A lot of people say to “declutter” your home. Frugal moms know that one person’s clutter is another person’s treasure. I hope today that I can convince you that clutter isn’t always bad as long as there are limits. Clutter stems from the “buying”syndrome that exists. Our country thrives on ads that get to think we need more. Frugal moms know how to put a throttle on buying and they also utilize what they have. Bartering, recycling and creativity is an alternative to giving items away.
I have come up with some ways that I “use” my clutter instead of giving it away. A few years ago, I realized that it is really only clutter if it sits there. Clutter takes up space. Most of what I have is rotated and used, just like my long term pantry. The thought occurred to me of how I wasted money when I had to go and re-buy items that I had gifted to Goodwill. There is a time to give away items that are gently used in the spirit of goodwill. Other times, I know how hard my husband works each day and I want to utilize the money he earns well.
Here are some of my ways to use clutter.
View Clutter as Being Prepared
Just like a boycott, I always like to be prepared. In order to always have a backup buy in two’s. That way, when one item is no longer useful, it can be tossed and the other way brought into use. For example, we have several toys. I don’t toss toys, I just don’t buy more. Then, when it is Christmas time more toys are welcome. If they break it, the toy goes in the trash. We have multiple toys and teach our kids to take care of what they have, but toys do break. Buying more than one toy isn’t necessary in that case, because we have plenty of toys and games.
In case of an electricity outage I am well prepared with games, books and toys to keep the kids busy. When we have too many toys, I box up what they have and take it to the garage. Keeping a toy rotation keeps down how many toys are in the house, and they forget about the ones I had in the garage. So, I do a box switch and voila! the kids are happy with some new/old toys. That is one way this frugal mom deals with clutter.
Frugal Moms Bartering System
Household items and clothing are great for bartering. On facebook there are groups that people join to barter for items they need. Bartering evens out one area of clutter in your home to fulfill another area lacking. Without using any money.
Some people trade services, but I find that furniture and clothing are good items to barter. Create three boxes and instead of a give box, label it bartering. Find a group that would be interested in some of the items that are in the box, in exchange for something on your list of needs or wants. It is a great way to cross off items on a household list.
Organize Household Clutter
Another way to make use of more items than needed in your home is to relocate them. I do like to change my home, but not spend money on changing it, so I move pictures, and decorations around. My husband is always telling me that just when he gets used to something I move it. I guess it’s a good thing I can’t move the couch.
Creativity in clutter is for crafty minded frugal moms. You know the kind of frugal person that can take mirrors, pictures and other decor and turn them into beautiful diy projects. In our house there are a few re-homed over zealous baskets that have been creatively used. There was a time when I thought a pretty basket made my clutter disappear. Then, I realized that I was buying baskets just to re-home instead of reuse. For instance, some of my organizing baskets that I don’t want in the house are now garden baskets for summer. I use them to hoard and carry my summer produce to can.
Frugal Moms DIY Projects
Finally, there are DIY projects to use up that clutter. Some of these projects are great to sell and make money. Others are good to give a fresh look in a room. A desk in one of bedrooms was once a nightstand in another room. Organizing cubes that were once for clothing upstairs are now toy organizers in the toy room. My firm belief is that products, furniture, clothing. tires and anything else always hold more than one use. Utilizing the creative clutter idea from the above section is a perfect way to come up with a great diy project for summer.
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I used to swap out toys too and it was like getting new toys all over again. Now I don’t think there is even a single toy in the house; those stages go by so quickly!