Minimalism: How To Reduce Spending and Clutter

We live at a time of plenty. Plenty of stuff that is! Reducing the clutter in your lives will also help you to reduce your spending. Most people do not need more stuff in their homes, however they still go shopping and spend money that many times they don't even have. Minimalism is a great way to keep all that clutter under control. Minimalism will allow you to live a simpler life.

According to Websters minimalism means a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity. If we can transfer this idea to our lives, we can reduce our spending and clutter. Do you need yet another black t-shirt? Another pair of shoes? Another book that you will read once? Do your children need more toys, video games, clothing? Probably not! It is very easy to overdo in these areas, I am guilty of it as well. But if we can reduce the amount of things coming into our homes, this will go a long way in reducing our spending.

When you are going through your children's clothes for the next season, try to reduce the amounts you buy. Does your child need four pairs of jeans, or will two pairs work just fine? If you are like me and do laundry pretty much every day, chances are they only need two or three pairs of pajamas and a few outfits for everyday wear. If you are like my sister and do laundry one day a week, then your family will obviously need enough clothes to last them the week.

The point is, take into consideration your specific needs and think about whether you need ten outfits or if just six will work fine. Four less outfits will take up less space, generate less laundry for you to do (kids like to change clothes frequently) and save you money! If you spent $15 per outfit and only bought six instead of ten, then you just saved yourself $60.

Before you spend money on books, think about how often you will read the book. If it is something you will read once and then it will sit on your shelf, try to borrow it from the library. If it is something you will refer to often, or read over and over again, it will be worth buying. Taking the time to decide how often you will use an item will save you money in the long run. For each book you borrow instead of buy, you will save between $5 and $30.

The same principal applies to other things as well. Do you need to buy a chainsaw to cut down that one tree that needs to come down? Or would renting one for the day work just as well. Renting one will cost between $40 and $50 - but purchasing one will cost upwards of $200. If you rent one, then you don't have to come up with the space to store the chainsaw for the rest of your life.

Minimalism doesn't just apply to new purchases either. Take a look at the things in your home. Go through your closets and pull out anything you haven't worn in a year (aside from the special occasion type of clothing). If you haven't liked it enough to wear it for the past year, it probably doesn't need to be in your closet. The same thing can go for your kitchen and your garage. If you don't use an item regularly, do you really need it or can you do without it.

Will another item take care of the job? Do you need ten different ratchet sets or will one good set that includes all the sizes you need do the job just as well? Do you need to buy something new at all? There might be something that you already own that would do the job just as well. Using what you have is one of the best ways to reduce your spending and clutter. When purchasing something new ask yourself what you are purchasing it for. How many things can this item take care of? If it is a special tool that can only do one thing, it probably isn't a good purchase, unless you will use it often. Try to make wise purchases and buy things that are going to be useful in more than one way. Buy a tool that can take care of many different things. Chances are it will take up the same amount of space, yet do many different things. It might even cost the same amount of money as a tool that can only do one thing.

Simple living is a term that is becoming more and more common in today's society. The more stuff we bring into our homes the farther away from simple living we get. Our lives have become so complicated. There are so many things to spend our money on, so many things that companies try to convince us we need, and so many options of the things that we do need. Reducing the amount of clutter in your home, reducing the number of items you bring into your home and reducing the money spent on said items will allow you to lead a simpler life. Practicing minimalism in your purchases will allow you to reduce stress in your life (things take up space, take your time, etc) and help you to save money.

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17 comments

Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA

I agree with your point on books. My favorite thing about getting them from the library is that they get returned when I'm through. While it's a good money savor, it's a better clutter savor.


Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet 9 years ago from Lancaster, Texas

We have several bookcases of books but we homeschool and our small linrary in town doesn't carry all we need. However I agree that living with less should be the goal overall! Great hub.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Hi Jennifer,

Hmmm,,,books.  I buy my books second hand, as I mentioned in another of your hubs.  The problem I have with going to a library is, I am never home when they are open.  I work two jobs, my day starts at 4 am and doesn't end till 8:30 or 9:30 pm. Not to mention, even if I had the time, with the price of gas these days, it wouldn't be cost effective to have to run to the library, plus I don't like knowing I HAVE to make a trip to return them.  I much prefer reading when I feel like it.  I do, as you can see, have every other Sat am off till around 1pm when I have to go in to work.  Which leaves me with Tuesday nights, Sundays and half a day Saturday off, time which needs to be spent on laundry, cleaning, etc.  (and shhh, but checking HP out too :)).

Thanks again for sharing,

Trish


StrangeLittleBird 7 years ago

I agree and disagree wrt books. The local library is a great resource, and I do use it, but libraries often don't carry specialty books. And they purge often, which actually allows me to purchase some really cheap.


kappa022 profile image

kappa022 7 years ago from Florida

I definitely need to follow these tips, thanks!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

all this adds up to some organization which i have a problem with...to minimalize might be the key...i have a problem with lots of loose papers with odds and ends written on them, all real important til they pile up and slosh onto the floor like a waterfall of drivel


LLWoodard profile image

LLWoodard 7 years ago from Oklahoma USA

Minimalism is a concept I can get behind, but one that is easier to think about than to do.


Sumesh  6 years ago

very good article , surely I will follow this....


Skin Care Beauty profile image

Skin Care Beauty 6 years ago

I am with you on keeping things simple. The goal is to have enough so you enjoy and get pleasure but not to much that it is a burden. I always try to "shop my closet".

When it comes to many items, I don't need, instead of storing them I think of the value someone else can enjoy from them.

Great hub!


Natalie 6 years ago

Minimizing clutter has always been difficult for me. Clutter looks messy so I tend to shove it into closets or into the garage.


ForMomswithLove profile image

ForMomswithLove 6 years ago from New York

I agree completely! We need a lot less to be happy! We need to simplify, slow down and learn to be appreciative of what we do have and enjoy it.


Kadi 6 years ago

Bookmooch is a great solution for those who don't want the due dates of the library. You list books you're done with & those that you want. You earn points by sending your old books to people who want them & can spend your points to request books you want. If you calculate postage at home, you can spare yourself the wait at the post office to mail books out or you can minimize the time by arranging to only send out books once a month & do it all at once.... www.bookmooch.com


Neverletitgo profile image

Neverletitgo 6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

This is great hub Jennifer. It is right practicing minimalism will reduce some stress in our life. Well done.


Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 5 years ago from College Station

Love your hub!


ameliejan profile image

ameliejan 5 years ago from Alicante, Spain

I am quite the minimalist - I'm always 'sorting out' things trying to find ways of letting things go.


anidae profile image

anidae 5 years ago from Tennessee

I voted up and useful. I like the simple life and I am in the middle of downsizing my "stuff".

You have given great advice on how go through and use what you own instead of purchasing a new item to add to the clutter.


dekaycee 5 years ago

I love keeping things simple and needed extra encouragement in the purchasing department. Thanks for your blog.

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