Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Melissa S.
If you follow frugal living blogs or social media accounts, one common message you may find is encouraging people in decluttering their possessions in order to live more intentionally. At first, I was puzzled by this, because if I’m spending less, surely I want to hold on to the things I do have?
However, I soon realised that decluttering my things was going to help me immensely in becoming debt free – and not just to make money selling unwanted items (although that is definitely useful too!) Here’s 6 reasons why decluttering to become debt free works.
Decluttering allows you to see what’s important – and what isn’t
When I began my debt free journey, one of the first things I did was look around at all the “stuff” I had accumulated. I wouldn’t say I’m a hoarder, but I used to find it hard to let go of things I knew I had spent money on but were no longer useful – or had never been useful in the first place.
Once I took the plunge with decluttering, I could see the items that were actually worth spending my money on. If one high quality and useful item cost the same as buying 5 cheap and useless things, then that is the more frugal option. Which brings me nicely onto the next point…
A bargain is only a bargain if it’s useful
One of the main reasons I had so many things is I’m a sucker for a bargain – (and still am). Whether clothing, shoes, make up, Home Bargains finds – if something was on sale for a great price then I was almost guaranteed to buy it. Obviously I’ve found some great items this way over the years, and it was one of the reasons I set up my Instagram account to share my finds.
However, when I started decluttering I realised that a lot of these items remained unused months later. As an example, I always used to take advantage of Boots gift sets in the Boxing Day sales. There would maybe be one of 2 products in the set that I was drawn to, and the others were not my thing. But into the dressing table drawers it would all go, meaning I was swamped with stuff I just didn’t use or need.
Now, I am much more careful with the items I bring into the house and picture what I will do with it and where it will go. I can’t confess that I never end up buying something I shouldn’t, but it’s a good start!
You can make money selling the items you are decluttering
As previously mentioned, this is an obvious one, but don’t underestimate the money to be made!
Recently I made over £1000 over 90 days selling my old clutter which you can read about here.
One of the most popular posts on my blog is about selling CDs on ebay, while this post covers selling items you might just usually throw in the bin!
Spending less will help you tackle your debts quicker
You may be thinking cutting down on buying a few cheap things isn’t going to make much of a dent in your debts. Of course, everyone’s situation is different but for me, reducing my spending became more of a lifestyle choice rather than a short term measure.
Once I became aware of how much money I had wasted on things I didn’t need, reducing my spending habit became much easier. I managed to cut my monthly spending money from £500 to just £150, so as you can see this is quite a significant amount! By spending money, I mean purely non essentials for myself such as clothes, meals out, make up etc.
I put the extra £350 a month towards paying off my debts faster using Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball method.
Your house will be calmer and more ordered
Having a calmer and more ordered house may not directly be linked to paying off debts, however it can do wonders for your mental health, which in turn can lead to a more positive attitude towards tackling debts.
Equally, once you have a more clutter-free environment, you are less likely to want to buy more “stuff” to fill it, which makes the spending habit easier to curb.
You will have more money for the things you truly value
I’ve swapped buying cheap clothes and make up for paying off my debts, building savings, and finally, make more substantial purchases rather than lots of little ones. For example, I recently bought an inflatable hot tub for the garden for £350. As stated above, I spent more than this each month on non essentials that didn’t really amount to much.
These days, I would much rather have less insignificant “stuff”, more money, and items in my home that I truly value.
Of course, if I said I currently had a perfect clutter-free home, that would be a lie! Decluttering is definitely an ongoing, if not lifelong process, especially with young children in the house who quickly outgrow clothes and toys. But stopping the accumulation of extra clutter is definitely the key to a good start!
What do you think – have you tackled decluttering or are you wanting to get started? Leave me a comment and let me know!
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.