The Hidden Cost of Clutter | Organizing Made Fun: The Hidden Cost of Clutter

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Hidden Cost of Clutter

I am going to be traveling quite a bit in the next few weeks. To help me fill in while I'm busy, I've got some amazing organizing bloggers who will fill in here and seriously amazing! If you'd like to see what I'm up to, head over to Instagram and follow me there. I'll be heading to a blog conference this week and then more fun after that...

Hi Organizing Made Fun readers! I'm Hilda and I blog over at From Overwhelmed To Organized.  I love sharing tips to help overwhelmed people declutter and organize their homes.

Thanks for having me here Becky!  I'm excited to share about one of my favorite topics... decluttering! Do you have clutter in your home?  Have you been wanting to declutter but just haven't been motivated enough to get started? Well I'm hoping today's post will give you a little push towards purging some things from your home!

There are several ways that having clutter in your home costs you - financially, non-financially, and when you're moving.  This posts shares some of these hidden costs of clutter and offers tips and support to help you start decluttering.

Did you know that your clutter is costing you money all the time?  There are some obvious ways... like making late payment charges due to overdue bills you couldn't find... or re-purchasing items that you already have but can't find when you need them. But clutter also has costs associated with it in other ways that you may not think of.

Financial Costs of Clutter

Here are some ways that your clutter may be costing you money.
  • Your kitchen counters are too cluttered to cook on, making it hard to cook your dinners at home.  This means you eat out a lot, which costs more than home-cooked meals.  
  • You don't have enough space in your home to store all the things you want to keep but that you don't use on a regular basis, so you keep them in a storage unit.  Those monthly costs add up quickly.
  • Similarly, you live in a larger home than you really need to because you have so many possessions.  Larger homes cost more than smaller homes.
  • Your clutter is causing you stress or increasing your depression, so you have to take medications to cope.  Those aren't cheap.
  • Your garage is full of clutter so you can't park your vehicles in it.  This means your car is less protected and will deteriorate quicker than it should.  Your car is one of your biggest expenses and buying a new or new-to-you vehicle more often than you really need to can really add up.
  • You bought a gift on sale for a family member but couldn't find it back so you had to go buy another one at full price.  Then a few months later you came across the original one but it's too late to return it.  
  • You buy your kids more and more toys because they lose interest so quickly in the ones they have, but really they are probably overwhelmed with all the options and aren't sure what to play with or even what they have.  

Non-Financial Costs of Clutter

Aside from the actual financial ways that clutter can cost us, there are non-financial costs as well.  Do any of these sound familiar to you?
  • Your clutter is causing tension between you and your spouse or you and your children.  You can't really put a price on having a peaceful marriage and family.
  • You are too embarrassed about your cluttered home to invite friends or family over.  Over time, your friendships are fading or there are tensions with family members because you don't host family dinners on holidays.  How important are these relationships to you? 
  • You waste a lot of time searching for items because you can't find where you left them (keys, wallet, purse, sunglasses, permission forms for school, etc.).  Each of those minutes adds up... wouldn't you rather have that time for something else?
  • You are not as productive when you are working (either at home or at the office) because you are surrounded by clutter.  This means you have to work longer hours, which decreases your time with your family or spent relaxing.  Again, not something you can really put a price on, but very important!
  • You don't maintain or update your home as often as you'd like because there is too much clutter in the way.
  • You find it hard to really relax in your home because you're constantly reminded of all the clutter and feel guilty for not dealing with it.

Increased Costs for Moving Due to Clutter

If you're moving, there are increased costs you'll face if you've got clutter.  Have you or anyone you know experienced any of these?
  • Your home is on the market much longer than you'd planned because of the clutter.
  • You finally sell your home, but you had to settle for a significantly lower price because of your clutter.
  • You pay more for moving expenses when you move to your new home because you have lots of extra boxes due to all the clutter.

Decluttering Tips and Support

Do all these hidden costs motivate you to start decluttering your home?  Whether you have a lot of clutter or just a bit, it's worth the effort! Imagine what you can do with the money you'll save!  Not to mention less stress and tension.  And more peace and free time.  
  • If you'd like decluttering tips and ideas, Becky has a tab in the menu above called Clutter and it has lots of tips!  
  • You can also join the 365 Items in 365 Days declutter challenge.  It's just as simple as it sounds... declutter one item every day for a year.  Or more if you want to... that's just the minimum so you keep making progress towards a clutter-free home!

The key for decluttering is just to get started. Pick a small project like a drawer or a shelf. Ideally start with an area that doesn't contain sentimental items so you can set yourself up for success. As you declutter more and more you'll build up your "decluttering muscles" and be able to tackle some larger and more challenging projects :)

There are several ways that having clutter in your home costs you - financially, non-financially, and when you're moving.  This posts shares some of these hidden costs of clutter and offers tips and support to help you start decluttering.

Has clutter cost you and your family?  If so, how?  If not, how do you keep your home clutter-free?

 Happy decluttering!

Hilda is a professional organizer and blogger, based out of Southern Ontario, Canada.  She's also a wife and mom to 2 great kids.  She loves sharing organizing tips to help you go from overwhelmed to  organized!  Because she's been there. And she's still there quite often.
Visit Hilda at From Overwhelmed To Organized or follow her on PinterestFacebookGoogle+Twitter, or Instagram

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1 comment:

  1. i have been working on de-cluttering for about two years, but there has been alot of life chaos in that time. There is alot of truth to the above article. There have been lots of times I don't invite people over. Sometimes I feel like I am not making progress, but I have noticed that when things get out of hand here, it doesn't take as long to clean up as it used to, thanks to only keeping the things we really love and use. I definitely have eaten out alot because there is no room on my counters to cook. That is what we are currently conquering now....I call it intentional cooking....We just can't possibly meet our personal goals and continue down the path we were on. THanks for the motivation and tips to continue on!