Have you got hidden pockets of wealth hiding in your home? Most of us could benefit from a good clear out, a reorganisation, or rethinking our working methods. Here are some suggestions on ways you could save money by using the space you already have, and alternative available spaces, to better advantage.
Reduce Energy Bills
Anything you can do to reduce energy bills is good news right now. Invest in low energy, green lighting for your work or office areas to cut down on wattage used, and eliminate door and window draughts with thermal drapes and draught proofing strips. Get into the habit of switching off lights or heaters in rooms left vacant, and if you work with others consider taping up a notice to remind everyone to switch off.
Consolidate Working Areas
Business owners with stock to keep often struggle to find storage space at home that’s both out of the way and secure. For sellers of larger items, home storage might be a total nonstarter. Self storage units help such businesses in two ways:
A safe and secure, lockable room that’s accessible out of hours. Some will also accept deliveries on your behalf, freeing up your time and giving you more freedom of movement for other business activities.
Rent slightly larger room than you need for stock storage so you can also use it for packing purposes. You’ll save on fuel for the car or van if you don’t have to fetch stock and take it home to pack.
Create a Home Office
If you’re renting an office but don’t strictly need one to run your business, consider creating a home office instead. No more driving to work, and with virtual document storage environments such as cloud computing the space needed is minimal.
Ideally you’ll convert a spare room, which may involve getting rid of some existing furniture to make way for a desk and computer equipment. But selling or storing little used furniture to take advantage of business opportunities is a win/win exercise. You’ll either raise extra cash or you’ll save time and money by not paying for, or travelling to, the rented office.
Rent out a Room
An alternative to using a spare room as an office is to rent it out to a lodger. If you don’t want to offer a long term rental but live in a college or university area, letting to a student may do you both a favour. Either put the money made on the room towards the cost of your rented office, or towards paying off the mortgage that bit sooner.
Sell Unwanted Items
We all hang on to objects far past their useful life. Most of us have cupboards full of forgotten items that we no longer use. Raising extra cash and reclaiming the space for those items we do use are the dual benefits of holding a sale. For smaller items that are cheaply posted, choose online auctions. They’re easy to set up and monitor and you can set a reserve price if you’re worried things will sell too cheaply. Alternatively, or for bulkier items, hold a garage sale or use local advertising to attract local buyers.
These are all tried and tested methods of getting organised in home and business life so you can save money, and hopefully make a bit more too. Even if you adopt just one, you should see some improvement in your finances.
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage has 76 purpose-built self storage sites across the UK.