reading about fantasy selves, I’m now questioning what part is fantasy and what part is the real me.
5. Decluttering is addictive, so is shopping.
6. Reducing finances is also decluttering. What an “aha” moment that was.
7. It’s ok to return a gift(s) that you no longer use, need or want. And it can sometimes be done without hurting anyone’s feelings, especially if you’re forthright about it. Or…you can regift.
8. I have decluttered things recently that I would never have considered before…like my baton, my mandolin, some favorite clothes that I no longer wore, and on and on.
9. The less “stuff” you have, the fewer decisions you have to make. I love that. When I’m decluttering, one criteria I use is, “Do I really want to have to make this decision again at a later date?”
10. The more careful I am with my criteria, the more hubby is willing to trust me…that I will not declutter his stuff without asking. And he’s been decluttering more on his own. Hurray!
#9 is my favorite. It’s amazing how excited and happy decluttering can make you, giving you that sense of freedom from stuff.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when Iâ€™m slow