3 Days to Christmas

Organization: The Key to Savings

Have you ever paid a hefty late fee because your mortgage statement was buried under heaps of coupons or pyramids of free sample packs of gum?

Missed out on a great investment because you didn’t know about stock market holidays? Or paid a fine for an overdue library book, simply because it was hidden under piles of BOGO ads from 2006? 

You’re not alone in your battle with clutter.

Disorganization clogs the pipelines of many homes. It’s frustrating, it’s expensive and it destroys household budgets. Studies have shown that 98% percent of moms are disorganized. Actually, I made that last part up; it’s probably more like 56.

Baby Steps

It doesn’t make much sense to clip coupons and pour over weekly circulars, only to have your savings eaten up by late fees. Starting today, make a vow to stop wasting time and money, searching for coupons, invoices, cell phones and keys. Throw out those ancient magazines and piles of junk mail that occupy prime real estate on your office desk. Empty those overflowing trashcans and wastebaskets and stop playing hop-scotch with the heaps of catalogs sprawled across your office floor. Organization is the key to saving money and it’s really not as difficult as you might think.

Got Mess? Don’t Stress!

Feeling overwhelmed by clutter is the number one reason moms give for not being organized. Honest! Don’t become frustrated by the task; remember, we’re taking baby steps here. Focus on one room or even one corner or one closet at a time. Some folks are at their best when working in lengthy sessions; others work well in spurts of 5 to 15 minutes. Know yourself and know your limits. Whatever your style, make a promise to work in that space until the job is done. Remember Aesop’s fable of The Tortoise and the Hare? Well, the same lesson applies here; slow and steady sets the de-cluttering pace.

De-cluttering 101

The De-cluttering Pace

  1. Bring a large trash can, cardboard box, and laundry basket into your chosen space.
  2. Old magazines, junk mail, trash and all items that serve no earthly purpose, go into the can. If it’s broken and you’re not going to fix it, get rid of it.
  3. Pass along things you don’t use; they only serve to take up physical and mental space. Useable items you haven’t touched in the past year go into the cardboard donation box—if you don’t want the items someone else will. Be sure to take donated items to your favorite charity the next day.
  4. Be super critical about the items you choose to keep. Things you plan to keep, but go elsewhere in your home, belong in the basket.  Put these items where they’ll be used most efficiently and keep them there, when not in use.
  5. Don’t rethink your decisions! Leave donated and items declared trash in place.

Pretty simple, right?! The secret to saving money is being organized. Make it a habit to toss things you don’t need and put things you do need in their proper places. Remember, you are the de-clutter fairy. So, take your sparkly wand, clear the clutter and watch your budget grow!

Bonus: Clean Your Microwave in 5 Minutes or Less

Does the inside of your microwave look like a petri dish? Go green and go clean in five quick and easy steps.

  • Fill a medium sized microwave safe bowl with 2/3 water and 1/3 vinegar; dip a dishcloth (or paper towels) into solution and set aside.
  • Place bowl in your microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes.
  • While waiting, take your dishcloth and wipe down the outside of your microwave. In a minute or two the vinegar solution will start to boil, and the resulting steam will loosen the grubby goo on the inside walls of your microwave.
  • After the timer sounds, remove bowl using oven safe gloves and set aside.
  • Take your dishcloth and wipe down the inside walls of your microwave. Rinse cloth and repeat as necessary. (If your vinegar solution is not too hot, dip your cloth into mixture, then wipe down walls).

Cleaning should be a breeze. Keep your microwave from looking like a science experiment gone wrong, by using this technique at least once a week. Happy Cleaning!


We are thrilled offer another guest post from Nikola Hartmann. Nikola is a thrifty gal who believes in “Living Well For Less”. Please visit her blog, Live Well For Less and follow her on Twitter.

We have invited her to join our team—she won’t be a “guest” for much longer, but you’ll still find her awesome tips here on Inexpensively.

One Response to “Organization: The Key to Savings”

  • Nikola April 21, 2010 @3:11PM Reply

    Thanks Heather! I’m really looking forward to being part of this awesome team! – Nikola

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