How Much is Your Clutter Costing You?

Hint: It’s way too much.

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My second passion besides organization is frugal living. Or maybe it’s my first.

As an organizer, I’m aware of many different kinds of costs associated with clutter, but I began to wonder exactly how much time & money it translates into. I did some digging. It was shocking… I’ll get right to it.

 

Financial Costs

On average, you’re paying about $15 per sq foot of your home per year according to AARP. So, that big bouncy ball from the dollar store that’s been sitting in the corner for 5 years has now cost you $75. Multiply that by everything in your home that’s not regularly used. Woah.

Enter storage units. There are 5 times more storage facilities in the US than there are Starbucks! Let that sink in. According to Forbes, Americans spend more than
$24 BILLION a year for storage. AARP mentioned one widow who rented storage space for three years after she “downsized”. In all she paid over $11,000 to store $1,000 worth of items before paring it down.

A few more:
-late fees for late or unpaid bills you’ve lost
-throwing out food, make-up, and other things that spoil because we couldn’t find them
-REPURCHASING things you know you have but can’t locate

Cost of Time

It’s been reported that over a lifetime, the average person wastes between 1/2 and one year looking for misplaced items.

Additionally, the National Soap and Detergent Association (who knew?!) estimates that decluttering eliminates 40% of all house work. How ’bout that?

Emotional Costs

I can’t say enough here. I’ve experienced:

-Children with ADHD that simply can’t concentrate in their spaces and are overwhelmed
-Spouses who argue and rant about the messes, marriages strained
-Higher stress levels in all family members due to feeling enclosed and lost items

Here is a link to a study that shows how clutter leads to higher cortisol levels and depression rates and lower marital satisfaction. I’ve seen it first hand.

There’s simply a mental angst to spending so much time and money on a home and not being able to move around in it. Lifehack mentions loss of focus and productivity.

 

The Final Verdict?

Many people believe that getting rid of things will be a waste of resources. The truth? It’s costing you more time, money and emotional equity to keep them. Start your organizational journey today!

 

 

A Clutter-Free Christmas

Jingle bells, evergreens, and the spirit of giving which leads to…stuff!
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This not only is this a good time of year to consider getting rid of some things to make room, but it’s also a good idea to think about how to eliminate more clutter before it starts.

And so I present to you some ideas for gifts that only take up space in your heart and memory 🙂 If you have time, check out all the categories. Although I’ve tried to create categories, some ideas can be used for other loved ones in your life. Also, many of these experiences can be found on sites such as Groupon, so check out your local deals there.

Click here to view as a handy Word Document instead: NoClutterChristmas or fast forward to the end for some printables.

 

For Kids & Families

-movie gift cards
-tickets to a play or other show
(Cirque du Soliel anyone?)
-museum passes
-zoo membership or “experiences”
(for instance, some offer a chance to meet the penguins!)
-Audible or Amazon Prime Membership
-sporting event tickets
-rodeo tickets
-indoor trampoline park gift card
-certificate for paddle boarding lessons
-a segway tour or scavenger hunt in your local area
-an escape room experience
-museum membership
-indoor rock climbing
-gift card to an unusual restaurant
-festival entry
-a “coupon” for a staycation at a local hotel with grandparents (make sure it has an indoor pool!)
-gift card for bowling/laser tag/arcade
-a seasonal pass for an activity such as ice skating
-party at a fun place (for instance, Hammond’s Candy Factory near me has a fun experience)
-whale watching tour

For Couples

-certificate for a professional organizer 🙂
-gift card for Home Depot or The Container Store
-concert tickets
-a glass blowing lesson
-sushi-rolling class
-a Top Golf gift card (it’s fun even for non-golfers!)
-a night’s stay at a local getaway
-horseback riding certificate
-wine tasting experience
-ski passes
-dance lessons
-a murder mystery dinner
-helicopter or hot air balloon experience
-local sleigh ride (or if you’re in Colorado like me, try a dog sledding experience for two!)
-something that can be easily cooked:
    Omahasteaks.com order or
    a Hello Fresh gift card
-indoor sky diving experience
-a sip and paint evening
-comedy show tickets
-Netflix subscription for a year

For Him

-rounds of golf
-luxury car driving experience
-auto race or monster truck tickets
-fire arm/shooting range voucher, membership, or lessons
-tickets to an auto show
-martial arts classes
-carwash gift card
-flying lessons
-deep sea fishing experience
-arrange dinner with an old friend
-sailing lessons
-season passes for a sports team
-ziplining certificate
-landscaping or lawn care services
-gift card to a local restaurant reviewed by a Food Network celeb
-fencing classes
-maker faire tickets
-beer tasting or festival tickets
-anything that can be consumed, such as:
    -unusual meat jerky @
    mountainamericajerky.com/
    -fancy BBQ sauces
    -backpacking food for outdoor
    trips
-ask his buddy to help you plan a trip according to his interests
-certificate for a full service haircut and shave

For Her

-photography lessons
-tickets to the symphony (go with her!)
-spa/massage certificate
-foreign language lessons or software
-coupons for time out with friends
-get together with her friends to plan a night out
-if she’s interested in family history, order a DNA test kit or subscription to ancestry.com
-send her and her mom or sister on a trip (maybe to the Magnolia Market in Waco?)
-classes at the local craft store
-AAA membership
-car detailing certificate
-night at a fancy bed and breakfast or hotel
-certificate to have nails and/or hair done
-fancy food tasting
-trip to a local holiday light display (we have nice ones at our zoo and botanical gardens)
-house cleaning voucher (careful with this one– know your woman!)
-the new mattress she’s been asking for
-SPEND TIME WITH HER 🙂

And finally, some handy printables: (same list, different format)

 

Day Five: Your Scary Fridge!

Ok, going thru the fridge is something you already know how to do, but maybe you haven’t done it in awhile…a loooooong while. Pull everything out, and anything that’s hairy or threatens to eat you has to go.

mouldy cheese

Go ahead and give everything a good wipe down, and then take a quick inventory of what you’ve got left and the kinds of things that usually rotate in and out of your fridge. Watch this video from Do It on a Dime to see how simple Dollar Tree containers can make your fridge much more organized and help you access things more easily. One thing I’ll add to this is that while I don’t necessarily need a whole bin for cheese sticks at this point in my life, I do use the bins for holding my plastic containers with leftovers (I use a dry erase marker on each container to note the contents). This way, they don’t get lost in the back of the fridge and grow fur. When looking for leftovers, I simply pull out the whole bin and I can look thru everything in there. Depending on how many you usually have, you may need more than one bin for this purpose.

Day Five: DONE!