In the range of frugal folks we have minimalists who are frugal by needing (and having) little, all the way to hoarders who show their frugality in the way the save (and hold onto) anything that might be useful.
Chance are you are somewhere in the middle, like me.
I’m not a minimalist. Nope, not me. I love stocking up and being prepared, which means…. stuff. But not too much stuff.
I like to hold onto things that I think will be useful so that I don’t have to spend money on them later, but I also see the value in cleaning up and letting go and being free of unnecessary stuff.
Sometimes stuff is great. But too much stuff can be a problem. A take-over-your-life problem in some cases!
The implications can even be financial. Have you ever stopped to think about what clutter is costing you?
Yep, that stuff that you’re storing to save money might actually cost you money.
How does clutter cost you?
Let’s go through some of the scenarios where cutter means losing money. You might just be able to relate.
1. You can’t find what you need so you’re forced to buy multiples.
When you can’t find that really important thing that you need right now what do you end up doing? Chances are you’ll go out and buy another one. Re-buying items you already have wastes money and time (and “time is money”). You might think the cost is nominal, but when you have multiples of everything in your house, the cost really adds up. Plus, bringing more stuff into your house will perpetuate the clutter problem and clutter costs.
2. You’re paying late fees because your bills (or other time-sensitive things) get lost in the clutter.
Have you had to pay late fees for library books that you just couldn’t locate amidst all of your own junk? What about the car registration renewal that hid quietly under the pile of clutter on your desk? I’m not pointing fingers here, friends! Those last two examples are personal ones!
3. You’ve run out of space for stuff in your house, so you’re renting a storage unit.
The actual cost on this one is pretty easy to calculate. Whatever you are paying each month for your storage unit isn’t helping you pay off your debt or save for retirement. Sure, there are times and circumstances when you might need to have a storage unit temporarily, but if a storage unit is part of your long-term plan, you might want to closely evaluate the value of the stuff that you are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to keep each year.
4. You have valuable stuff that you don’t want or need.
Not all clutter is created equal. Some clutter is valuable, but not as clutter. If you have things that you’re not loving or using that could actually bring in money, then it’s time to cash them in. For example, I bought my husband a pair of new shoes for Christmas. They didn’t fit. We exchanged them for the next size, but they still didn’t fit right. For 7 months that box of new shoes cluttered our bedroom! I was debating between returning them where I’m have to pay for shipping or trying to sell them on Ebay where I could possibly make a little more. During my indecisive inaction they cluttered our already limited space.
5. You are depressed or discouraged because you’re living in clutter.
That might sound like an emotional effect of clutter, but it is most definitely a financial cost as well. When you’re feeling down, you’re less likely to make good spending choices, less likely to set and achieve goals, and less likely to be motivated to improve your situation. (No authoritative study, just life experience and observation.) You clutter may lead to problems in other areas of your life that are directly or indirectly related to finances. For example, the clutter around you might be keeping you from starting a profitable side business.
6. You avoid being home where you could be saving money.
In more extreme cases of clutter, you might avoid being at home. Even if you’re comfortable in your own space, you might eat at home less because your kitchen is overwhelming. Instead of inviting friends over, you go out. You can save lots of money by being a conscientious homemaker, but if you’re avoiding your home you miss out on those money-saving opportunities.
7. You buy stuff that immediately becomes clutter because it doesn’t have a place or a purpose.
The clutter itself is a cost that you might be overlooking. You paid money for all of the junk that is in your way and taking up space. If something is not being used or is still sitting in the shopping bag gathering dust, the cost of that item is a real cost of clutter. Even if the item was a great deal, if it becomes clutter, the money you spent turns out to be money wasted. It’s easy to think ahead and say “When I need XYZ I will be so glad I picked up this great deal. It’s going to save so much money!” when in reality you never end up using it and have to chalk it up as a loss.
If you saw yourself in some of those scenarios, don’t beat yourself up. There is hope! Instead of dwelling on the money that you’re wasting because of your clutter, start thinking of all the money that you’re going to save by getting organized!
How would you like to sit down with someone who knows exactly what manageable steps you should take next to get your life and home running smoothly?
Well you are in luck! I’m teaming up with over 100 other women who are sharing their expertise when it comes to organizing your life and streamlining your home.
It’s called Get Organized HQ Virtual, and it’s a completely free, totally online conference.
We have women teaching about decluttering, meal planning, home organization, time management, family organization, cleaning, budgeting, and so much more! I’m talking about organizing your finances by getting a month ahead (one of my favorite topics!).
I have had early access to all of the sessions and have been devouring them! They are inspiring and motivating while also being down-to-earth, practical, actionable and so do-able. I am already implementing what I’m learning. I’m excited for you all to have access to all of these classes too!
It is free to attend and you can access it all from the comfort of your own home! It’s all happening online September 12th-16th.
Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Get your free ticket to Get Organized HQ Virtual. Make sure you claim your free ticket so you don’t miss out on this great event! Click here to grab your free ticket.
Step 2: Check your email for confirmation. As soon as you get your free ticket you’ll get an email confirming that you’re all signed up for Get Organized HQ Virtual.
Step 3: Enjoy the sessions starting on September 12th. From September 12th to September 16th new sessions will be released hourly. Every workshop will be available for 24 hours, so pick your favorites, and enjoy all the free organizing goodness coming your way!
It’s that easy! Mark your calendar and get your free ticket because I know you are going to love it!