What if a Simple Concept Called “Storage” Could save Money? Part 2: Your Clothes

Interesting question, huh? But the ramifications of what I’m about to share may just aid in putting you on the road to more savings. Let’s consider several types of storage that can aid in this endeavour:

Last week, we covered several types of food storage. This week we’ll cover clothing storage, beginning in your closet!

Many articles have been written about closet organization. Companies such as Canadian Tire sell DIY closet organizers that you can install and configure yourself. The goal is to arrange your clothing so you always have easy access to it. When it comes to saving money with your clothing, the other major reason for keeping an organized closet is to keep yourself from buying clothing you already have. You need roughly three changes of clothing for each season at a minimum. If you are the type to dress up for various occasions, you may want an additional three changes of dress clothes for each of the four seasons as well. Any more of this and you’re spending based on wants now and not needs.
When you can see at a glance what you have in your closet, you’ll reduce the impulse to run to the store to buy more. Being able to see what you have also means you have room to manage the freshness of your hanging clothes via mothball bags hung on hangers or placed on shelves to further ensure your clothing is not enjoyed by the local bug population. This too will reduce the need to head out and buy more clothing.

dresser storageDresser
Similar suggestions exist for managing your dresser drawers. Good clothing management begins with optimal folding techniques. You can find various folding instructions for everything from socks to shirts to pants and even linens for your linen closet that will not only keep your clothing looking nice, but allow you to pack more into smaller spaces. Just like your closet, you should organize your drawers so that you know what you have at a glance. Seasonal clothing gets stacked at the back of the drawers to make room for the current season’s outfits up front. Again, you only need a minimum of three changes of clothing to get through a week of showering roughly every other day or so. Only those who have incredibly dirty jobs need more clothing than this. Anything above this is in the want category. Wants cost money too and can eat away at your family budget. Knowing what you have available will, ideally, lower your perceived need to always get a new outfit, saving you money.

Proper care and storage of your clothing (see the hotwater article) will reduce how quickly your clothing breaks down and requires replacing. Clothes do age and reach a point of no repair. Only at that point should you consider going out to buy more clothing.

If you are the type to store your clothing in cubbies, do the same thing you would do for drawer storage, keeping in mind the front is fully open. In either case, a well-organized and properly folded drawer or cubby will have room for mothball bags as well, so that critters getting into those areas won’t eat and prematurely wear out your clothing.

These concepts can be applied to other areas of the home as well, such as the gardening shed, the garage, Christmas storage, etc. The idea is to organize your home’s closets, cupboards, shelving, cubbies, etc, in such a manner that:

  • a) nothing spoils
  • b) things are used up before they go bad
  • c) clothing doesn’t wear out before its time
  • d) impulse buying is reduced to a minimum
  • e) items aren’t “replaced” because you can already see that you have them.