In this uncertain economy people need to do more with less, make do, do without, do the math, and do it themselves. Why not DO SOMETHING by investing time in getting organized? Here are eight motivating reasons to do it now:
- Save money by knowing what you have. If you already know that you have three black turtleneck sweaters, you probably will not buy another one. Visibility should be one of the primary goals of any organizing project; in other words, can you easily see and find what you have?
- Save money by using what you have. If you can gain that visibility and easily see what is in your pantry and refrigerator, you are less likely to have to throw out stale food later that you forgot about purchasing.
- Find things you lost or didn’t even realize you had. We once found over $5000 in undeposited checks and cash in the home of one of our clients, essentially paying for our own services in the process. Your results from organizing projects may not be quite as dramatic, but you will probably find unused gift cards, rebate opportunities, and warranty information that can help you get some money back, and you might even find a $20 bill in an old purse or pocket too.
- Reduce costs. If you are unorganized, you may be routinely paying unnecessary costs like late fees and incurring higher interest rates because of your irregular payment history. You may also find upon organizing your finances that you’ve been paying for something you’re not using, like a gym membership or even a storage unit rental fee.
- Save time. Gaining efficiencies through the organizing process means you are getting back some of your time, and as we all know, time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money, because you can never get that wasted time back. Not spending an hour locating your bills or keys every month means you have another hour to spend on what is important to you.
- Sell your house faster. If you are downsizing to save money, you can speed up the process of selling your home by de-cluttering your environment and making it more show-ready. Closets and other storage areas look bigger with fewer items in them, and if buyers want to envision themselves in the home, your “stuff” makes it harder for them to put themselves in the picture.
- Get great tax deductions for charitable donations. A byproduct of many organizing projects is usually a large donation pile, and most people grossly undervalue what they are giving away to charity. Get the most tax benefit for your donations by quickly tallying up the actual fair market values using It’s Deductible Online from Intuit. It’s like the “Blue Book” for valuing household items. It’s free and only takes a few moments, and there is a tax savings calculator that adds up your savings as you enter your items. You can also get this information in booklet form from Money For Your Used Clothing.
- Feel less stress. According to a Fast Company magazine article in 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state unequivocally that 80% of our medical expenditures are now stress-related. Getting control of your belongings and your finances means you will experience less stress, which means less cost in health expenses and less unproductive time off work for illness.