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If you’re anything like most Americans and me, you’ve got way too much stuff. I know I am very guilty of this. Between clothes, books, post-it notes, notebooks, and pens (It’s like I have an addiction to buying office supplies, don’t ask me why!), my house stays packed. Honestly, the list of stuff can go on forever. The fact remains that I have way too much.
At first, you may think, Chloe, why is that a problem? It means you’re prepped for anything! While that may be true – I am prepared for a lot – when you have too much stuff, sometimes you forget what you already have, or even worse, can’t find what you need when you need it.
Case and point. I moved to my apartment at the very beginning of February, in other words, four months ago. Since then, I have unpacked approximately half of my boxes. The other half remains in my spare room, a mountain that seems insurmountable on the days I struggle with my mental health.
I often will find myself thinking, I know I have a whisk packed in one of my boxes, but I don’t know which one. I’ll just buy another one. It’s just from Dollar Tree, so what’s the harm? If it was just one or two items, there wouldn’t be a ton of harm, but it’s a continual struggle. I often find myself so disorganized I can’t remember what I do and don’t have, so I buy extras.
My personal goal in the month of May is to get organized and do my spring cleaning to save on all those doubles.
Doing the purge
Another great benefit of doing a little spring cleaning and organizing? I get to purge! For me, this is both an exhilarating and an anxiety-inducing activity. When I have less in my house, it’s easier to keep things organized and clean, but it also means that I have to get rid of things.
The anxiety comes in when I start to think about, well, I spent money on it, so obviously I need it, or in the thinking of me wasting my money on items I never actually used.
The other benefit of purging, though? It can mean some spare cash in my pocket. That old rocking chair that just sits, and I know I’ll probably never really use? Well, it’s solid wood and in good shape. That could easily be $20 in my pocket towards groceries or debt.
That set of crystal glasses that I know I won’t ever actually use? Another $10 in cash! That series of books I know I will never actually read? Well, maybe someone has been dying to get their hands on it, so I sell it for $30! More cash in my pocket, less clutter on my shelves, and I quite possibly made someone’s day in the process.
Needless to say, Spring is the perfect time for purging for a little extra cash.
The actual spring cleaning
Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret. Actually, it’s not really a secret. Everyone I know knows that I HATE (yes, I had to bold and underline it because that’s how much I dislike it) cleaning. Unfortunately, it’s a part of life. And by my late 20’s, you’d really think I’d get over it by now. Nope! Still hate it. I do see the importance of it, though.
When I take the time to actually do a full clean of my house, it may not help as much on the financial end, but it makes a huge difference in my attitude. Having a clean home to come back to makes me happier to spend more time in my house, which, I guess, in a way, does save me money because I’m not out and avoiding my house shopping or doing other activities that cost me money.
When I do a full deep clean of my house too, I can make sure everything is in good working condition. If it’s not, there’s a good chance I can be proactive about it before it becomes a big issue, like something irreparably breaking versus a quick fix.
So what do you do for spring cleaning?
Those are the three big areas I plan to focus on with my spring cleaning. What about you? What are your goals? Make sure to come back soon to see the top tasks you should do, broken down, to prep your house for the warmer weather to come!
About Chloe Morgan
Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea.
3 thoughts on “How A Little Spring Cleaning Can Save (Or Add!) A Little Cash In Your Pocket!”
please stop stepping on my toes(:) Do you happen to have a camera in my house or something? Getting my house organized into a home has been a struggle for some years now with moving, remodeling, the contractor from Hell, etc. Over the past 2 years (although I have been prepping for almost 2 decades) I find myself in the constant “Buy” mode. Trying to cover every base from food and water to spare things to make a home run like light bulbs, detergents, personal hygiene, seeds, garden tools, car parts at today’s prices…and the list goes on. I just need to shut everything down and get focused and not bring another thing into my home until it becomes livable again. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in such insane times.
A good post and a good reminder for myself!
Chloe, you’re not alone. After much soul searching and struggling, I realized I equated the mass of stuff in my home to security “just in case.” Having some extra toilet paper or medications is prudent. Having sewing fabric and unused patterns that date back to my teen years rotting away in dusty bins helps no one. So I sat down and reflected on the last two years to discover exactly what was useful to store, and what was just in the way during an already stressful time.
So far I’ve unloaded 13 contractor bags to Call 2 Haul (local city service that picks up your junk / unwanted household items), sent 12 bags of stuff to Goodwill, and started reorganizing and sorting the rest. Every time I think I’m done downsizing I see something else that’s got dust on it and is never used. My goal is to fit most of my possessions into a 10 x 12 bedroom, and then into a camper.
It’s been hard, but getting rid of all that accumulated “Could be useful some day” stuff lets me DO what I enjoy right now. Like take a walk instead of weaving my way around junk trying to clean house for three hours. Or immediately hem a great bargain find and wear it instead of staring overwhelmed at boxes of fabric and patterns. Now my shopping rule is “One project at at time.” I can have one thing I’m working on and one as backup, and then it’s time to stop until something is completed. A lady at Goodwill couldn’t believe I was downsizing fabric and patterns and notions, until I told her I figure I have 20 years of life left max, and nothing in there is something I’m really on fire to do. Somebody else who’s more prudent and tight on money will be thrilled to find something to actually make use of.
Reminding myself that I have what I need to actually do my reading, writing, drawing, sewing/embroidery or nature walks helps when I see another fantastic bargain and rationalize it’s too good to pass up or we could use that if there’s another lockdown. Leave the fantastic bargain for the person who actually needs it.
I find my depression lifting a little and my anxiety calming down as I actually rediscover the things I enjoy instead of just intending to get back to them “some day” after I get my house and stuff and life under control.
Good luck everybody who’s overwhelmed, hang in there until you can reclaim your real life goals. We should be able to do the things we enjoy with most of our time off, not be trapped into caretaking an overwhelming collection of stuff we have to store, manage and mentally deal with every day. You might miss that protective barrier of junk at times, but you’ll love the new time and space for what you really care about. Watch a sunset, pet a dog, take back your fun time and make your daily life easier!