How Getting Rid of Stuff Actually Saves You Money

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

Getting rid of things in order to save money certainly feels counterintuitive. But purging household items sets you up to waste less and spend less down the road. Here’s why.

1. It forces you to look all your purchases in the face.

Go through your pantry, drawers, and cabinets and pull out all the things you just never use. Once the pile of discard stuff accumulates, add up how much you spent on all those items. It’s a harsh reminder when you see how much stuff you’ve bought that you didn’t really need. This feeling (and dollar amount) will stay fresh in your head the next time you’re shopping, and you’ll be less tempted to buy impulse items without really thinking it through.

2. Space costs money too.

If you’re paying rent on a 2-bedroom apartment, and that spare room is really just a catch-all for a bunch of random crap, ask yourself “Is the apartment too small or are we using the space we have poorly?” The next time you’re looking for a home, evaluate how much room you really need, and think about downsizing your space.

(Image credit: Submitted by Dean Sameshima)

3. You’re probably paying for the same things twice.

Sometimes your supplies are so plentiful and disorganized you forget what you actually own, and wind up buying more than one of the same thing. (In my house it’s glue sticks. I would officially have enough glue sticks to last forever, except they will all dry out before I have a chance to use them all.)

4. Organizers are expensive (especially the pretty ones).

One of the biggest mistakes we make when we try to bring order into our environments is spending money on organizing the things we don’t actually need. We’ve all run out because we need something in which to store all of our baking gear, and it feels like we are doing something worthwhile and productive. But all those bins can be expensive, and you’re putting a Band-Aid over the real issue. Instead of buying ALL THE THINGS to corral the mess, assess the mess itself instead.

5. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

If you’ve got the time and inclination, sell your extra stuff on eBay or Craigslist. Or hold a yard sale this summer and make money while you are decluttering your life. Stash that extra money away somewhere and use it to splurge on a fun experience, or to pay off a few lingering bills.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Reasons Why Getting Rid of Stuff Actually Saves You Money