Organizing and tidying the house does more than create a beautiful home. According to Marla Cilley, the homemaker behind the FlyLady empire, it can also save you cash. And Cilley should know. Her FlyLady website has 630,000 subscribers, called Flybabies, who take her housekeeping word as gospel. With two books under her belt, Sink Reflections and New York Times best-seller Body Clutter: Love Your Body, Love Yourself, Cilley knows that an organized home is a home that saves money. Here are a few of her tips:
Don't misplace, and you won't have to replace: If you're organized and you know where everything is, you won't have to rebuy that missing tool. "A lady from Iowa, after she decluttered her house, found seven pair of scissors," said Cilley, laughing. "Good pairs of scissors are $20 or more a pair!"
Start with the simple stuff and shine the sink: "Our goal for the first month of being part of FlyLady is to keep that kitchen sink clean and shiny. And when that kitchen sink is clean and shiny, you don't put a dirty dish in it. You empty your dishwasher, so you can have a place to put your dirty dishes. Then your stove gets cleaned because the rest of the kitchen is shiny," she said. "It's just a snowball effect."
Have a place for everything: Cilley recommends her readers put a "launchpad" by the front door. "The launchpad is a place we establish in our home where we gather up all the items we need to take with us the next day," she said. "As part of your before-bed routine, you put things on that launchpad that you are going to need tomorrow. That saves you time and money."
Make lists: Bills and grocery lists go into a three-ring binder, with a plastic zipper folder, which she calls the "office in a bag." Inside, she says to keep a "control journal": "Keep it in this office in a bag, and when your bills come in, you put them in the office in a bag, so that your bills have a place." The simple act of keeping a regular grocery list saves time and money (since you won't accidentally buy another jar of mayo that you didn't need).
Take care of yourself: Simply eating right and drinking water can keep the bills low, too. "Nonprocessed food will save more money in the long run, because you will not have the doctor bills," she said. "Taking your vitamins, having the consistency of getting those every single day. And drinking your water, and keeping you hydrated — your skin is going to be — well, you're going to have a whole new beauty treatment, because you're not going to need as many lotions."