Decluttering saves money by making people more aware of what they own and therefore, what they need to buy, a tidying expert says.
Thursday marks the start of the seventh week of restrictions following the COVID-19 Delta outbreak. Spending more time holed up at home, coupled with the start of the spring/summer season, makes it an ideal time to have a clear-out.
And it seems many Kiwis are doing just that. Auction website Trade Me has seen a 15 percent increase in online listings for preloved toys and a 132 percent increase for handbags, compared to the same time last year.
According to tidying expert Marie Kondo, decluttering to remove unwanted items saves money in three ways. It helps people reduce the number of things they own, makes them mindful of what they buy, and prevents duplicate purchases.
Checking whether each item "sparks joy" is one way to decide whether to keep it. When it comes time to buy, using the same method helps people decide whether they need to spend at all.
"I've seen that tidying can help people become more mindful of their purchases...if you begin asking yourself whether an item sparks joy before actually buying it, you can easily cut back on unnecessary expenses," Kondo told Newshub.
"Treating items you already own and love with consideration also helps - doing so makes it easier to go without purchasing new ones."
In some cases, if an item is 'lost' or forgotten about, it's purchased again. A tidy home and/or workspace avoids wasting money on duplicate items.
"If you know exactly what you have in your home, you won’t spend time wondering if you have it or looking for it...one of my clients found three pencil sharpeners, four rules, eight staplers and twelve pairs of scissors when tidying his office," Kondo adds.
But there aren't just financial benefits. According to Kondo, a tidy home and/or workspace improves confidence and self-image, leading to better decisions.
"By honing your abilities on what sparks joy to you, you can also make better decisions in your life, work or relationships."
According to Ministry for the Environment (MFE) 2020 figures, 3.3 million tonnes of waste went to landfills designed to reduce its environmental effects.
Buying only what's needed and where possible, buying higher-quality items that last longer, helps to reduce new product production and therefore, waste.
"This also saves consumers money as they don’t have to replace items as often or buy unnecessary items," an MFE spokesperson said.
Buying second-hand, including toys, clothes and appliances, keeps items in circulation for longer - and are less likely to lighten the wallet.