Monday, January 25, 2010

How Organizing Saves Money

In an act of full disclosure I am a very messy person. My shelves overflow, sometimes its difficult to see my bedroom floor, and umm we usually can't eat at the dinner table because so much stuff is piled on top. I thought that by the time I was 27, my organizational gene would just somehow kick in and my house would be spotless.

Alas I have realized this is definitely not the case. However, just because being organized doesn't come naturally it doesn't mean that it's an excuse. It's definitely something I need to work on. I promise, the how it saves money part is coming, but as we get there, I figure I might as well share some of my learnings on organizing as we go.

Once I came to this realization, I decided to become more organized. But what I quickly realized, was that this organizing not coming naturally thing, was also a result of a lack of function in my home. I have deep, tall shelving and cabinets. While this is great for say my Kitchen Aid mixer, not so great for all the small things like screws, extra shampoos, small tools, the dogs leashes, etc. etc.

My husband and I are now cleaning, purging and organizing one small section of the house each weekend. Otherwise it's just too overwhelming. And this allows us to really get things functional. This weekend was the shelves in the mudroom (picture is of new organized shelves). This is where all of our tools, some cleaning supplies, fishing supplies, flashlights and a host of other items are stored. We went through the following process:
  • Separate into major categories (tools, household items, etc.
  • Purge as you go

  • Move those items that really should be elsewhere (like the can of paint to the shed)

  • Sort your major categories into small categories (dog items, screws and nails, frequently used tools, etc.)
  • Put this smaller categories into each rubbermaid and label. Put back on shelf

Okay now is where we get to the saving money part. We found we were rebuying multiple things because we just couldn't find them. We had three half used cans of paint thinner, no fewer than four things of caulking, two jars of putty and several of the same tools. Had we just been better organized, we would have easily been able to find these things and not rebuy.

The key really is keeping like minded things together. I could have easily dumped everything in two boxes. Sure I would have saved a lot more space, but I still wouldn't have been able to easily located what I needed. I'm sure as we go through this process with our shed, under our sinks and our kitchen cabinets we'll have similar results. But it's good to know that in the future we can save ourselves from overbuying.


  1. This is especially true in my pantry! I have 3 cans of butter spray, 2 containers of poppy seeds, and way too many little extra spice jars to count.

  2. I love organzing! I wanted to be a professional organizer for a while.