Monday, November 15, 2010

Save Money By Clearing Up Clutter In the House

Clutter in the house, everyone has their struggles with it. With Thanksgiving and Christmas round the corner, the mess is going to get worse as people hit the stores and buy yet more stuff.

For us, we made a pact to remove clutter every couple of months. If not, it can be a nightmare... what with piles of papers in the kitchen and study room, worn out clothes in the wardrobe, magazines in the living room, old tools in the garage..

All these clutter isn't just an eyesore; it is expensive and continue to cost you money sitting in the house.

1. Buying Replacements

Say you are left with one half of your running shoes or earrings due to clutter. Thus, you have to spend money buying duplicates for stuff you own but just can’t find.

2. Damage to Good Stuff

When you have more stuff than space, storage becomes a problem. You end up stepping on stuff which become broken or stained. Some items just collect cobwebs or turn moldy due to moisture.

3. Missing deadlines

When your house is disorganized, you tend to forget about bills and end up paying overdue charges, extra bank fees, and tax penalties.

4. Renting Storage Space

Almost 10% of US families rent storage space for belongings that don’t fit in their homes. Some even bought bigger houses to accommodate their stuff. Well, such expenses and debts are unnecessary if you just manage clutter properly.

5. Health costs

Clutter can increase risk of falling and encourage growth of allergens like dust and mold. Treatments for those can get expensive. Clutter can also affect your mental health and the sign of neglect reflects badly on you.

6. Poor Efficiency

You can’t function at your optimum level if you’re disorganized. For example, time and energy are wasted looking for your car keys when you could be working, playing, relaxing or doing household tasks like preparing meals and paying bills.

7. Tying Up Your Cash

Stuff can tie up our earnings in rarely used sports equipment, video games, gadgets and clothes. Selling the unused stuff frees up cash and your energy.

With so much disadvantages of clutter, no wonder people struggle to save money. But eliminating clutter takes time. You will feel strange in an empty house if all your stuff are dumped overnight. And you may end up throwing things which you really need.

Here are some solutions to put your space on a diet:

* Consider a household agreement to buy nothing new for one year. This should reduce incoming stuff to a trickle.

* To deal with existing stuff, go through one area at a time, instead of tackling the entire house. Choose a room, a closet, a desk, or even just a kitchen drawer. A good rule of thumb: Get rid of anything you don’t use or love.

* Throw clutter in bags, put them in the attic. As you need something, take it from the bag. After 6 months, donate the bags.

* Try to spend 15 minutes a day decluttering. This requires discipline and we are forcing ourselves to do it too.

It’s hard to grow or thrive when hemmed in by clutter. Try out the above tips and see if your house becomes neater and your cashflow improves..


Salvatore Manzi said...

Great article! Love the "space on a diet" analogy and the concept of clutter bags temporary holding for 6 months. Good tips! Thanks!