Saturday, February 21, 2009

Being Organized Saves You Money


I don't think that I'm naturally organized. I do have to work at it. But then whenever I say that people always leave comments like "your house is so organized". So maybe I am on a certain level. I'd give myself a B for organization. I had a friend who Really was organized. For example, she had everything in her garage stored in plastic bins, the bins were numbered and she had an inventory of the bins on her computer and a print out. So if she wanted to find flowered teapot #1 she could look it up on her computer and know which numbered bin it was in. That's being organized!


I like things to be tidy and it's hard for me to function when things are messy and seem out of control. But even if it didn't come naturally to me I would do it if it helped me be a better manager of our money. The one thing I've realized in organizing my garage is that I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I had, but I don't! I know I've said before that you can never have enough urns but really, how many urns do I need!



I counted 10 urns in the garage and 4 that I'm using in the house not counting the ones that are in the garden and patio. That's enough I think! So on the decorative accessories/paint front I need to get better organized. I found out that I have several cans of paint that look very similar! Even though they're Ooops paint - I still don't need 3 different gallons of robin's egg blue paint! I do have a pretty good idea about what I have in my pantry and freezer though.



This is how I organize my chest freezer. I use the Ziploc Big Bags to organize my freezer items by category. I got the idea to use these bags from Brenda(Thank You!). They're not freezer bags but just storage bags. I have all my chicken in one bag, all my beef & pork in another, and veggies in another. I have one for frozen convenience food like a few Lean Cuisines, T.G.I Friday Fajitas etc. (It's cheaper to make one of those than to go out to eat when you don't feel like cooking). And one for shredded cheeses. I use a little plastic bin to gather a few odds and ends. Somethings like frozen pizza are just stacked underneath the bags. Using these bags keeps all the like things together and makes it easier to get stuff out. I don't have a written freezer inventory but I usually make note when I get something out if an item is low. Like if I get a package of chicken legs out I see how many more packages there are.



An organized pantry and freezer lets you know what you have and what you need. You don't buy what you already have enough of. Plus you know when you're getting low and can plan to buy on sale.


Being organized enough to know what you already have and where it is saves you money! Think of all the times you knew you had something but didn't know where it was so you bought it again! Or you didn't even know you had something already and bought it again! Do you know how many AA batteries you have? Every time we're in Home Depot my husband asks me do we need batteries? How many staplers do you have, how many do you need? How many extension cords do you need? How many bags of sugar, flour etc do you have? Do you really need more measuring spoons?


Here are some other ways that being organized can help save you money. If you coupon, you can save money my keeping your coupons organized and knowing what you have and taking them with you!


You can save on late fees if you have a system for paying your bills, knowing when your library books are due, or when movie rentals are due. You know these days, one late bill on any credit card can increase your interest rate on all your cards! Also, how many times have you had to pay extra to send a payment by overnite mail or even when you make a payment by phone they try to charge you a "service" charge!


You can save money on gas if you organize your errands so that you're not wasting time and gas running around. I usually have one day where I try to do all my errands in a certain area. Then I have a day at home. Then I might have another day where I do all my errands in the other part of town. That way I'm not running around everyday here and there.


Those are just a few ideas. How has being organized helped you save money? Or, how has being disorganized cost you money?


34 comments:

june@craftyniche said...

I totally agree! I'm getting better at getting organized and I'm not having to buy duplicates which can get costly! Also, eliminating a lot of clutter has improved my mind, keeping me more in focus. When my home is cluttered so is my mind!

slip4 said...

All of the above, as far as ways I have spent too much for being disorganized. The Ziploc big bags is a great idea - thanks! I'm going to try it.

Milah said...

We have a business credit card that I pay off every month. Two months ago I made an error and wrote the check out for $1 less than the bills total. Last month I got a bill for $1. Carelessly, I decided I would not pay it until the following month, not thinking about the late fee. Well, this month I got a $39 late fee on my $1 bill! I felt so stupid! I called the CC company and asked her if they could wave that fee since my balance was only $1, it just all seemed so ridicules. She very politely did and she sent me a letter telling me they waved the late fee and they told me how much they appreciated my business. Honestly, I'm not sure why they do because we always pay our bill off each month. Anyways, you can bet I won't make that mistake again.

Lorri said...

I love all of your ideas. I will have to re-organize my freezer and use this trick. Have a great weekend.
Lorri

Gardner Family said...

What a great post. I am an organizing junkie, and I have to organize to keep myself and my family sane. I loved your idea for the chest freezer. I am forever battling mine. I am going to try the ziplocs. I enjoy your site very much, it motivates me to get busy and get things done. Thanks for sharing!

Tammy said...

I have an upright freezer, so I use boxes inside the freezer to organize my items; all veggies in one box, lunch meats in another. I got the boxes from Aldi's freezer section, so they have the center cut out for dispensing. I also organize by shelf, so all meats on one shelf, breads on another, etc. In the pantry, I use USPS flat rate shipping boxes. I cut one end and the top off, and use them to keep rows of cans straight on the shelves. I'm looking for more of these to make the pantry even more organized.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Love this post! I am by nature a pack rat and a clutter bug. I have been improving little bit by little bit so I love these types of posts. They are so encouraging to me.

I have promised my DH to try to sew up all my fabric that before I buy more. He did not ask, it is a shameful habit that I have and our home is overrun by material.

The garage is another disaster that will be addressed as soon as it gets warmer.

Thanks again! :-) Rosie

Lyn said...

Being organized (working on it) really does make a difference, especially when living on a very tight budget. It forces you to pay attention to what you have and to make do with what you can. I don't like paying for anything I don't have to these days!

I generally don't run to the store for 1 or 2 things, I will wait until I have a list of needs. Also, checking what I have on hand before I shop helps. I keep a dry erase board on the fridge. And lastly, just not shopping much in general anymore works well. I do errands once, at the very most twice a week.

A few weeks back I found an extra ink cartridge that I didn't know I had stashed away. It would have helped to not spend that money at the time. My tip is to try to remember "where" you put things. Keep similar things together. :)

I made a trip to Dollar Tree this week for needs and fun, but those visits are rare. Less stuff = more organized, at least I'm finding it does for me.

glorv1 said...

I'm not organized, even if I organize something I forget where it is at later, can you believe that? It's true. I haven't shopped since January 27th except for milk, bread and a couple potatoes. We just put some potatoes in the soil so hopefully they will produce. Since we got eggs, I don't need to buy. We get 2 eggs a day from our two chickens. So that is all I am doing right now, just shopping once a month for things we really need. February 27 is my next shopping date and if we don't need anything, I won't shop. Have a great Sunday.

Sandy said...

Great post and reminders!

Vee said...

That's a nifty idea from Brenda. I've employed it on a much smaller scale since I don't have a stand-alone freezer.

I find that I feel out of sorts and cranky when things are too out of control. And, I hate having to buy something that I know I already have...if I only knew where.

Now I'm wondering what you're going to do with all that blue paint...

Lyn said...

Hi again Manuela, :) your post is very helpful! You have received some good comments.

glorv1, that is a great idea to just set a date and make yourself not shop until then. I think I will try that!

And Vee, yes, I feel the same way, when I'm not organized I get out of sorts and cranky too. You don't know where to put yourself when life is like that. I'm kind of feeling like that at the moment - time to get with it.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great Post! I had started some notes to write a post on this very subject. I have to stop and organize jewelry/miniature/craft supplies - that type of thing, every once in a while and have posted about it on my blog. However, I keep my financial, personal business, food supply, household in general, and that type of thing organized. I have to, because I always feel like if my own little personal environment is out of order, it is hard to think clearly and deal with other issues. I have tried to get this message across to my children also. I do not like chaos around me. Thanks for posting this and will be reading other's comments.
Glenda

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Forgot to add, - your have some pretty urns there - especially like the one with cherubs.
Have a great evening.
Glends

Susan said...

Thank you for the tips! I always try to be an organized person and I am always looking for more ways to be organized!

Nora said...

My goodness! Can I come over and hunt through your garage :)

Susan said...

Hi Manuela, you have an award waiting for you at my blog!

Lady Katherine said...

I love you organized life! How I wish mine were! It was but now my family has my things everwhere! I could not belive my attic, first time up there this year, I was in shock, I use to say this is in that bin or this side or that side, now its all thrown together! I want to know where everything is! lol I love the freezer tip! I will take a few of those urns off your garage! lol

jenjen said...

Great ideas Manuela! I think I am missing the organized gene, but these blogs - including yours - have given me inspiration that I CAN become more organized!

I wish I could get to the point where I have numbered bins and computer printouts!!!

Thanks!
Jen

Lady Katherine said...

You are too funny, there are still a lot of things I want to learn to do! I make knitting needles, and give to friends, from dowel rods and weed eater string! lol I want to learn to do real stain glass, and needle point! I always say if you want to do it you can. Plus it gives you more money for the things you want to buy! lol I have a kiln waiting on me to make dishes, and tile. I took private class of pottery making while working in South Carolina, I had just found out my doc had a stroke and I was going to surgery in two weeks, I decided I was going to live forever and I went on a spending spree, spent several thousand that week! lol Hey it was fun, Hubby sure was glad when I came down a bit! lol Hubby took me to TJ Max and Marshalls 50 min away tonight, I had so much fun! I met someone who lives near me, we both looking at roosters, she had to show me her eggs, I got the lady number from her who sells the chicks I want and she live 5 miles from me too. Then 4 ladies gang up on me, down loaded my blog, on her blackberry, I could not get out of the store! lol I want to go back! lol For more dishes I mean. They also told me of a store 35 min away that carries the same line of dishes. Now its on the way to Doc, and I hope to go find a few more pieces!

Ally0005 said...

I'm an organized person. Not to the degree of your friend but I would love to be able to have things organized like that on my computer but with two little kids it just to much work right now.
I have always heard if you declutter your home you will have more money and that is right because you will not be buying thing you already have.

Bev said...

I recently organized my freezer using mesh bags that I labeled, just as you used the large ziplock bags (never thought of that!). I had no idea what was in my freezer - it was a complete jumble. It was easier to go to the grocery store and start over than figure out what we had. We've been eating out of the freezer since we got that organized.

I bought a vacuum sealer that brought on this flurry of freezer organization. I love it. No more wasted food. I label everything with the date.

I designated a section in my side-by-side freezer with prepared foods that have been vacuum sealed. That makes it so easy to grab a bag for lunch when I'm heading out to work instead of spending the money to eat out - and then being tempted to overeat.

You're so right - organization really does save you money!

Jen r. said...

I am always in awe of how organized you are!!! I try to stay organized, but it seems like just as I get one thing done, I have to go back and re do another place... some day I'll figure it out!

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

June - I totally agree, when my home is cluttered it's like my mind is cluttered too. I find it very hard to focus on doing what I need to be doing!

Milah-I've done that before! Actually last month I paid our City water/sanitation bill one day late because I forgot to take it with me and usually they don't care if it's one day late. Well they've had to layoff a few people and have budge cut backs so I guess it matters now cause they charged me a late charge!

Tammy - I'm thinking of selling my chest freezer and getting a upright one. I think they're much easier to keep organized and access.

Lyn - as always you have a lot of wisdom to share. I agree that not shopping so much really helps. I'd like to get my grocery shopping down to once every two weeks instead of every week.

Bev - good idea about the mesh bags! Good point, it can feel easier to just pick up something at the store than to go through your freezer to see what's there. I'm going to try to eat out of our freezer for the next few weeks because some of that stuff has been in there for quite sometime and needs to be eaten before I have to get rid of it!

Manuela

Storybook Woods said...

I agree, I do not like to organize, but everything falls apart if I do not do some. It is just one of those things that has to be done, then you have a piece of chocolate afterwards. Clarice

Terri and Bob said...

I feel better when I am organized.

I think that being organized gives you a peace of mind that reduces your stress and allows you to focus on more meaningful things.

Barb said...

Manuela, this is so good! Truly. I believe disorder eats away at us like acid. I need and desire as much order as possible in my life.

Thank you!

She'sSewPretty said...

I really wish I had a system for organizing the mail. Yesterday, I was searching and searching for a bill that had to be paid. My hubby said what happened to that box on the desk that was supposed to be for organizing the bills. I told him that it worked for about two weeks. I think subconsciously I just don't like the fact that I'm the one who has to sit down and pay our bills plus my moms by myself. Now, I'm whining!

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

All I can say is that I am extremely impressed with your post! I love the big Ziploc bags too...they are a lifesaver at my house. I like your posts and your ideas!
blessings,
Debbie

Linda's Blue Gate said...

You amaze me and inspire me always..... what wonderful ideas and yes I think you are diffidently urn rich....
HUgs
Linda

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I really have to work at being organized, and I don't always succeed. On more than one occassion, I have bought a spice that I already have at home, and spices are SO expensive, it makes me so angry at myself. Thanks for this great inspiration to be more organized! laurie

Debra said...

I just organized my craft room. I do this at least once a year but this year was the big makeover. Yeah,I know what you mean about buying things twice. I do have a question about your previous post. What type of paint did you use on your table? Also, what kind of "prep" was involved. I have been trying to convince my husband we should paint ours.

Lisa said...

Great ideas, Manuela! I had no idea you could freeze cheese. Does it have the same texture when thawed?

Anita said...

I am not organized. At all. Since we moved it's been a big nightmare. Especially trying to find tools, etc. I finally started sorting box by box and making some tubs in the basement. On shelves. They are not cute, but at least I have stopped buying carpet knives in bulk!

It is my goal, as we finish rooms in the house, to make sure there is built in organisation in each room.

And I am purging, keeping only things I love- so that is helping empty cupboards, boxes, drawers. And that should help too.

So keep inspiring and reminding me.

Anita
homestory-anota.blogspot.com