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How to De clutter on a low income when you don’t want to get rid of your things.
Have you ever wondered how your supposed to de clutter when you can’t go out and buy new stuff? Why would you get rid of something that is perfectly usable just because it doesn’t bring you joy, when you can’t afford to buy things that do bring you joy?
If your curious: The life changing magic of Tidying up: The Japanese art of de cluttering and Organizing. Is the most popular book to read right now. Its listed on Amazon for about $10.00
Almost every de cluttering post, article and book you’ll read will tell you how to de clutter your things in a way that sounds so simple it’d be crazy not to do it. But… They all have one thing in common. –
Most de cluttering posts, books and articles are all written from a place of excess stuff.
The reason why its so easy for these people to get rid of their stuff is because they have more than what they need, and they have the funds to go out and buy what ever they may need if they don’t already have it.
But no one is writing about how to declutter when your starting from a place with less stuff. No one is talking about how to declutter on a low income when you don’t even have the money to go out and buy the things you need, never mind things you want.
De cluttering on a low income means leaning how to make do what you have when you don’t have the money to buy what you need.
Here’s the deal:
De cluttering on a low income is possible, and in this post we’re going to go over the exact steps you can take to learn how to declutter on a low income- because it is different.
Why de cluttering on a low income is different.
De cluttering on a low income is different then de cluttering when you have money to buy things you need because when you have a low income you naturally want to hold on to everything and anything you can get your hands on, just in case you’ll need it one day.
It’s a lot easier for someone to get rid of things when they know they have the money to go out and buy it back if they were to ever need it again in the future than it is for someone who doesn’t even have the money to pay all their bills for the month.
But, just because its harder, doesn’t mean it impossible.
Living on a low income often means that you are doing your best to live life as frugally as possible, and sometimes de cluttering can feel like the very opposite of frugal living.
And sometimes it is.
If you declutter everything in your house- every duplicate, every single item that doesn’t bring you joy- your likely to wind up needing it someday but not having the money to buy it again.
But if you declutter a bit differently (which we’re going to talk about below) you can de clutter and live frugally.
How I declutter on a low income.
A couple years back when I finally decided it was time to do something about all the clutter in our house my boyfriend and I were living on one low income and I really struggled to get ride of anything at all.
I felt like everything we had in our house was an asset.
Even the 3 coffee makers… they were all assets. I kept them around just in case one broke. And in case the next one broke.
There was a part of me that knew we needed to get rid of the clutter in our house. -Even though I didn’t see it as clutter. But, I struggled so much with the idea of getting rid of stuff just in case we ended up needing it one day – because we certainly couldn’t afford to just go out and buy it again.
We had two options.
Either we could continue to keep everything we had in our house because we couldn’t afford to go buy new stuff.
Or, we could get rid of the clutter we weren’t holding onto and learn to make do without this stuff and, in return, live happier and less stressed by emptying our house of all the unnecessary stuff.
It was a long process, but eventually we started to learn how to get rid of the clutter in our house, and we started learning how to stop the clutter before it even had a chance to endter the house.
Living a clutter free life on a low income is possible.
Here’s the thing.
De cluttering on a low income teaches you how to make do with what you have until you can afford to buy what you need.
And most of the time, when you finally have enough money to afford the things you need, at that point you realize that the things you thought you needed weren’t really necessities at all, and you can continue to live with out them.
7 ways to de clutter on a low income.
1 Separate the necessities from the luxuries.
I realize that when your living on a low income everything you own can start to feel like a necessity.
When you don’t have enough money to even pay the bill every month, it can feel like you need everything you own – and you’d be foolish to get rid of any of it.
When I decided to start decluttering I walked through out house with a couple of bags in hand. Then I went though it again and again.
I had my decluttering tools, but I was getting nothing done.
I had heard that you should walk through your house with a couple of bags or baskets and go though each item and put them into the appropriate bins (donate, keep, sell)
I went though each room, but everything we owned felt like a necessity.
I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of any of it.
I was scared that as soon as I got rid of it we would end up needing it the very next day.
The first step to getting started de cluttering on a low income is to separate the things you need from the things you want.
Really think about each item you own. Do you truely use it on a regular basis? Or do you keep it around for convenience? Does it make your life easier? Or is it just taking up space? After you do this, then move to step 2.
2 Stop comparing yourself.
I once heard a spectacular quote, and it has been one of the biggest things that has helped me not only declutter, but also live contently on a low income.
Comparison is the thief of joy
It’s true. When you compare yourself, your life or your home to someone else’s, you’ll always wind up feeling unsatisfied.
Every single person has something different going on in their life then the next person, and comparing yourself to someone else is never a good idea- you will end up feeling like a failure.
Instead, focus on where you are at right now.
Quit comparing and start doing!
Stop wasting your time comaping your house with someone else’s, and start doing something about your situation, Keep yourself moving forward.
3 Keep some duplicates.
I’m sure you’ve heard many people tell you, “get rid of all the duplicates” But when your on a low income, keeping some duplicates is a good idea.
For example, your probably don’t need 30 hand towels, but you might need a few extra mugs. Keep duplicates that make sense, and only in moderation.
If you have good thrift stores with affordable stuff around where you live you could get rid of most of your duplicates knowing you can replace them for very cheap if they do break. This way you don’t have to worry about where to store them.
4 Learn how to make do with what you have.
The thought of getting rid of things is terrifying when you know you don’t have the money to go buy new things. But it doesn’t have to be such a terrifying thought.
You can learn to make do,
For example, your kettle breaks, you don’t have to buy a new one. You can start boiling water on the stove in a pot.
Most things in life are luxuries that can be necessities.
5 Take your time.
Its ok if it takes you 2 weeks to complete. De cluttering isn’t a race. It’s something that you can- and should- take your time with.
They don’t know what you have.
You know you’r house. And de cluttering you might discover you have alot more then you realized you had! Instead of focusing on getting it done fast, focus on getting it done right.
Work as hard as you can until its finished. And if you go past the date you set, keep working and don’t stop until you are completely done.
6 Use the hanger method to declutter clothes.
I used to hate parting with my clothes until I realized I was barely wearing a quarter of them.
Hang all your clothes on hangers, then turn them backwards in your closet. Each time you wear a certain article of clothes turn the hanger around. After a year, any hanger still backwards can go.
7 Organizing everything that’s left.
The fact of the matter is, no matter how much stuff you got rid of, your going to need to keep some behind. And your going to need to organize all that your keep.
Many people want their homes to look pintrest worthy or just like that magazine, but when you do that, it will be expensive.
You can do this!
It can be stressful, but remember all the benefits and the amazing feel of satisfaction.