You may be unaware of the high cost associated with having too many possessions. Not only is clutter visually distracting, it can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety which can increase your healthcare costs. In addition to the initial purchase cost, clutter can lead to increased costs to store and care for items you don't really use or need.
While it's completely understandable to hold on to a family heirloom, It's also easy to fall into the trap of keeping the possessions of loved ones that have passed on. Perhaps you hang onto things long past their usefulness because you’re afraid of letting go, or that one day will arrive when it will come in handy. Regardless of the reasons why you accumulate extra possessions, eliminating clutter can reduce costs and increase your health and savings.
Bottom line is, clutter can snowball into a very serious issue. Here are some key points to keep in mind before you transform a $20 into clutter:
Productivity is negatively affected at work and at home by clutter.
Clutter affects mental and physical health in many negative ways.*
Family and social relationships may be negatively affected by clutter.
As we focused on today, clutter can take a toll on your finances.
You can lose up to an hour a day looking for things due to clutter.
Problems with clutter are on a continuum - mild, moderate, severe.
Even mild challenges with clutter can have a negative effect on your life and career.
Organizing and staying organized requires that everyone be willing to do their part.
Sometimes compromise is necessary to manage what/who you have little control over.
Ask for help! Friends, family, and professional organizers may be very helpful.
*If the problem is extreme, mental health assistance may even be required. Don't be afraid to seek help. Use these strategies to pare down your possessions and grow your savings:
For every new item that you buy, get rid of two. Do you really need 10 red sweaters? Avoid buying duplicates. For each new item that you buy, donate, sell, or give away at least two. This keeps your closets, shelves and cabinets clear and organized.
Make a list and stick to it to avoid impulse buys. Avoid temptation and buy only what you need by making a list before you go shopping.
Store items in a location close to where they are used. Save time and energy by investing in storage solutions that allow you to quickly find and put away items such as floating shelves, cube shelves for bins, and more you can research easily.
Set aside a regular time to declutter your spaces. Break up your cleaning into manageable chunks of time so the process isn't so overwhelming. Start with a closet or set of drawers and work your way up to a whole room and then your entire home.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Do you have possessions you never use but can't stand to part with for sentimental reasons? Why not preserve them forever with a photograph, and then sell or donate the item?
Once you've finished organizing your house, take a few minutes each day to ensure everything you've used during the day is back in place so you can continue to enjoy your "new" clutter-free home.