The title of this post is a question which often pops up in my A Thrifty Mrs inbox. Quite a few people see no correlation between saving money and keeping an organised and clean home. I however see them as intrinsically linked with little or no separation.
Both thrift and organisation/cleanliness often come down to common sense. None of which I naturally have in spades, I have to work at making my brain think that way and I know lots of others struggle too, which is why I put a lot of effort into keeping A Thrifty Mrs updated with useful information and tips.
As more and more young readers come to my blog, who perhaps haven't ever lived away from parents, I'm asked what organisation of a home has to do with thrift on a more regular basis. I hope anyone, of any age can learn from the financial mistakes I've made and what I've learnt about fixing things once they've gone bad but I also hope younger people learn not to make those mistakes from the start by reading my blog.
I'm not naturally organised, gosh I wish I was, and I think had I been organised I wouldn't have landed myself in financial hot water when I was younger. Here is what I've learnt about the relationship between and organised home and thriftiness.
Knowing what you have
If everything is tidy, organised and in its proper place then you should know what you have and where it is at a moments notice. You know what you do and don't need when you're in the shop and you also know what will fit where and what won't. This works both for organising your room/home/car and your finances. Know what is coming in, what is going out - have spreadsheets, keep diaries and mark them with red pen. It may all seem terribly dull but getting your home organised allows you to organise your head and your finances too because it gives you a different outlook and different methods to work with rather than relying on old habits. Learning new things about anything will translate into your life in more ways that you think, learning to become an organised person at home can teach you how to organise your money and outlook toward money.
Understanding the value of time and money
Keeping your life and home organised means you place value on time, you want things to run smoothly and frankly cannot be arsed to get up and search through a messy cupboard looking for something. Valuing your time in such a manner is a real skill and honestly I think learning how to value time helps you to learn how to value you items you buy or use. If I sit and think that a £30 foundation will cost me 2 hours of hard work then I'm less likely to buy it because I value my time. I'd rather put that 2 hours of my time, my investment, my money into a deposit for a house or into a holiday fund.
Looking after what you have
What the hell is the point of spending £200 on a pair of shoes if you don't look after them? Excuse me if this is a rude question but - do you squit money out of your bum? Look after what you have, treat the items you buy with care. Polish your shoes, have them re-heeled, store them correctly and you'll wear them for years and see greater return for your money. This doesn't just go for expensive things, it goes for everything you own. Treat your belongings with care, they cost you money.
Keep your kitchen clean, don't invite in pests - you'll only have to pay to get rid of them and who wants to pay for that? Look after you appliances, clean out your washing machine and diswasher, keep your drains clean and free of junk. Keep on top of everything, write a list and check them off. Slowly form systems for your home which work, they take a while but you'll get there. Do things properly so you don't have to call someone out on a bank holiday to fix your washing machine or unblock a pipe at the approx cost of £billiontywongaface.
Sense of pride
Some people think pride is a bad thing, I don't. I'm proud that my house is clean and tidy, I'm proud that I pay my bills on time and I'm proud that I treat my belongings with respect. The sense of pride which comes with looking after your things, with having a clean home (or even just handbag) and being organised may sometimes come across as smug but sod the people who think like that because you know that you've worked hard to keep your life ticking over. The sense of pride I get from being organised is matched by the sense of pride and excitement I get when I make sensible choices and spend only £15 a week on groceries rather than the £90 we used to spend when we were graduates
Do you see the relationship between organisation and thrift or do you think it is nonsense? Of course there will always be a story about someone living in a hole saving everything they've ever found in the street whilst having in all piled on top a washing machine but only spending a pound a year on food of whatever but I honestly think that those folk aren't like the majority of thifty people.
P.S. Yeah, the photo don't really have anything to do with this but pretty, no?