Chaos and Clutter Free: finances on the forefront

by Danielle Wurth

{finances on the forefront}

how to stop the bleeding in your kitchen, closets and home

Danielle Wurth of Wurth Organizing, LLC

This is the overview

In addition to getting healthy and organized, another popular New Year’s resolution is getting one’s finances in order. For those in recovery, this translates to knowing what your money is being used for, as well as how you can make it last. Perhaps you are aware of how much money you spent on feeding your addiction; now in recovery, it can also be costly to maintain a healthy body, home and wallet. Having the right organizing system in place will help you to reduce expenses. Whether you hold an hourly part-time job or a high-level position with a sizable salary, money can bleed out of the seams of your wallet on a daily basis. I have learned that if you can’t steward a little, then you can’t steward a lot. Ditch the bandage and going straight for the tourniquet until your wallet is healed.

Organize these in sections

{organizing solutions} . . . in the kitchen

Organize your pantry . . . take stock of your current food

Most consumers dash to the market without taking stock of their current inventory. Our clients are often in disbelief when they discover that nearly 60% of their pantry is filled with expired food, spices and vitamins. Whether you are a working single or a parent of many children, the shelves in your pantry should be divided by theme. Once your pantry is organized, shop only for food items you truly need, not for those you want. Set a conservative budget for groceries, and consider going to the store no more than once a week. Set yourself up for success by carrying only a certain amount of cash with you when you go the store. This will make it easier for you to adhere to your budget.

Eliminate gross excess

There often isn’t a significant savings to warrant the shop ’n stock scenario. Do you really need to buy two cases of paper towels? Unless you live out on farm and your nearest bulk food store is 60 miles away, I have a hunch you will survive without them. Before you buy items in gross excess, ask yourself these kinds of questions: “How often do I need it?” “Are the savings significant enough to store items in bulk quantities?”

Clean out your fridge and freezer . . . label the shelves

Sound a bit OCD? I don’t think so! I was a skeptic myself until I noticed my consistent pattern of overbuying in one category while under-buying in another. I decided to label each freezer shelf by food group: vegetables, proteins and breads. I have one clear box labeled “Meat and Cheeses” for lunches; another labeled “Mexican” that contains salsa, guacamole, sour cream and tortillas; and two others with weekly dinner ingredients. Bottom shelving and drawers house lunches, leftovers and healthy snacks, including fruit, yogurts and cheese sticks to grab and go.

Sharing food responsibilities is an important organizing skill for your kids to master, and every family member will gain greater appreciation for the work involved in planning and preparing meals. It brings comfort and a feeling of togetherness when family members help put away the groceries.


{organizing solutions} . . .  in the home

Gather all your gear . . . and label it

Have you ever misplaced parts to an appliance or the rechargeable cord to your tech gear and been forced to make duplicate purchases? You can avoid this issue with a simple organizing solution. After purchasing a new appliance or tech item, take a moment to cut out the proof of purchase seal or product coding from the box. Store these in a Ziploc bag that has been accurately labeled with a permanent marker. You can staple the receipt to the warranty on the outside of the bag. Store hardware-related items in one location in the garage and tech-related gear in your office.


Online or impulse shopping . . . wait it out

The shopping selection offered on the World Wide Web is great; however, it can also lead to a world of debt. The last thing you want is to shift from one addiction to another. For bill paying, reduce your screen time to a minimum. Remove your name from tempting lists in the mailbox, on your phone and on your computer. Use an app such as to consolidate promotions in a single bundled blast or unsubscribe multiple offers with a single mouse click. Do your research. Comparison shop, and ask the vendor if they will price match with their competitors. It never hurts to ask, and your savings can be significant!


{organizing solutions} . . . in your closets

Make your belongings bring you cash and not clutter

Do you have an extra set of glasses you don’t need, an unused accent chair, or certain clothes you no longer wear? It’s time to locate a consignment store near you. Look for a one-stop store that offers fair pricing for furniture, household items and clothing. Many consignment stores offer a 60/40 split, meaning when the item sells you will receive either 60% in store trade to shop or 40% in cash. It is better to drop off items valued at or below $75 at a consignment shop rather than posting them for sale online.

People won’t buy items that look old and used. Before you sell your belongings, make sure you clean them really well. A good cleaning can give a second life to leather furniture, shoes and purses. Use unscented baby wipes to spot clean fabric and upholstery. Use a lint roller to remove any excess dust or pet hair. Present clean, pressed, undamaged clothing on hangers.

The key to a successful plan is to remove items from inside your home and provide easy-access storage. Designate large, lidded totes to collect your donations and consignment items. Designate a separate hanging area in a closet to segregate clothing for consignment.

Once you have purged your inventory, consider reaching out to loved ones who want to help support you in your consignment venture. Ask what items they may have in their home that they might be willing to give to you. Arrange the pickup, and more inventory will be added to your consignment account. Everyone benefits.

Danielle Wurth is a professional speaker and organizer and the owner of Wurth Organizing, LLC, a company that transforms people’s lives through hands-on organizing sessions and events. In addition, Wurth is an exclusive Arizona Brand Partner of The Container Store and has been a contributor to Real Simple Magazine, Fox 10 News, Channel 3 Good Morning Arizona, 1360 KPXQ Faith Talk Radio and The Arizona Republic. | 602-579-5274 |


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