Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at I Dream of Clean about dealing with clutter hot spots, and I’m excited to welcome Shawna and Krystal from Simple Life Celebrations to Mrs. Dexter:
How can being minimalist save you money?
First of all, our definition of minimalism is living with less. This means less stuff (keeping only what we need), less commitments so that we are not running in so many directions, less worrying about what everyone else has and being thankful for all that we have.
We are finding that as we become more minimalist, there are benefits that we’d never anticipated. Besides having less stuff cluttering our kitchen cupboards and falling all over when we open the door, it’s also given us a peace of mind that we’ve never had before. We find ourselves going into a minimalist room and just sighing in relief!
Minimalism also saves us money! Think about these:
- Some people have so much stuff, they have to pay for a storage unit or other space just to keep it! Even at only $20 per month; that’s $240 per year just to store stuff!
- Have you ever bought clothes for yourself or your family; stuffed them into closets only to forget about them, and then realized 6 months later; and by then they’re too small or you don’t like it anymore? 1-$30 item of clothing per family member for a family of four is $120 per year!
- What about small single-purpose appliances or gadgets like an egg poacher or potato peeler? They can only be used for one purpose and then you never use them? Let’s say you buy 1 of these types of items per year for about $40
- Food…we all do this: buy big bulk items because “it’s such a good deal” and then we have to throw it away because it didn’t get used up before it went bad. Maybe we only do this once per month and waste about $10 worth of food (though I know many times it’s more than that tossed away). That’s $120 per year in the trash.
- When we have clutter everywhere and things aren’t in their proper place; we spend time moving things around and searching for keys and jackets and pens and so on. How much is your time worth? Let’s say you get paid $20 per hour and in a single week, you spend at least an hour scrounging for that lost item (I think it’s likely more than that). That works out to $1040 per year just looking for things.
The total per year on the cost of these: $1,560 per year! Think about what you could do with that money! Remember, these are just a few of the costs of stuff that you may have. There is likely much more than that! Buying stuff we don’t need and letting it fill our lives is expensive!
How can we save money? For the above items, this is what we do:
- Let go of the stuff you have that you don’t need and don’t love. Little by little, go through your home and storage units and donate, sell, recycle/trash items you are not using and don’t love. Get your family involved and think about each item and whether it could be useful for someone else. It’s not easy, but it is possible! Start small and get help if you need it!
- Stop shopping for therapy! Only buy clothes that you and your family actually will wear. Get into the habit that if something new goes into the closet, then something else comes out! Better yet, clear the space in your closet and you’ll become so addicted to the free space you won’t want to put anything in there!
- No matter how “cool” that new appliance or gadget looks on TV, think about how much it’s going to be used! Think about where it will fit in your kitchen/home. Think about whether anyone else in your extended family or circle of friends has a similar item that you can borrow when you need it instead! Consider letting go of the items you aren’t using in the same way. Borrowing items you need from family or friends is great chance to get to visit with them!
- Food…Plan your meals. In the plan, use up items you already have and then only buy what you need to finish the plan. If you plan weekly, you are more likely to use up that perishable stuff in the fridge/pantry. Try not to “stockpile” food in bulk unless you’re actually going to use it – it’s not a deal if you have to throw half of it away. Consider buying the bulk items and splitting it with another family or friends. Share the deal.
- Put things in their proper place. This is much easier when you have less stuff to deal with. As you let go of the clutter, you’ll find that the new space will allow you to see what you have and not have to search everywhere. Get your family involved in the process by making it fun. They will realize the benefits as well and will be amazed at the free-time they have because they’re not searching for items! You’ll get to spend more time doing the activity than searching for the stuff for it! Time for yourself and with your family is more valuable than anything you could buy.
There are so many other costs of stuff that we won’t get into here. A good post to read is from Leo Babauta at http://mnmlist.com/the-true-cost-of-stuff/ and there is also this video The Story of Stuff that is eye opening to say the least!
Shawna and Krystal are best friends and co-owners of Simple Life Celebrations. Together, they are passionate about helping people simplify their lives. They are professional organizers and new minimalists! Currently they are working on a Minimalist Challenge and sharing their experiences with their readers at www.simplelifecelebrations.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/simplelifecelebrations and Twitter: www.twitter.com/cevra
Visit Life…Your Way to see all of the Ultimate Blog Swap participants!