Make the Most of What You Have

These days everyone is clinging on to their piggy banks for dear life. Yet we’re still shopping, eating out and freaking out. It’s time to re-examine what we already have, and start appreciating our “things.” I’m the first to admit: I love to shop. And shop and shop. But now’s not the time. For obvious reasons, now is the time to buckle down and get serious about that budget. Experts estimate that the average household has nearly $3,000 worth of material things in their house that goes unused. That’s a cool $3,000 worth of clothes with tags, towels never used and dishes never brought out of their packages. So bring them out!

Financial disagreements is the number one reason for divorce in our country, and with a shaky economy those disagreements are no doubt affecting nearly everyone. So start by looking at what you already own and de-clutter that house. De-cluttering will not only clean up your house, it will de-clutter your mind. Organization is a powerful tool that will help you conquer your pantry, checkbook and eventually your life. But start small. Go room by room and closet by closet and weed out anything that you have not used in the past year. Those clothes with the retail tags hanging on them? Either return them to the store you purchased them or sell them to a consignment store.

Once you’ve cleared out the material things in your home, you’ll start to see the real value of your posessions. Your great-grandmother’s wedding photo that was hidden under those chucked Christmas presents from last year’s office party will bring you much more happiness than another shopping spree at the mall. Learn to appreciate what you already have and get rid of the excess. And make this a habit. Get the kids involved and do spring, summer, fall and winter cleaning and you’ll be surprised how much cash you can rake in while unearthing forgotten treasures. All in your own home and without spending a dime!

After de-cluttering, organizing, selling and donating all that excess “stuff,” what’s a girl to do? Redecorate! You know that urge that creeps up about once a year when you walk into your living room and you suddenly have the overwhelming desire to start all over? Well…do start over, just with your own things. No doubt you brought out all kinds of things from your de-cluttering venture that can be used to transform the look of that living room. And if not, simply re-arrange the furniture. Just a change in the layout of your stuff can make all the difference in the world. Squelch that desire for spending money on a new look by indulging it…just a little. Take out your unwanted furniture and accessories and swap them at said consignment store. Many times these second-hand stores that buy outright will give you more trade credit than cash credit. So trade in your old furniture for new furniture for nearly free!

Remember that no one’s taking their household belongings with them when they go, so re-examine your house and learn to appreaciate what you have. And make this a point in your life and a value you hope to instill in your kids. You’ll all be better for it.

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