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I Spend Less when the House is Tidy

May 31st, 2014 at 03:57 pm

Our house is usually very tidy and clean... except the closets. They're not terrible, but they are where things get shoved out of the way. That's how the rest of the house is so clutter-free!

The worst closet is F's closet... Mostly that's because I won't just toss or donate her things. I make her help me, because I want her to get into the habit of figuring out what to get rid of, but also because I want her to feel that she has control over her things. I was sort of a hoarder as a child because I never knew when my mother might throw something out. I kept little stashes of things in secret boxes marked "secret box - do not touch" or something like that.

Anyway, F's birthday is coming up, which means new things are coming. So we have a deal that we'll set the timer every day until her birthday for 5 minutes and declutter together. Today was super-successful. She wants to get rid of the "habitrail" for her zhu-zhu pets (but keep the pets and their car which is fine) since she never plays with it. She wants to get rid of two American Girl style dolls (which she never, ever played with - she wasn't a baby doll kind of girl. And her bike is too small (Grandma is getting her a new bike). So - need to post on Craigslist asap!

All of this leads me to the title of this post: I spend less when the house is tidy. I discovered all sorts of things in F's closet. Not just toys but clothes. I am turning one old dress into a tunic for her (she just grows taller but her circumference stays the same!). When I can see what we have I don't buy doubles of things. When I can see what we have, I realize how MUCH we have, and I'm not tempted to buy more.

Do you feel the same way? Do you spend less when you can see what you already have?

3 Responses to “I Spend Less when the House is Tidy”

  1. snafu Says:

    I think it's terrific to have DD participate in her spring closet tidy and birthday review. When DSs were young we did a games/toys change over every 4 months or so. One bin full would go to secondary storage until the next rotation. The bin brought out of storage would feel new and fresh and outgrown games/toys were given to others or sold.

    We've been following the 'new item in, old item out' household protocol for a long time and find it works very well to manage stuff. As I change out seasonal items it's helpful to reverse the hanger hooks to tell at a glance what is being worn or not. Stationary stickers or a small square of painter' tape are terrific on small household items to help identify those not used in a year. Do you have a shelf in secondary storage for seasonal items and those only needed occasionally?

  2. Buendia Says:

    I love the idea of putting the seasonal items in secondary storage! We have room for it (once I clean out the secondary storage closet - ha!) Seriously, though, it is on my list to make a little bit of room in there. Pretty sure the snowboots/snowpants don't need to be cluttering up F's closet right now.

  3. TashaC. Says:

    me too! Only i spend to "make the house prettier" because it looks like a run down place when its messy. When its tidy and everything is dusted and put away- I dont want to bring any more clutter in. Though I think husband sees empty space and thinks its his job to fill it.

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