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4 Ways Clutter May be Losing You Money

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.

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 S.

Founder of Making Sense of Cents, a blog about personal finance and traveling.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

More About Living a Fulfilling Life

Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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