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4 Ways Clutter May be Losing You Money

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4 Ways Clutter May be Losing You Money

Have you ever stopped for a second and wondered how much the clutter around your home and work may be costing you? Many people keep a lot of clutter in their home or workplace, but why?

Some may have an emotional attachment and don’t want to get rid of things. Others prefer not to trash the clutter because they think that they might use the item someday and don’t want to waste it by throwing anything away too soon.  But all this stuff that’s burdening your environment could also be burdening your finances.

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Clutter is costing you money, plain and simple and here’s how.

1. Clutter can cost you time.

How many times have you spent more than a couple of minutes just looking for something that you need? Time is money and you are wasting time by having clutter everywhere. If you have a messy desk at work, you could lose important papers, projects or contacts that not only makes you look bad to your boss but wastes both your time AND your employer’s time.

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2. Clutter can mean that you are buying things that you do not need.

A big reason for clutter is that you are buying things that you think you need but actually do not. You are wasting money on food by buying food that you do not eat. You are wasting money on clothing if it just hangs in your closet collecting dust. You are wasting money on random gadgets if you never use those gadgets on a regular basis.

3. Clutter can make you lose important things.

If you have a lot of clutter in your house, then you may be losing money because you can misplace things that might be important. You might not notice a refund check that you received in the mail, or you may lose some cash that got mixed up in a pile of clutter.  Valuables or one-of-a-kind items can not only get lost but can also be destroyed or accidentally thrown away when it gets mixed up with useless clutter.

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4. Clutter can make you miss a bill.

We’ve all done it at one time or another.  We’ve opened up a bill, put it aside and forgotten about it until we get another notice that we’re late.  So you can imagine how often this would happen if your bill got lost in a sea of other stuff around your house.  When you miss a bill, this usually means you’ll either be charged a late fee or pay interest on the amount.

There are some ways to help you keep things in order and eliminate clutter:

1. Go through each room in your house.

Start with one room and tackle them one at a time.  If it’s too much to do at once, you might just start with one drawer in the kitchen, but it is a start. You will find that it gets easier as you de-clutter little by little, room by room.

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2. Sort your items.

Sort your items according to what you need, what you want, and what you absolutely do not need. This is the hardest part. The items that you do not need are things that you need to be realistic with. If you haven’t used an item in a couple of months, then you probably do not need it.

If you are having trouble with getting rid of clothing items, then you should to organize them a certain way. Flip all of the clothing hanging in your closet one way, and as you wear each item, turn the hanger around. After one month you will get an idea of what you wear and what you do not. After one season, get rid of all the items hanging that have not been flipped.

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3. Donate, sell, or put away the items.

For items that you are keeping, put those away. For the rest, get rid of them as soon as possible. Donate them to a local shelter or Salvation Army or, if the item is not something that anyone would want, throw it away. You need to part with the items as soon as possible if you have a strong emotional connection to them, otherwise, you’ll end up keeping them and cluttering your house again.

4. Wait before you buy.

Now that you have finally cleared the clutter in your house, the next step is to control any future clutter. Before you buy anything that you are not absolutely positive that you need, leave it on the shelf and come back to it. You can wait until right before you leave the store, or you can come back next time you are in the area. This helps eliminate a lot of clutter and emotional spending, because you have time to think about whether or not you want the item.

More by this author

Michelle Schroeder

Michelle is a personal finance expert. She earns $1 million per year while sailing.

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