Cheap and easy ways to organise your home  

posted by in Budgeting, Money maximising, Money saving

Most of us have things in our home we no longer want and could make some extra money by selling. Jasmine Birtles of MoneyMagpie is here to tell you all about Clear Your Clutter Day, and how you can get involved.

If you’re struggling with getting your finances in order, a cluttered house can add to the stress you may be feeling. By organising your home you may find it easier to get on top of your finances. Yes, really!

That’s part of the message of national Clear Your Clutter Day, happening on Saturday 11 March this year. It’s all about getting rid of the junk you no longer need so you can make way for the life and living space you want…and get some extra pennies in your pocket from selling stuff and saving money while you’re at it.

It doesn’t have to cost much (if anything) to get organised. Here are some quick, easy and cheap ways to de-clutter every room of the house.

De-cluttering your bedroom

bedroomOne easy way to keep things tidy in the bedroom is to make use of storage space under the bed and on top of wardrobes.

You can get special storage bags and boxes that fit in these spaces. Alternatively, you can use bags you already have for blankets, towels and even out-of-season clothes that need to be out of sight for a while.

Do you have any of those waterproof heavy duty shopping bags lying around? They’re usually big enough to store bulky items like bedding, pillows and coats.

Keep linen or out-of-season clothes neatly tucked away in closed baskets or boxes. You can get cheap plastic storage boxes in lots of different shops. You can add a personal touch by covering plastic crates with nice material or picking up old wooden ones for free on Freecycle and painting them.

You could also give vacuum sealed bags a try. They’re pretty cheap and can save you a ton of space while keeping your clothes fresh. Have a scout around your local pound shop as they can sometimes be in stock.

If you’re feeling daring, ask your local supermarket if they have any spare cardboard boxes you can take off their hands. You can then pretty up the boxes with fabric or washi tape, which is a cheap, bamboo-crafted sticky tape that comes in all kinds of gorgeous patterns.

‘Clean Queen’ Anthea Turner suggests storing your bedding in the pillowcase that matches it when you put it away. Put a sheet, matching duvet cover and three pillow cases in the fourth pillow case, if you have a double bed. It’s brilliant and, as with all good ideas, so simple and logical. No more frantically searching for matching duvets and pillowcases as it’s all there in the one case.

Marie Kondo, the author of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” says that clothes should be put away in a manner that they can be seen when you need them. If they’re in drawers they shouldn’t be in piles as you can’t see them properly when you open the drawer.

Kondo recommends rolling jumpers, t-shirts, scarves etc and storing them ‘rolled-side up’ so that you can see what you have. So they almost look like sushi in a bento box!

Cleaning up the kitchen 

couple in kitchenWhen it comes to kitchen junk, ruthlessness is key.

Take all of the kitchen gadgets and gizmos you have out of the cupboards and drawers. Put the things you use regularly – such as pots, pans, plates and cutlery – to one side.

Once you’ve done that, take a look at what’s left. Ask yourself if you really use this stuff.

  • Has the breadmaker sat in the cupboard for three years untouched?
  • Is the sandwich toaster crusted with age?
  • Has the chocolate fountain only been used once since you got it for Christmas 2012?

If so, get rid. You can:

  • Clean them up and stick them on eBay
  • Put them in the ‘car boot’ box and arrange for you and the family to do a car boot sale to sell your junk
  • List them on Gumtree

Check the food in your cupboards and freezer. For the next month, only buy fresh food such as vegetable to go with the food you have in stock. This way, you use up what you have before buying more.

Some utensils, like milk jugs and large mayonnaise jars, can be used to hold wooden spoons and spatulas on the worktop. If you have nowhere to put mugs, attach some large screw hooks underneath your shelves and hang them on those. 

De-cluttering the bathroom 

Bathrooms in busy homes are often clutter and mess magnets. Multiple washing baskets can help to keep them tidy. Have one for white clothes, one for dark items and one for bright colour garments. This can save you a bunch of time you’d normally spend sorting through it all before doing a wash.

If you don’t have room for baskets, attach three large hooks to the wall and hang three large bags for the different washing types.

Put your half-used bottles of shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and make-up in separate bags or boxes in a bathroom cupboard. Your hair products go one bag, all the tooth-related products in another, face stuff in another and so on. That way, when you finish one bottle of shampoo you can check the ‘hair’ bag to see if there’s another one to use before you buy a new one.

It’s the same for make-up. Don’t buy another lipstick until you have checked the half-used ones in the bag. It’s so easy to overlook what you already have!

Half-used shampoo can do much more than clean your hair. Check out Jenny’s 29 uses for shampoo to find out more. 

Cleaning up the living room

happy coupleAn attractive magazine rack can help keep papers, magazines and catalogues tidy and out of the way. IKEA do nice cheap ones or you could find one going free on Freecycle or Freegle.

If you’re tired of your coffee table, think of getting one that has storage inside it. You can get some beautiful second-hand wooden chests that double-up as a coffee table.

Use shelves to display books and photographs. This will keep them from cluttering up other surfaces and they don’t cost a lot to buy. Books and photos make a good talking point when friends visit. They say that you can tell a lot about a person from the books they read, so make sure you have your best books on display.

Professional de-clutterer Ingrid Jansen from the Association of Professional De-clutterers and Organisers (APDO – yes, there is such an organisation!) did a marvelous video on cheap and easy storage ideas around the home. Give it a watch and get inspired!

Have you made some extra cash from de-cluttering your home? Did you sell some unwanted items online and make a few bob? Let us know all about it in the comments! 

Jasmine Birtles is founder of MoneyMagpie.com and also runs the national Clear Your Clutter Day, happening on March 11 this year. Make sure you take part for more helpful tips on how to de-clutter your dwelling and make some extra cash!

Tags Budgeting Money maximising Money saving
  • Anita Kelly

    Thanks for this post. With Spring in the air I’ve already started to declutter, and it gives me some evidence of the psychological AND financial benefits of decluttering our home!