1. Borrow DVDs from your local library, local rental store or one of the postal services: DVDs are expensive and usually not watched more than a few times; then they just become another storage issue. So borrow them and give or send them back! If you must buy, then look out for bargains or buy them a few months after the initial launch date when the price has gone down. Then, pass on all but the real favourites to your local charity shop.
2. Sell your stuff on Ebay – ok, this is obvious but it’s worth mentioning again. DVDs sell well, particularly new ones. So, if you do succumb to the lure of the latest DVD, sell it on Ebay when you’ve watched it and recoup some of the money. I was talked into buying Cloverfield when it first came out, watched it once, knew I would never watch it again and sold it on Ebay for about half what I paid for it. So, effectively, I got it half-price. So clear out your collections, declutter your house and make some money!
3. Sort out your kitchen cupboards – you will be amazed at how much food you will find lurking in your cupboards. Do one cupboard or even one shelf at a time if you are really pushed. Get rid of the out of date tins, jars and dried goods. Put everything back in an organised fashion. You could even think about labelling the shelves as I did recently. Nothing elaborate, just bits of paper, biro and blutac to stick them on. It now means that I can easily see what is in my cupboard and stops me buying yet more tins of beans when I don’t need them.
4. Have a use-up food week – check your freezer and your cupboards. What have you forgotten about, never got round to using? I found several meals ‘for free’ when I did this recently. I found two different kinds of casserole in the freezer, neither portion were quite big enough for all the family so I heated up both of them, did a big pile of mash potato and veg and let everyone choose which one they wanted. I also found half a pack of fish fillets that needed using up which became fish pie.
5. Check your bathroom shelves/cupboards – if you’re like most of us, you will have several of most toiletries. Sort them out into categories (body cream, moisturiser etc) so that you know how many you’ve got so that you don’t buy more until you really need it. Then start using up all the stuff you are saving for a special occasion or the right moment. Make yourself feel special every day and use that fancy body lotion now! It will only go off if you don’t get round to using it. It makes you feel good and clears your shelves at the same time.
6. Use your local library: your local library is full of books that you can borrow, read and, very importantly, give back. For free! No longer will you be filling your books with read once, never read again books. It’s also a great way of discovering new authors without spending any money to see whether you like them or not. And, don’t forget, your library has non-fiction books from travel books to cookery manuals. I borrow cookery books to stop myself buying even more of them, try out recipes, copy out the ones I like and then give back the book. Saves a fortune. You can order books that are on loan or at another branch usually for a modest fee, that is nothing compared to the cost of buying a book or for free. Joining is usually really easy to do.
7. Make a routine for washing and ironing – depending on the size of your household, you need to make sure you keep up to date with the washing and ironing. For a family, that can mean washing a load a day. Create an ‘ironing’ day – it’s Sunday evenings in our household – and try and get all the ironing done on that day. That way, you won’t have to go out and buy another work shirt because you know you’ve run out of clean ones at home! (Been there, done that.)
8. Sort out your bedroom drawers – you may well find that you already have a top that suits a new outfit. Or already have several camisoles in the right colour. It’s easy to forget about clothes that you haven’t worn for several months. This saved Jane from buying yet another white camisole for work!
9. Sell your stuff at a car boot sale – if you have quite a few items to sell, car boot sales can be a great way to make money and declutter at the same time. Remember you have to make enough money to cover your entrance fee so make sure you have enough items in value or quantity to make it worthwhile. Price your items fairly and don’t be afraid to negotiate with a potential buyer.
10. Don’t buy stuff – unless you really, really need it. I always spend less in a week if I don’t go to our local major shopping centre. Amazingly, we can all manage with less, whether it’s food, clothes or entertainment or anything else. So don’t buy clothes unless your current ones are wearing out, don’t buy books or DVDs when you can borrow them, and for everything else, really think before you buy.
See how much you can save or make this week….and keep your home decluttered at the same time.