Archive for April 7, 2012
Some may consider me a bit compulsive. I don’t like messes. When I was a child I always cleaned my room before studying for a test or writing a paper. My parents are not particularly messy, but they aren’t exactly neat and orderly either. I’m not sure where my compulsion for clean open spaces came from, but I can recall specific moments of cleaning and straightening that go all the way back to elementary school.
Clutter and dirt distract me. I find I am most creative when I clean and reorganize the house. Cleaning up the messes seems to free my mind and open it to new possibilities.
I organize all of my products by type. If you look in our hall closet you’ll find three shoeboxes. The first contains shampoo and conditioner, the second bath soap and the last shaving gel. I even try to sort them by gender. For example, body soaps intended for men are lined up on the right side of the box while soaps for women are lined up on the left.
You’ll find groupings similar to these throughout my house. In my basement I have a shelf containing dishwashing soap, detergent, sponges and items for homemade cleaners like borax and vinegar. They are lined up in a place where I can easily see them whenever I enter or exit the laundry room.
By keeping things neat and orderly I can quickly make note of any products that we may need to stock up on in the near future. I’m a coupon clipper, but not an extreme one. If I find a deal on any products that can be stocked and stored in advance I’ll usually buy one or two. I try to ensure that we have at least one in reserve.
Having a reserve ensures that I never need to run out at the last minute to buy something and I never have to pay full price, because I can wait to restock during the next sale. In fact, following this regimen I haven’t needed to pay full price for anything in years.
I find similar savings by keeping my clothes neat and organized. I have a lot of friends who have piles of clothes in various closets and dressers in their home. They lose track of just how many blouses, dress pants or skirts they own. When they go out shopping they often find themselves buying duplicate items. They put that new pair of brown pants in their closet only to realize that they already own one or two similar pairs. If they aren’t organized in keeping receipts or take the tags off before they realize the error they wind up spending money unnecessarily.
I highly recommend staying as organized as possible, but if you aren’t super organized you can still save money by taking stock of the items you have in your house before you head out to the store. If you plan on buying cleaning products first pull out all of the items under your sinks and closets. You may find that you already have two bottles of window cleaner or two bottles of opened bleach. If you know you are going out shopping for clothes take a few minutes to look through your closets and take what know of what you already own.
It’s easy to buy stuff when you aren’t sure what you already have. One of the easiest ways to save money is to simply take stock of your current possessions. Before you leave the house take a few minutes to think about what you want to buy and what you already own. I guarantee you’ll find yourself pulling out your wallet less often.