Many of my clients hire my teams because they are overwhelmed by the visual and physical distraction of clutter and disorganization. They feel they’ve lost control, and they want to deal with the “stuff” in their home.
Of course, everyone’s “stuff” is different. For some families it’s a garage that has morphed into a giant storage facility. Others also rent one (or more!) storage facilities. And some are shimmying through their home, avoiding piles of clutter along the way.
Others have had an “aha” moment when they realized that clutter is actually costing them money, time, and even relationships.
THE FOUR COSTS OF CLUTTER
If you’ve ever struggled with a house that is less than ideally organized for your needs, you’ve likely experienced the emotional cost of clutter.
You’re irritated with your family. Frustrated that you are in this situation. And when you look around your home you feel disappointment rather than joy.
You may have experienced health costs. Piles of clutter attract bugs and yuckies, who love to burrow in spots where they can sense they will be undisturbed. Having bugs and rodents is bad enough but think about all the dust and mold that could come with clutter. Treating allergic reactions or respiratory problems can be costly!
Additionally, when aging in place, clutter becomes a fall risk. One fall can change an entire family by launching them into action with moving mom or dad into assisted living. This can provide quite an interruption to regular life, especially when parents live across the country.
Short on time? Reduce the clutter! Homeowners who do spend about 40% less time on household tasks.
But have you ever thought about the financial costs of clutter?
CLUTTER IS EXPENSIVE (REALLY EXPENSIVE!)
Do these two facts surprise you?
There are other financial costs to clutter as well.
CLEAN-OUT AND CLEAN-UP COSTS
Even if you could tolerate the day-to-day stress of clutter, someday you’re going to move. Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing you’ll have to reckon with all that clutter.
More stuff equals more cost. On average, it costs $1 per pound to move small items. Does it really make sense to spend your hard-earned money to move things you don’t need (and maybe didn’t even pay that much for?). And of course, bigger items (such as furniture) cost a lot more than that $1 per pound figure.
At the end of the day, it just doesn’t make dollars and sense to keep items that don’t have value.
ARE YOU DUPLICATING (OR TRIPLICATING!) YOUR LIFE?
Can’t find your running shoes … or your favorite sweater? Duplicating items that you already own is expensive! When we allow clutter to take control, we lose it. Buying a new sweater because you can’t find the one you love not only costs money you don’t need to spend, it also adds even more clutter to your life.
MISSING OUT ON TAX DEDUCTIONS
Any deductions you can take on your taxes are a good thing … but only if you can find the receipts to support them. If you lack a system for managing receipts, you’re losing money.
We’ve all bought something that didn’t work out for whatever reason. And it’s great to be able to return that item to the store. Without a receipt, that’s probably not going to happen. The result? Lost money, frustration, and more clutter in your house!
LOST GIFT CARDS
It’s super easy to misplace these if you don’t have a solid organizing system in place. About $1 billion dollars in gift cards are not redeemed each year (makes you rethink your gift-giving, doesn’t it?).
Most of my clients who have disorganized homes also struggle with wasted food. If you don’t know what you have (and what you need), you’ll end up buying too much or something – and it expires – or not enough of something, requiring additional trips to the grocery store.
LOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Ever misplaced a business card after a meeting or event, or forgotten to follow up with someone you met? Depending on how you make your living that could cost you big (not to mention that it’s just plain embarrassing).
CLUTTER IS A HABIT YOU’VE LEARNED
And that’s good news because you can unlearn that habit and learn new organizational habits that work for you and your family, eliminating chaos and clutter … and putting money back in your pocket!
Ready to stop losing money from having too much clutter? Contact me for a free consultation phone call.