Why is being organised thrifty?

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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 on crack.

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?

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  1. I couldn’t agree more! It helps you know what you need and don’t need. Keeps you focused and the more order you have the easier many other things become esp when you have children! Great post! xox


  2. Well said. I am 100% in agreement. You only have to look at the duplicates of things in the tip under my sink to see how being disorganised costs more

  3. Well said. I am 100% in agreement. You only have to look at the duplicates of things in the tip under my sink to see how being disorganised costs more

  4. I learned a lot here, I am probably one of the messiest being alive. Thankyou for posting thisxx

  5. This is so true… I need to get more organised in my herbs department… I have 3 jars of dried sage! Doh!

  6. Brilliant post. Here Here!!!

  7. I have to agree, I like people thinking I’m super organised and take pride in my organisation too because truth be told, I have to work very hard at it. It certainly doesn’t come naturally but I love when I see everything running smoothly as a result of my efforts


  8. This is spot on! If you’re organised you know what you have, which stops you going out to buy that seventh roll of sellotape or pair of scissors etc x

  9. Great post! Although how you manage a grocery shop for £15 is beyond me, I work at a supermarket and people rarely do shops for under £40… xx


  10. Never a truer word has been said. Great post.

    x x

  11. Bwahahahaha! ‘do you squit money out of your bum?’ I love that!

    I’m terrible for not taking care of my possessions, and that in particular is something I really need to work on…(er, not to mention the terribly untidy and cluttered house!)

  12. Bwahahahaha! ‘do you squit money out of your bum?’ I love that!

    I’m terrible for not taking care of my possessions, and that in particular is something I really need to work on…(er, not to mention the terribly untidy and cluttered house!)

  13. Bwahahahahaha! ‘do you squit money out of your bum?’ Awesome!

    But I do desperately need to take better care of my possessions…. not to mention sort out my untidy and cluttered house!

  14. I completely agree, I save so much money when i take the time to be organised.. especially when it comes to food. If my food cupboards are all over the place, i end up double and tripe buying things. I once had 6 boxes of lasagne sheets all in different cupboards. SIX!

  15. I did a blog post similar to this and I spoke about how being organised has saved me money. Before, if I was ever rushing and not being organised, I’d tend to forget something (mostly my lunch!) and then I’d have to spend money buying lunch. This also happened the morning I forgot to put mascara on and had to buy another from Boots before work (so grateful they were open at 8am!)

    I’ve also seen it with my mum. Our kitchen cupboards can get quite messy at times and you can’t see everything in there, so my mum will buy more of something we already have.

    Loved this post. :)


  16. I agree wholeheartedly. Great post! I used to be so reckless with money and possessions but thankfully now appreciate the value of money and living a simpler life. Life’s hard enough as it is!

  17. I am not so good with the cleaning side of things yet but with everything else I’m in total accordance with you. If you don’t know what’s in your wardrobe/kitchen cupboards then you’re only going to end up with duplicates. It doesn’t make sense to be so wasteful.

  18. I totally agree, I cut back on spending if I know I already have something :)

  19. This is so true! I need to get on top of my organisation more like this, as I swear i’m just buying pointless things!
    Your point about thinking how long it would take you to earn the amount of money you are spending on an item definitely is something I do all the time! Everything seems expensive these days compared to the amount most people earn, so looking after all those pennies is much needed!
    Keep the great posts coming! You speak absolutely honesty and are extremely inspiring.

    Love Becky xx

  20. Very true…I just need to love up to your ideals!

  21. I’m working on these things, slowly but surely! £15 a week on groceries?! I need to learn how to cook: it’d save me so much, I’m sure.


  22. My family make fun of me because I’ve become so organised over the past few years. I document where every single penny goes, but it’s worth it because I always know when I can treat myself to something extra! :) xx

  23. How do you spend so little on groceries? Id love to learn how to spend less at the supermarket & what meals cost less and how to cut costs generally!! :)

  24. I have always thought organised & thrifty go together, I don’t see how a person can be thrifty if they’re not at all organised.
    As unrelated as the picture, it’s gorgeous x
    Sirens and Bells

  25. This is a really inspirational post – it puts into words everything I sort of know, but didn’t really understand – thankyou!!!

  26. I’ve recently moved into a new house and take pride in keeping it clean, spending time each day to clean and organise (and unpack!) I’m currently only part time which means I have the time to do this, but when my partner comes home he has no respect for the time I’ve taken (or respect for his expensive belongings- like you said!) I’m trying to install a new way of thinking into his head, but it’s like talking to a brick wall! I really enjoyed your post and completely agree with it- I’ll keep going, because my finances and organisation are important to me!

  27. Amen to that sister.

    Nice pic, Portmerion?

  28. Hi! Very useful post. I just moved to the UK to start a graduate job and I’m really willing to to keep my flat, belongings and finances organised!Could you please make a post on how to save money when buying groceries? I was impressed by your 15 pounds a week!

  29. Great post! Yes, I totally see the link but I’m hideously unorganised. I have regular -as you term it- bum squitty moments. Take today. I bought 10 pairs of trainer socks in Primark about 2 months ago. Could I find them? Could I heck! So had to stop at M&S and buy 3 pairs at the same price I had paid for 10. I feel a New Year resolution coming on…….

  30. Yes very pretty lol. I think one of the problems is when you/me/they buy things from *cheaper* shops and that arent meant to be repaired and worn for years, they really are meant to be a one season wonder (hence the price). This actually bug the boobs off me, and its another good reason to buy 2nd hand, because a good quality 2nd hand jacket/dress/blouse could potentially last a lifetime and possibly someone else’s too. Good tips today :)

  31. I totally agree. Luckily I am a naturally very organised person, but the cleaning bit I don’t really enjoy – though it has to be done.

  32. love all your posts. love your blog:)

  33. love your blog! nice to know you promote the ideas I strongly believe in:)
    take care mrs

  34. Just love your posts..you have great ideas as well a a great sense of humour xx

  35. Well said! And I really hope that when I make the move back out of my parents’ house I can spend £15 on groceries a week, that’s amazing! x

  36. I genuinely don’t have time to have a very organised home (I really can remember what I have and where things are anyway, but my weird spacial/object memory is why I ended up doing a crazy busy job), but I do find that time and routine are good organisational keys. Making time to check things is a vital skill for saving time, money and so forth.

  37. As always, a great post. Recently I was stressing that I had no office space to laptop in and was planning Ikea trips and buying new stuff. Then I spent an afternoon just tidying and organising the spare room, and now it looks amazing and I didn’t spend a penny. Buying new stuff, for me, is often a substitute for just knuckling down and cleaning!

  38. 2nd try…£billiontywongaface: best ever new word to replace “wicked waste” i.e “that will cost £billiontywongaface”. Is it available for borrowing? Loved the post – so much more digestible than F*****y, who I do try and follow, but she gives me hiccups. Mrs Thrifty makes me giggle, thank you Mrs Thrifty.

  39. True- its no coincidence that I started naturally organising my possessions around the same time that I decided to get on top of my finances. I tend to spend money and make a mess of the house when I have that not-carey feeling about the sensible aspects of life, so when I sort out one area, the others tend to follow. I wish my bum could make money :(

  40. I’m exactly the same thinking about how many hours of work I’ve put in to be able to buy something. It’s a shame that sometimes thinking that way stops me treating myself as much as I should, but like you said it shows that you really value your time and I’m proud that I do. Great post! :)

  41. Well said! Great post too, your blog has quickly turned into a firm favourite of mine :)

    Sophierosehearts, currently having an 100 follower giveaway :) x

  42. As a young person who hasn’t left home yet, I find your blog highly fascinating and very useful, storing tips and hints for when I move out and sometimes even practising for when I do! Your blog had helped me save money and want to be more thrifty already, and I will be using it to help me when I move out soon too!! I love the bit about looking after your things no matter what they cost because I am guilty of letting my shoes fall apart, even if I love them, because I carelessly bung them in a pile in my wardrobe…opps! Gonna start looking after my things better!

    Kitty x

  43. Great post – totally agree with you though I certainly need to up my cleaning and tidying as our house is a bit of a tip!! Mega impressed with your £15 a week grocery spend – that is stunning. Would love a post on what you buy and what recipes you make.

  44. My mum and I have weekly competitions to see whose food shopping is cheaper. It’s fun! I also think it’s something I’d want to do with my kids to encourage saving and being thrifty. Starts at home, all this stuff, doesn’t it?

  45. great post but just had to leave a comment saying how much I love Port Merion! :) x

  46. Great Post! I agree 100% and I couldn’t have written it better! ;-)

  47. Great post! I agree, living on a budget is damn hard work bt the money I’ve wasted by being disorganised is horrific. This is really useful stuff thank you!

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