A few months ago, I lost a bag of sunflower seeds.
I was sure I had a bag them, but when I went to put them in the recipe for which they were intended, they were nowhere to be found.
So… I did what any thickskulled must-make-this-recipe-no-substitutions homemaker does – I ran to the store and got another bag.
The small store down the road where everything is expensive.
It wasn’t until a few months later that I found those missing sunflower seeds. They’d fallen down behind a box in my cluttered pantry, been broken into by mice, and eaten by worms.
Clutter is something that I think we’re all going to be battling to some degree all our lives, and while it’s something we need to give ourselves grace for to some extent – because not everything is in our control – there’s no doubt that clutter can cost you money.
Whether it’s a package in the pantry, a cucumber that gets lost in the bottom of a cluttered vegetable drawer, buying a new package of pencils because all the pencils from the last pack are missing, or a new box of screws because the storage shed swallowed the last one.
It’s all money down the drain.
The cost of clutter obviously doesn’t stop with the pantry. Finding a way to get your clutter under control once and for all will save you money in every part of your life. And of course, turning your unwanted junk into cash is a great budget booster.
So what can you do about it?
Keep an inventory of what you have (in the pantry and freezer). Scratch things off as you use them so that you know that you do have that package you can’t find, and it doesn’t get lost until it goes bad or gets freezer burnt.
Remove excess packaging and/or repackage into containers that can be organized in your pantry. For the longest time, I kept things like rice, flour, beans, and sugar in their little packages because, you know, those packages don’t cost me anything, but they’re terribly hard to keep organized, and part of the reason things kept getting lost. When I switched to putting them in labeled jars, keeping pantry organization got a lot easier.
Those are just two small ideas, but they go a long way!