Friday, December 28, 2012

Frugal Mindset: Less is More

Frugal Mindset:  Less is More

Sometimes surrounding ourselves by many material things makes us feel wealthier even when our pocketbooks are nearly empty.  It is a kind of compensation that makes us feel better about our situation, but it does more harm than good. The clutter created from things you don’t really need keeps you from making good use of what you have, and takes the focus away from a frugal lifestyle.

The truth is, when you are developing your frugal mindset, the best policy to follow is “less is more”.  

How many times have you gone through your closet and found brand new clothes you’ve never worn and won’t wear now because the style no longer appeals to you? It’s great to hit the clothing clearance sales and buy for next season, but you need to have some idea of the items you need to complete your wardrobe. No matter what the price, if you overbuy, you are wasting money that could be invested in another way.

There are some easy guidelines to follow when it comes to organizing any area of your home with frugality in mind. 

Take Inventory 
Create a List

  • First, you’ll want to purge items you do not use or need.  Make sure these items ultimately leave the premises so they don’t re-assimilate into your household. Bring items such as clothing to a resale shop, put items aside for a garage sale or donate them to a local charity. Make sure to get a receipt for your taxes for large donations. 
  • Once you’ve purged, organize what is left by grouping like items together and be certain everything has a place. As you are organizing, you may find even more items to purge as you refine your space.   
  • Now that you have an organized space it will be quite simple to take inventory of what you have.   
  • The last step is to keep a master list of items needed.  That way you have a handle on what you have in your home so that you’re not purchasing items simply because you don’t know what you already have.  When you make a list, keep a list of things you need soon and things you would like to purchase should you find a good deal in the future. This method adapts well to most any area of your home: the pantry, the closets, the toy area, the book collection, or your stockpile of household products.

These guidelines were especially helpful to me when I decided to tackle my pantry. I was buying a lot of bulk dry goods and the packaging made it hard for me to keep up with the amount I had on hand.  I created a Mason jar system to organize my bulk dry goods and it is really efficient. I keep like items together, I can see what I have on hand at a glance and it’s super easy to make a menu plan. As I start running low on an item, I add it to my shopping list. Now this area of my pantry is extremely easy to maintain.

I hope this will help you to be more organized in your frugal life. Being organized is an integral part of living a frugal lifestyle because we must find ways to efficiently use what we have so that we can put our money to better use in other areas. Remember, even if you only have time to do one area of your home right now, you will reap the benefits and that will motivate you to take on more frugal organization projects in the future.

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