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Save Time and Money by Being More Organized

by Tracy Stine 10 months ago in how to

Ever struggle to find something, forget an important date,

Save Time and Money by Being More Organized
Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

We are all familiar with the infamous “junk drawer” - where we throw in everything that doesn’t have a place anywhere else. There's also the constant hunting for something that was "right here” a while ago.

Some people excuse the mess by quoting “a messy desk is a sign of a genius”, but I disagree as disorganization is hurting you financially and wastes energy.

Let’s look at how organization in your life - at home and at work, can save you time and money.

Being Organized is Less Stressful

Did you know that 55% of Americans are stressed during the day?

Who has spent time looking for car keys, kids' homework, important paperwork, and the like? Especially when you needed to be heading out the door now.

Consequentially, 1/3 of Americans visited a doctor in 2018 for stress-related issues, which becomes a medical debt, which adds to the stress. A nasty cycle hmmm?

One organization hack I use is a good old filing cabinet. I make specific files for all my paperwork, instead of one called "Home", I make several - "Home Insurance", "Home Mortgage", and "Home Maintenance".

Here's a great book to get started "Clutter Free: Small Life Changes to Easily Organize Your Home and Reduce Stress"

Being Organized Prevents Buying Duplicates

How many times have we searched and searched for something only to give up and go buy another one? I’d say too many times.

Organizing things where everything has a home will save you money from having to go out and buy another item. You need specific designations not a not "general area" of being tossed in a corner or desk - my husband finally cleaned his workbench and found four measuring tapes.

Use baskets under the bathroom counters for specific items – hair supplies, medicines, first aid, and so on.

How about the infamous item that’s always lost – the remote control? The average television watcher spends 5.35 minutes searching per week, now combine that with those who’ve given up and bought a new one, that’s a lot of time and money wasted. Get a remote caddy and always return the remote back.

Find ways to organize every room of the house with different storing methods and you’ll know exactly where to look whenever you need it. In the end, you'll save

Need help getting started? Read "The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals (Includes Refrigerator Labels)".

Staying Organized Helps You Avoid Costly Mistakes

Having a busy lifestyle and a family certainly makes it hard to remember everything you need to do and some important things that you may forget can be costly.

I don’t mean remembering the parent’s teacher conference, or a lunch date with a friend, I mean important things like bills that get overlooked and miss a payment, or home maintenance to do every year to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs.

A simple calendar planner is not sufficient for all the entries you need. You can get separate ones for different purposes:

  • Family Calendar – Use a different color marker for each member of the family.
  • Bill Pay Organizer – Organize your bills by due date and payments
  • Home Maintenance Logbook – Maintenance and Repairs checklists

The most expensive result of forgetting details is getting late fees, accruing higher interest rates, and a lower credit score from forgetting to pay a bill or two. The second costliest is home maintenance, if we forget to do yearly check ups and repairs, we may be stuck in the middle of winter with a broken furnace and having to pay higher “emergency” fees.

Being Organized Means Saving on Groceries

Being organized can save time and money in several ways at the grocery store.

The best organization tool is a shopping list. Write exactly what you need and stick to it. Sticking to a grocery list saves you 60% of your grocery spending because it reduces impluse buys.

How many times have we gone shopping and come home only to realize we’ve forgotten something? So back into the car and off to the store again. This may seem minuscule, but you forget the small hidden costs that occurred during each shopping trip, such as:

  • Time – The average grocery store is 3 miles away. That’s 6 miles round trip, 10 minutes of driving, not counting traffic and the time spent inside the store, it adds up.
  • Gas – An average car gets 25 miles per gallon, the average cost of gas is around $1.98 (June 2020), we make an average of 1.6 grocery trips a week = $0.80 a week, $41.60 a year.
  • Sales Tax – When you went and shopped again, you paid sales tax again. Sales taxes usually is between 4% and 8%. So that $3.50 gallon of milk now just costed you $3.64 to $3.78.

So, it all adds up over time and the money could've been put to better use don't you think? Check out "50 Things to Know About Saving Money at the Grocery Store: What Your Grocer Won't Tell You".

Great Organization Solutions

Let’s look at some great organization solutions that I've used to save time and money:

Have a household binder of all the personal information for each member of the family. This is great for filling out paperwork. Every year during the new school year, each kid needs a huge pile of paperwork filled out – doctor’s names and phone numbers and so on. Having a binder with all of this handy, saves going through your phone book, filing cabinet and more.

Have a small file organizer in the kitchen. I have a file for each family member, plus files labeled “Bills”, “To File”, “Miscellaneous”, and “Outgoing” for outgoing mail. Whenever I bring the mail into the house, it gets organized right away, mail to each person gets filed, the bills, get filed, any paperwork that needs to go into the filing cabinet, and extras.

Get baskets for each family member to store their stuff and for them to put away later. Clothes, toys, books, and such that were found can be dropped in their basket. This keeps your home tidy and hands over the responsibility to the right person.

Automate your bills to be paid automatically. This will stop late fees and gives you one less thing for you to worry about.

Simplify your home. I go through the house room by room and find things that are broken, unused, unwanted and everything else and I either have a yard sale, list them on online classifieds, throw out, or donate. The simpler your home is, the easier it will be to find things and since everything looks less crowded you’ll relax more.

Plan your weekly menus and list everything you’ll need for each recipe. I choose recipes that use similar ingredients to cut costs too. When there's a lot of extracurricular activities, I use a slow cooker to save time and money - this also cuts down on eating out as well.

Final Thoughts

I know it may seem overwelming to begin organizing your home and office. It took me 3 weeks to completely organize my filing cabinet.

These suggestions are just the beginning to organizing your life.

A little organization here and there can go a long way in saving time and money and once you see the small changes happening, you may be encouraged to do more to save more.

Lastly, check out "One Year to an Organized Life: From Your Closets to Your Finances, the Week-by-Week Guide to Getting Completely Organized for Good".

Let me know what organization tips you've used to save time and money!

how to
Tracy Stine
Tracy Stine
Read next: 10 Remarkable Facts Of The 18th Century That Will Surprise You
Tracy Stine

Freelance Writer. ASL Teacher. Disability Advocate. Deafblind. Snarky.

See all posts by Tracy Stine

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