Written By: Leah Morris
Everything as a cost. How much is your clutter costing you?
Do you find yourself keeping things you don’t need because you tell yourself you might use them one day? It’s a common misconception that holding on to those unused items will somehow save you money down the road, but the truth is your clutter is actually costing you money, right now and a lot of it.
Have you ever really thought about what your clutter is costing you? Sometime the cost is super duper obvious - late fees for over due library books you can’t seem to find in your home. Other times the cost could be emotional or mental such as not wanting to have friends over because you are too embarrassed to have others see your space.
Yes, it is true we all have clutter, in one form or another, and to varying degrees. Being Frugal February now is a great time to clear the clutter. You’ll end up saving money, getting more out of your living space, and feeling less stressed.
Below are three ways the cost of clutter may be affecting you.
HARMS YOUR HEALTH
Your space isn’t the only thing affected by over-accumulation of stuff. Clutter also has proven, tangible effects on your mental and physical well-being.
Clutter can induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol’s failure to decline normally over the course of the day has “been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, and even mortality risk.” Link here to learn more about clutter and stress.
Impacts you diet
“Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,” explains Dr. Eva Shalhoub
According to the Alliance for Healthy Homes, cluttered homes often contain more dust, dirt, and debris to accumulate which can cause or amplify breathing problems.
As more things pile up, more dust is generated. This creates the ideal living environment for pests like dust mites. The harder it gets to access different areas of the home to clean, the more serious these respiratory issues become. Living with lots of clutter also puts you at risk of getting injured with a slip or a fall.
HURTS YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Jeopardizes your loved ones
If you share your home with others, excessive clutter is no longer just a “you” problem. Clutter in your home can also negatively impact the lives of your significant other and kid(s)
Any space that’s disorganized and cluttered has some type of detrimental impact on the occupants. The National Institute of Mental Health found that kids living in a severely cluttered environment often have elevated levels of distress, experiencing less happiness and more trouble making friends.
You're less likely to invite people over when your house is a mess. Clutter has put such a guilt trip on us. Shutting people out can take a tool on relationships and make you feel sad and lonely. This could be one reason a hoarding disorder tends to overlap with depression and anxiety disorders.
You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. Loneliness is the perception of being alone and isolated, and having a feeling of disconnectedness. You may know — or be — one of the 42.6 million adults who experience this every day. This emotional state has physical consequences that can be devastating,
DRAINS YOUR WALLET
A messy home can negatively affect how you manage your finances, leading to poor money management and severe debt. Being chronically disorganized is like having a slow leak that can cost up to hundreds or thousands of dollars every year . While there are solutions to these issues, being able to find your energy bill is a good place to start.
A report by NerdWallet found that 26% of Americans have made a late credit card payment (30 days late or more) in 2019. By NerdWallet's calculations, that amounts to more than $3 billion in late fees alone. The report also found that delinquent credit card payments increased 22% from 2015 to 2019.
Statistics show that Americans spend $38 billion every year on self-storage units. This was astonishing to me thinking of all that cash being simply to store items.
Even if you don’t rent a storage unit, your clutter is still expensive. Storing unused items in your home costs roughly $10 per square foot. You can calculate your "clutter cost" by dividing your monthly rent or mortgage by the square footage of your home. That's how much you're paying for your space per square foot. Then, add up how much you're paying to store just your stuff! Ekk, it may totally surprise you.
Clutter cost are much more than the physical, tangible stuff that fills our drawers, lines our cabinets, stuffs our garages and suffocates our closets. This cost not always in terms of money. If we do one activity at a time then we are sacrificing another activity that could have done in that time. Clutter holds you back and prevent you from your true potential and doing the things you love.
What is holding you back and prevent you from your true potential. We all know the amazing feeling of clearing out and cleaning up - creating piles for nonprofits to retrieve and repurpose; that light feeling of giving away what is no longer useful to you to someone else who needs it. It’s true, we can’t see the energy of clutter, but we have all felt it.
What is your clutter costing you? Can you afford NOT to declutter?
Founder & Chief Organizer @Mindfully Minimized
Mindfully Minimized is a holistic organizational solution company committed to helping people clear the clutter from their lives. Based in Minneapolis, Mindfully Minimized was founded by owner and chief organizer Leah Morris who works alongside her clients to help them with their challenging spaces to create a beautifully organized home focused around their intention. Leah is a professional organizer, decluttering expert, speaker & coach. She is committed to helping people declutter their lives to focus on what they love. With her passion for providing solutions to problems and serving others she is able to transform spaces to be more clam, purposeful, sustainable, and joyously livable. Check out her website or you can also follow her on Instagram or on facebook.
Need support creating space in your life for what matter? Mindfully Minimized can help you with your home organizational needs. Connect with us today we would love to help.