Today finds many of us making New Year’s resolutions of one kind or another. Some of us want to lose weight, others want to quit smoking, still more want to get their finances in order. Take a look around yourself: how cluttered is your environment? Are you still surrounded by Christmas gifts because you do not know where you’re going to put everything? Have you ever thought about what your cluttered environment could actually be costing you? Time.com posted an article outlining the eight ways clutter is costing you money.

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1. Clutter Leads to Over-Consumption.

As Americans, we have a lot of stuff. A LOT. However, our real needs are actually very limited. True needs include safety, shelter, food, clothing, health care, education. Now, I’m not saying we should limit purchases to items which satisfy only needs; that’s un-American! (tongue-in-cheek). However, it may be necessary to learn to differentiate between needs and wants. And remember, when you do buy something new, consider getting rid of its older counterpart.

2. Clutter Causes Duplication.

Are you ever at the grocery store and think, “Just to be safe, I will buy every item I need for this recipe,” only to arrive home and find 3/4 of the ingredients already in your pantry and refrigerator? The same goes for school/office supplies, wardrobe basics and toiletries. If you know what you have and can easily find it, you are less likely to buy duplicates (taken from this blog).

3. Like Cash, Only Not.

I’m sure you’re aware that Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons never expire (so if a cashier tells you otherwise, fight it!), but most coupons do! Store credits and gift certificates don’t expire but, if you can’t find them, you can’t use them.

4. Clutter Costs Time.

How long do you spend each morning looking for your keys, cell phone, purse, etc? Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money,” and Ben sure did know what he was talking about. It’s essentially the cost of opportunity. Because our time here on Earth is finite, we should not waste it looking for things.

5. Clutter Requires Upkeep.

Keeping your material possessions in good, working condition can be costly. The upkeep for items like boats, pools, hot tubs, etc can be more expensive than the initial cost. While those items aren’t usually considered clutter, a cluttered environment takes more time to clean (Oh, look, we’re back on #5!) Moving items to dust and vacuum can easily double the amount of time needed to clean.

6. Clutter Makes Moving Even More Expensive.

Oy vey. I can’t even count how many of my clients call me to help them move into a new home. 95% of the time, I really wish they had called me BEFORE they moved. It’s crazy how much money is spent on packing materials and room in a truck to transport items that, upon unpacking, the homeowner realizes they don’t even want. Seems like that money can be better spent in a new home on things specifically for your new home.

7. Storage Units for Your Clutter.

I can’t even begin to express my disdain for storage units. According to SelfStorage.com, the average 10×10 storage unit in Houston costs $150/month. Additionally, storage units are the perfect example of “out of site, out of mind.” Do you have a storage unit? Can you list out its contents? I doubt it. Essentially, you’re paying rent for things you no longer need or care about. Storage units should be for temporary use only.

8. Profit Loss.

Unlike wine, most material goods will not gain value with age. You can consider the resale of items currently cluttering your space and make at least a little bit of money. Alternatively, you could donate items for a decent tax write-off. However, if you can’t FIND these big (or small) ticket items, you will have no hope in making any money.

In conclusions, clutter costs more than just money and, if you are ready to tackle your clutter, call me to schedule a consultation 🙂