Spring Cleaning Can Help You Save Money
As we enter March, Spring and the promise of warmer weather are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. There is something about this time of year that also has most people itching to do some Spring cleaning. Not only can Spring cleaning help you enter the warmer months with a house that feels fresh and organized, it can also help you save money. Spring cleaning and organizing gives you the opportunity to take stock of your belongings, food and even cleaning supplies. By cleaning out and organizing those things, you will know what you need in the upcoming months, and what you don’t. This can help you to make more meaningful purchases and not spend money on things you don’t need, or that you may have forgotten you already have.
Spring Cleaning and Organizing Your Closet
A great place to start cleaning and organizing is the closet! I start by organizing my clothes by category, like skirts, sweaters, cardigans, jackets, etc. As I’m sorting the clothes I take a few seconds to “Marie Kondo” my closet. I think about what outfits I could create with each piece, how I look in them and whether or not I even like them anymore. Items that don’t fit me or aren’t flattering go into a pile, along with the clothes that I don’t like anymore. By going through my closet piece by piece I’m able to touch and think about each item of clothing. I consider why I bought the clothes and how often I wear them. If I don’t wear it very often, why? After a good closet cleaning session I’m usually a little more creative with my clothing because I’ve had time to think about each piece. It can be fun to shop your own closet and put together “new” outfits without spending any money.
An organized closet also helps cut down on unnecessary spending. When I can see all of my clothes in an organized manner, I’m less likely to make impulse purchases of clothes that I don’t really need. I’m also less likely to forget that I already own something. I’m not a huge impulse shopper, but when I do online shop I always take a quick peek around my closet to be sure that I don’t already own something similar to what’s in my cart. Doing this has saved me SO much money!
Spring Cleaning and Organizing the Refrigerator and Pantry
Cleaning out the fridge and giving it a good scrub is probably already part of your Spring cleaning routine, but what about organization? I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve bought things from the grocery store that I didn’t need because my fridge was a mess. An organized refrigerator, where you can easily take stock of everything with a few glances, helps save time and money on groceries. Now, saving a few dollars here and there on condiments and dressings may not seem very important, but those unnecessary purchases can add up over time. Like my closet, I clean out the fridge every few months and toss any old or expired food. I also reorganize to make my weekly grocery order easier. All I have to do is take a quick scan of the condiments, open the cheese drawer and the crisper and I know exactly what we need. I also do this with the freezer and pantry. We have chest freezer in our garage as well, so I have to inventory both. If we are out of something in one freezer, I check the garage before ordering the groceries. Our pantry is organized by category, so all of the baking things are together, breakfast items are on the same shelf, etc. This helps me not spend money on things we already have. I also only grocery shop once a week. I don’t buy groceries on impulse because I usually end up buying things we already have, or things that we don’t need. If you haven’t cleaned and organized your fridge and pantry in awhile, Spring cleaning is a great time to do so!
I follow a similar method for my cleaning supplies. I keep all of the cleaning supplies that I need for cleaning the downstairs together either under the kitchen sink or in a bin in the pantry. I also have a bin upstairs, so I’m not carrying supplies up and down the stairs. When I make my grocery list, I just take a quick peek in both of my bins. Then I know exactly which supplies I need for cleaning. This keeps me from running out of something and forgetting about it, or buying more supplies unnecessarily. Organizing my cleaning supplies, and ordering them once a week with my groceries, keeps me from impulse buying or running out of things I need.
Spring Cleaning and Organizing Toys
My favorite thing to Spring clean and to organize in general are my kids’ toys. I feel like they just get more and more out of control as time passes, so every few months my patience runs out and I HAVE to clean everything. I follow a similar method to how I clean out my closet when I organize the toys. I make piles of what they play with all the time, toys I haven’t seen them play with a lot, broken toys and toys that they just never play with. The never play with pile goes right into a box to be donated. There’s no point in keeping toys that never get played with. Especially when another kid somewhere may enjoy it. Broken toys go in the trash. I find that it’s best to wait until my kids are either not home or napping before throwing toys away.
Once all of the toys are clean, then I start on organizing. I make sure that all similar toys are grouped together. For example dolls, action figures and stuffies go together, all the kitchen stuff is together and dress up clothes are together. Toys like blocks, Magnatiles, and Duplos are in plastic bins with lids to keep them together. My girls have a lot of LEGO and Duplos, so I sort those by sets when I do a big clean. They never stay like this for long, but the girls do appreciate it for a few weeks. My girls are very fortunate to have a lot of really great toys and I don’t put any sort of cap on how many toys they have. However, I have noticed that they sometimes get overwhelmed with options, so I rotate their toys every few months. The kids have two play spaces for their toys, one downstairs and another upstairs. The upstairs space is our loft, so it’s right outside of their bedrooms and my office. Each play space has a set of blocks, a few bins of LEGO, puzzles and dress up clothes. Downstairs has their kitchen toys and cars, upstairs is for Little People and character play sets. I also keep certain play sets, LEGO bins, and blocks in the linen closet. If they seem bored or unfocused in their play, then I will just swap out one bin of toys for another to give them something new. This is (finally) where we get into organizing saving us money on toys! Since all of the toys are organized by similarity into bins, I know what toys we have and if we have too much of something. I can also easily discern which toys get played with the most often. When the kids ask for a new toy, or a family member wants to buy them something I know off the top of my head what will or won’t get played with. We rarely ever buy the girls toys outside of their birthdays or Christmas because the toy rotation keeps things fresh and they rarely seem bored.
If you liked this post, check out my hack for cleaning my house quickly by using a timer and my series on creating a household budget!