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Clutter: What is it Costing You?

By Katie Sloan
In AskErin
Sep 25th, 2017

Article by Erin Sharplin Love

Did I get your attention? The thought of losing money definitely gets my attention, and it should get yours, too. Clutter can sneak up on us and begin accumulating without much warning. One second a countertop can have only a couple of stacks of mail on it, and the next we can barely even see the countertop. One second the pantry is manageable, and the next it is a jumbled mess. I could go on and on, but you get the point. Clutter is sneaky, but did you realize it was COSTING you? I’m not just talking about monetary expense. For clarification, see below.

The No. 1 way that clutter is costing you is a financial one. Which of these situations below sound familiar to you? 

• You eat out a lot because a home-cooked meal sounds too daunting. Cooking healthy meals for you and your family would be easy and stress-free if kitchen space were organized and user-friendly. Obviously, eating out costs more money than eating in.

• You have to rent a storage building to store the items that will not fit into your home. Are you holding onto items that you can’t utilize? Why?? Your possessions should serve you, either by function or with emotional value. If something isn’t serving you, give it to someone to whom it will be of use. Renting a storage building costs extra money each month!

• You bought a gift for someone, but you forgot or couldn’t find it when the time came, so you had to go out and purchase another one. This happens so frequently with my clients! It never fails … We begin the sorting and purging process, and I hear the client exclaim, “I wondered where that went!”

• You frequently pay late fees because you forgot about or lost the bill. If you had a proper system for incoming and outgoing mail, this would never happen. How much money have you wasted on late fees?

• You know that you have a can of tomato paste, for instance, but your pantry is in such a state that you don’t feel like digging for it. You go ahead and buy another can. Don’t further clutter your kitchen or pantry by purchasing duplicate items. Better yet, come up with some clever recipes and use most of what is in your pantry before purchasing more. I have different sections in my pantry and wait until the section is empty before shopping for more. Planning meals ahead of time will also cut down on wasting money as well as food.

• You have a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear, so you purchase a new outfit for the upcoming party. Unfortunately, this is a big issue for us women! We have a “ton” of clothes, but our closets are in such a mess that we have no idea what is actually in there. What a waste!

I could mention so many more situations where clutter can cost you financially but I am going to move on to the ways that clutter costs you in time.

• You are frequently late because you couldn’t find your keys (or purse, or wallet). If you don’t have a designated place to lay your keys upon entering, I recommend you create one now! This will save you time in the future and will have you arriving early for a change!

• Tax season is upon you and now you are searching for all of the appropriate receipts. Take a little time now to save a lot of time later. File as you go instead of all at once or not at all.

• Your boss has asked you for the notes from the most recent meeting, but they are buried under all of the incoming mail and other papers. Here goes the frantic, time-wasting, mad dash to find the notes! Not only does this look bad to your boss, it is also a huge waste of your valuable time. An organized desk leads to business success.

• You are trying to get dressed for work, but you can’t find the match to the shoes you want to wear. It is amongst many others that have been tossed onto the floor. Not only is this a waste of time, it is also a potential waste of money, too. Not taking proper care of your shoes will increase the likelihood that you will need a new pair sooner rather than later.

The above situations can cost money and time, but they can also increase the stress that is currently in your life. So, with that said, not only does clutter cost money and time, it can also cost you your health. What more encouragement do you need to finally get organized?

If you have questions, I am here to answer them! Please contact me at erinlove@panachebyerin.com.