Picture this: Sunday, 11am. In the grocery store deciding what to make for dinner.
Pasta sounds good. ‘What do I need?’ You scan the back of your brain trying to conjure the contents of your pantry. You definitely need onion, garlic, two tins of tomatoes, a couple of veggies, mince… spaghetti? ‘No, I’ve definitely got spaghetti in the pantry.’
Sunday, 5.45pm. You assemble all your ingredients on the bench and go digging in the pantry for that spaghetti. Oh, I already had six tins of tomatoes. Oops, there were veggies in the crisper too. But where is that spaghetti?!
Sunday, 7pm. Your UberEats pizza arrives. Who can be bothered running back to the shops at 6pm on a Sunday?!
Everyday our brains are racing to keep up with our mental to-do list.
A messy pantry, fridge or wardrobe is adding to that list. Even if it’s at the back of the queue, completely subconscious, it is overwhelming us every time we leave the house.
Ever heard the saying, ‘messy house, messy life’? No? What about, ‘chaos breeds chaos’?
When that chaos inevitably spreads to our finances, hitting our savings goals becomes 10x harder.
How to clear your mind and make your home your budgeting best friend
An organised home is the number one weapon in your arsenal against overspending.
In this how-to guide, we’re going to show you step-by-little-step how to organise your way to your next savings goal, covering all the big guns:
- The pantry.
- The fridge.
- The wardrobe.
- The playroom.
- The laundry.
So, pop on your favourite motivational bops (we love this one!), and let’s get tidy. ????
First things first: throw out anything that’s expired. What is that two-year-old bottle of chilli sauce doing in your pantry?!
Now you’ve got the space, invest in some fun and functional storage solutions. These do not need to be pricey. We love:
- This 3-tier shelf.
- These stackable containers for flour and other dry goods.
- This perfect turntable for your sauces and oils.
- These reusable chalkboard labels.
Next, we’re going to challenge you to a pantry cleanse. Get creative and start cooking using everything you have left in your pantry (that you can now see clearly, yay!). First to use it all gets to treat themselves to pizza.
As above: throw out everything that’s expired. And while we’re there, give the thing a good scrub, hey?
Give everything you have left a home.
- We love this clear drawer for keeping yoghurt and other individually packaged sachet foods
- And these sliding drawers for fruits, veggies or deli meats.
Make sure items with shorter expiry dates like fruit, veg and meat are as visible as possible. In sight, in mind, yeah?
Bonus tip: wash all your fruits and veggies as soon as you get them back from the shop before you put them away. You’ll keep your fridge fresh and remove a step from your dinner prep. Win win.
When was the last time you had a proper look at your wardrobe? Start with a good cull.
If you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s gotta go. If it’s in good condition donate or sell it (use the cash to give your savings a little boost or replace the items with something your wardrobe is really lacking).
If it’s not in good condition, mend it or recycle it. (Hot tip: H&M accepts clothes of any material for recycling at all their stores.)
Now that you’ve got a slimmer wardrobe, let’s organise it! Work pants and shirts on one side, jeans and cosy weekend knits on the other. Gym gear here, shoes and belts there… you get the idea.
Note: don’t fall into the trap of replacing your sold, donated or recycled items with more of the same. Stick to staples that work with what you’ve already got.
Got the hang of it now? Let’s start with a clear out. Anything that your kids have grown out of or no longer enjoy needs to go. Donate or sell and if it’s broken, mend or dispose of responsibly. Getting the kids involved is a great way to start teaching them about money and the value of things, too.
Put what’s left in boxes with similar items. Boardgames in one, Lego in another, arts and crafts in a third.
Now that everything has a ‘home’, make sure your kids know where these homes are. Give them the responsibility of making sure every toy gets back home at the end of the day.
Let’s start with the linen. Sheets, towels, pillowcases, the lot. Anything you don’t like or use, goes. We all have those sheets that ‘just don’t feel right ????’ (that we only ever pull out in a real laundry emergency). Consider this your permission to finally get rid of them.
Learn how to actually fold your linen. There’s a YouTube tutorial or TikTok hack for the lot! Yes, even the fitted sheets. We promise.
Now that we’re sorted and folded, pop everything back in the cupboard in an orderly manner. No haphazard piles on top of piles. Towels with towels, sheets with sheets, bathmats with bathmats. No exceptions.
Now, let’s take that concept and apply it to everything else. Everything in your new laundry has a home. Fabric softener with fabric softener, washing powder with washing powder, toilet paper with toilet paper.
Bonus tip: keep on top of your washing. You’re a person who can fold a fitted sheet now, remember?! Investing in extra baskets or dividers can make it easier to see what you’re dealing with and stop your overworked and overflowing basket from spiralling into chaos.
Find the leaky spot in your budget and the part of your home it relates to.
Going over your weekly food budget every week? Kitchen. Blowing your savings on a new outfit every second weekend? Wardrobe.
No matter what area of your home is forcing you into mental gymnastics, we can straighten it out. Just make a little home organisation a priority this weekend, and your brain will thank you every day next week, promise.
Lighten the load on your brain (and your wallet):
- Pull out everything you already have.
- Get rid of anything that is just taking up space. Sell, donate, recycle.
- Put what’s left in a ‘home’ with other like items.
- Challenge yourself to use what you have before adding anything new to the space.
- Watch the extra space you’ve made in your brain and your budget grow.