Organization & Inflation
As I’m sure you already know, inflation is going kinda crazy right now. It’s affecting food prices, gas prices (of course), and pretty much everything you buy right now. Some people are really starting to struggle. Although I’m by no means an economist, and I don’t have a crystal ball to see how this is going to go, it seems like this may be an ongoing issue for the near future. Today I wanted to talk about how inflation affects organization and how being organized can help you actually deal with inflation. If you would rather watch the video, just click below!
First, if you’re not as organized as you’d like to be, there are still ways to organize on a budget, even if your dollars aren’t going as far as they have in the past. Here are some ways to organize on the cheap:
This one is 100% FREE. You can always go through your things and get rid of what you don’t need because all that’s involved here is time and effort. Here is my favorite decluttering video with a printable checklist to get you started.
Sell some items
Sometimes you might have higher value items that you aren’t using or don’t need anymore. It can be totally worth the effort to list these things on Facebook Marketplace or E-bay to make a little money, or even have a garage sale! Not only are you decluttering, but you’re getting some money back in the process, which can be a huge help. However, there is a line where some things just aren’t worth the time or effort involved to sell them. If you’re unsure, watch this video that will help you decide if it’s worth selling or best to just drop off at Goodwill.
Despite being creative, sometimes you really do need to purchase some items (bins, organizers, baskets) to really help streamline a space. If you need to do this, be very intentional, have a clear plan, and absolutely be good at returning!! Start by figuring out (as best you can) what organizers you need. I still tend to overbuy on organizers so I save myself extra trips to the store, but afterward put the unused items right back in your car and be sure to return them ASAP!
There are tons of items around your house that you can re-purpose into organizers. Cut up cereal or cracker boxes to make drawer organizers, use shoeboxes covered in contact paper, etc. Also, ALWAYS shop your house first. Most of us have extra bins stashed or have bins in closets or drawers that aren’t really doing as much as they could be. Before buying, look around and see what you can reuse in a different spot that might work better.
Be creative about buying
You can get great deals on Facebook Marketplace or at Goodwill on organizers or bins. These are things people seem to frequently rotate out or change up, so they end up at thrift stores. It’s worth a look there first, and remember to think creatively about what you find here, too. Also try the Dollar Tree. Despite inflation, everything here is still $1 or $1.25, and there are some great finds here. If you need a lot of one item and they don’t have a huge stock, try ordering online from the Dollar Tree. In this video, I compared some Dollar Tree items to the Container Store. Spoiler alert– a Dollar Tree item actually won in one category.
Find creative storage if you need to stock up on food
Buying in bulk at sales or shopping at warehouse stores can save you significant money on rising food prices. The downside to this is you have to be able to store what you buy for a longer period. If you don’t have a big pantry, this can put a real damper on bulk-buying. You just need to get creative with the storage space you do have.
When I was first married and in an apartment, we didn’t have pantry space, so I turned our coat closet just off the kitchen into a pantry. We just hung our two coats with our clothes in our bedroom closet, and that opened up a whole other space for the food storage we needed.
Also think about spaces under beds, in unused dresser drawers, laundry rooms…think outside the box LOL, and you can probably come up with at least a little extra space for bulk purchases!
On the flip side, there are quite a few ways that actually being organized can really help you deal with inflation.
- If you’re organized with food and meal planning, you can avoid a lot of food waste. Have you ever tossed a full package of strawberries straight into the trash can because you didn’t eat them three days ago, and now they’re growing a village of green fuzzies? I have, and all I can think about is tossing a $5 bill straight into the trash can. It’s painful. We need to forgive ourselves for things like this, but at the same time, making an effort toward food organization in the refrigerator, meal planning, and simply eating the perishable items first (why is it so hard to reach for those strawberries instead of that bag of chips?!?) can go a long way to avoid literally tossing money into the trash in the form of food waste.
- If it’s easier for you to find things, you’re less likely to buy doubles of things you already have. I have done this so often with things like tape or post-it notes. If you know you have it, but you can’t find it, then you probably need to do some decluttering. If you’re organized and can find what you need when you need it, you won’t be spending on things you already have.
- If you pay your bills on time and have a good paper management system, you’ll avoid late fees. Having a budget and being organized with your spending can also really help you curb your excess spending when things get tighter.
- If your home is organized and tidy, you’re more likely to want to be there. There’s nothing wrong with going out to eat or out to do things (I love doing that myself), but if you’re just wanting to go out so you can escape the mess at home, then there’s a problem. Try to make your house a tidy space that is relaxing and pleasant to be in. If your home is your sanctuary, then you won’t be leaving (and spending gas and money to eat or do an activity) just to escape the chaos. Also, if you’re happy in your house, you can always invite people over instead of going out. You can easily feed 10+ people at home for the same price as feeding 2 people at a mid-range restaurant– HUGE savings.
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas on how to handle the rising prices of literally everything right now. It won’t always be easy, but staying organized can help in so many areas of life, and it’s so worth the effort!!
I always love your posts! This is a tip my sister in law just shared with me: to keep strawberries fresh longer, take them out of the container you bought them in, and put them into a clean Mason jar. Hand tighten the flat on with a ring and they keep for over a week! I started doing this with spinach also and my produce is lasting twice as long in my refrigerator!
Question for Heather…hopefully she’ll see it Do you wash your produce before putting it in the jars?
Another tip, when I wash/spin my lettuce, I put it in a sealed plastic container with a paper towel laid across the top, keeps my lettuce fresh for over a week. Also, I jus keep reusing that same paper towel every time I refill my container. And, I keep it in my crisper drawer.
Laura, thank you SOOOO much for all your great tips! They’ve helped me out many a time.