I started decluttering around 3 years ago now, around the same time I did my first no buy which was focussed on cosmetics due to previous overhopping. It was also around the same time as I began thinking about moving house. I found myself feeling that I needed a bigger home, in part to house all my stuff - and I realised just how ridiculous this was and started the process of letting go of things I didn't need or use.
Now there are many benefits to decluttering, which I may write about in a future post, but today I'd like to share how decluttering helped me save money and can hopefully help you save money too.
DECLUTTERING HELPS TEACH US THE VALUE OF STICKING TO A BUDGET OR EMBRACING MINDFUL PURCHASING
As you begin to declutter, it's likely you will come across things you have perhaps never used, clothes with tags still on them, things that might have been forgotten about in the back of a cupboard and so on. This can be quite uncomfortable because it can raise feelings of regret, or even guilt at having wasted money in this way. However it can serve as a great lesson in teaching us the value of sticking to a budget or embracing mindful purchasing.
Many of the things I had that were unused were things bought when I had no budget, no financial goals, I clearly hadn't bought those items because I needed them, or was even confident that I would use them. I wasn't purchasing mindfully, it was likelyI was having 'sod it' moments and not even really thinking about the purchase.
Whilst I certainly felt some regret over the money I had spent on some of the items I was now decluttering, it has in a strange way been valuable as I really do try to scrutinise purchases now, not to never buy anything, but to get the best value from my money and to reduce the chances of buying something that I will end up decluttering later unused.
HIGHLIGHTS SPENDING HABITS
One thing I noticed once I began decluttering was that I had repeated purchases of certain things and I began to notice patterns in my spending habits.
For example, at one point I went all around the house collecting body lotions and such, and I found I had two shoe boxes full, which is obviously ridiculous. But when I thought about when I had bought most of them, I realised what I had been doing was if on a Friday or Saturday night, I didn't have plans to go out for drinks with friends or a meal etc, I would pop to the shops on the way home from work and pick up some nice bits for a pamper night - but I wasn't factoring in that I already had plenty of things for a pamper night.
So through decluttering, you can start to recognise certain patterns and habits you've maybe gotten into - it might not be cosmetics, it could be those extra cleaning products you don't need, those items of clothing you bought mainly because they were on sale. By taking stock of what you have and identifying shopping habits, you can work to stop any habitual shopping and prevent wasting money in the future.
HELPS REDUCE IMPULSE SHOPPING
Leading nicely on, by understanding exactly what you have at home, you are far less likely to buy items on impulse. When our items are lost in a sea of clutter, it can often seem easier in that moment to just purchase something, especially if it's a good deal or a bargain.
Furthermore, so many of us lead such busy lives that it can often feel like the easier choice to purchase something you know you already have, because you dont have time to search your home for the item.
By reducing the unnecessary clutter and asigning the items you do keep a home, you don't need to make multiple purchases of the same item as you know you already have one, and importantly where to find it.