How Much is your Clutter Costing you?
Look around, all that clutter used to be money. We often measure the cost of our possessions in dollars but there is an even greater cost, that of lost time and a feeling of loss of control. That feeling of overwhelm may cause us to lose hope and accept that chaos will always be the norm. As a Professional Organizer I am often asked by clients, where do I even start?
Individuals often reach out to me when they are in a process of transition and need to regain control of their lives. This feeling of loss of control may manifest itself as disorganization in the home and can also represent as money issues. According to a poll in 2019 by accounting firm BDO Canada Ltd, in a survey of 2,047 Canadians, 57% are carrying credit card debt. More and more individuals are using credit to not only pay for consumer goods but also as a means to pay for essentials such as food and home costs. Most people have a poor grasp of what they are even spending their money on. The process of taking inventory of all of your belongings forces you to look at what you are buying and more importantly, why? Has spending become the default solution for all of your problems? Is this ‘spending solution’ creating conflict in your home and in your relationships? Decluttering your home can not only change your environment but it can also radically change your spending habits and even reset your entire life.
Think about all of the stuff in your own home. You need to keep the stuff, return the stuff, manage the stuff, repair the stuff, store the stuff, wash the stuff, update the stuff, hide the stuff, insure the stuff, pay off the stuff, get rid of the stuff, loan out the stuff, complain about the stuff, where did I put that stuff? All of that effort multiplied by however much ‘stuff’ one has can certainly take up a lot of mental space, time and money. Imagine if you could curate your home with only the things that are truly serving you how much more joyful and stress-free your life might be.
So, where do you start? There are lots of different organization methods based on individual preference and capability but before you can even think about how to store your stuff you need to figure out what you really need and then remove the unnecessary items. Decluttering first will ensure you do not just end up organizing clutter.
I too have gone through the process of purging items that no longer brought me joy and I remember thinking to myself, did some of these items ever really bring me joy? I remember spending money on various items and thinking they were necessary at the time but as I began to place them one by one in the donation bag how I wished I could turn back time and have all that money magically appear in my bank account again. Hindsight is unfortunately not a time machine that can transport us back to undo the things we wish we could but it does give us the experience and knowledge to do things differently moving forward.
Effy Terry is the Founder and Lead Organizer of Organize That. She is a Certified KonMari Consultant, Trained Professional Organizer and Certified Life Transition Coach. She has over 25 years of experience as a senior event manager, and project manager, is a former real estate salesperson and also has formal mediation training. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.