How You Can Declutter and Organize to Save $10,000 in a Year!

Yes, you can declutter and organize to save your family thousands of dollars.

Busy families easily lose items to the abyss of scattered toys, disorganized papers and other messes. It’s a daily struggle to keep your house organized. So it feels good when you can maintain order in the home.

Yet, aside from the freedom of a tidy home, families often underestimate the financial impact that a clutter-free home has on the family wallet.

Messy bedroom that needs tidying. Declutter and organize to save thousands of dollars a year.


Decluttering Impacts Your Finances Too!


Deciding what to do with all the excess items in your home can be a huge financial literacy lesson for everyone! Why? Because you'll be evaluating needs and wants, and thinking about why you are spending money on the items you have.

If you're a working mom who takes on the bulk of house chores, (according to a survey by Working Mother Research Institute), you'll appreciate this extra motivation to encourage the whole family to declutter and organize to save themselves tonnes of cash!

Read on to find out how much time and money you could be wasting and for my own personal, practical tips on quick declutter methods to organize your home and life and save your sanity! 


1. Do You Know What Misplaced Items are Costing You?

Declutter and Organize to Save Money and Reclaim Lost Time

My husband used to misplace his wallet and keys frequently. It was always more noticeable when we were in a rush. This was precious time wasted created elevated stress levels! Consider the surprising statistics on how much valuable time is lost just searching for items (compiled by simplyorderly.com):

  • The average time spent searching for lost keys, wallets, purses, remote controls, glasses, etc., is 6 minutes a day, according to a study by Ikea.
  • The average American loses just under an hour a day looking for misplaced items, according to Newsweek.

This is time you could be spending with your kids, pursuing a hobby or making extra money.

Based on a 40 hr work week for someone who earns $50,000 per year, this translates to about $6,250 in lost income, if you were to pay yourself.

Total Possible Savings: $6,250

Quick Declutter Fix:

  • Use baskets to collect groupings of stuff. I buy mine from the dollar store.
  • Designate a spot for wallets and cell phones, another for remotes, and another for keys.
  • Pick spots out of reach of young kids to avoid items getting misplaced by curious hands.
  • Ensure you create a habit of using the baskets for their dedicated items only.


2. Do You Know What Misfiled Papers are Costing You?

Declutter and Organize to Save Important Documents and Dates

Household paperwork is boring, tedious and never-ending. No wonder we tend to put it off. But consider the costs:

  • Lost money opportunities. Money, checks or coupons you’ve misplaced, missed rebate deadlines, or receipts for items to return for cash or credit. Also missed documents for medical reimbursements or tax credits means lost money.
  • Fees and late payments. Half of all Canadians have paid bills late, according to a TD Canada Trust bank study. This results in unnecessary fines or additional interest charges.
  • Damaged credit leads to higher interest rates. Late or unpaid bills or taxes can start to add up in late penalty fees and affect your credit, which in turn can mean higher interest rates charged to you on loans or mortgages. Note: A higher interest rate on your mortgage, even a half a percentage point can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. But to keep things simple, I have not included this in the calculation.

On average employees lose $200/year (according to Capital One) due to unclaimed medical expenses. Late fees for credit cards can range from $15-35 per month.

Total Possible Savings to Reclaim: $500 or more

Quick Declutter Fix:

  • Go electronic for as many bills as possible. Have your credit card company automatically charge your credit card. Pay your credit card online or with a mobile app as soon as you see the charge.
  • Designate or set up a work space station. I bought an extendable laptop workstation from Ikea to be my “desk space” in our kitchen. It cost me around $120 but was well worth it.
  • Get a shredder and a shred box. Shred receipts you no longer need on a weekly basis.
  • Use a receipts folder for all receipts you wish to keep for the year.
  • Use an in-basket for all hard copy papers that require attention. Manage it every single day.


3. Do You Know What Lost Items are Costing You?

Declutter and Organize to Save Yourself Buying Things Twice

So often, we end up purchasing the same items twice because we can’t find them. Consider:

  • Lost items. Have you ever bought an item such as shoes, tools or cooking ingredients thinking you didn’t have them, only to find out that you did have them long after you made the purchase? Other items like clothing, especially kids items like swim wear, sandals and jackets, winter accessories, books, sports gear, helmets, etc. can be costly to replace if you can’t locate them.
  •  Missing mates. Losing matching mates for socks, shoes, mitts and matching clothing outfits can be a real pain.

The cost of replacing these items can add up to hundreds of dollars.

Understandably, you cannot always be around to remind your kids to remember their things. So the better strategy for kids might be to purchase cheaper items for those items that are easily lost. For instance, I usually buy 5 pairs of mitts from the dollar store in the fall.

Total Possible Savings: $500 or more

Quick Declutter Fix:

  • Use a storage bench for all your winter or summer accessories according to season.
  • Designate bins for different sports (e.g., hockey or soccer gear), tools, or seasonal clothing.
  • Label all clothing and personal items for kids.


4. Did You Know 80% of What We Own We Never Use?

Declutter and Organize to Save and Make Money!

If we sold all the items that we don’t need, don’t use, and never really wanted in the first place, this would amount to an exorbitant number.

And with the extra space, this would also mean less time spent doing housework or decluttering, and more time to family and hobbies.

According to a Nielson survey for Ebay, the average home contains $3,100 worth of unused items like electronics and clothing!

Total Possible Savings: $3,100

Quick Declutter Fix:

  • Sell your unused household items on Kijiji or Craigslist.
  • Donate whatever you can’t sell. If you don’t want the hassle of selling, then skip the first step and find people you can bless who may need what you have.
  • Don’t accumulate anymore items you wouldn’t use on a regular basis.


5. The Real Cost of Having Too Much Stuff is That it Clutters Up Our Minds

Declutter and Organize to Save Your Sanity

Women, who aren’t as good at compartmentalizing parts of our lives as men, can be affected more by clutter. If we feel overwhelmed by clutter at home, we will carry this burden to work or while we’re with our kids or just running errands. It can incapacitate us.

Quick Declutter Fix:

  • Release yourself from attachment to things if you’re having trouble letting go of “stuff”.
  • Focus on being content with your situation and with what you have.
  • Strive to maintain simplicity and focus on only those things that truly improve your quality of life or relationships.

TOTAL COST: PRICELESS

 

Tips to Teach Kids to Keep Clutter Under Control

  • Teach them to sell their used toys on Kijiji or Craigslist. They will learn the value of money and be more careful with their things.
  • Show them where designated bins are for toys or their belongings and explain how to organize or “clean up” their things.
  • Donate items with your children and explain why this is important. They will gain a sense of community and take better care of their belongings if they know that items can be recycled.

Try some of my decluttering suggestions today! They’ll help you declutter and organize to save not only loads of money but your life too. You’ll feel like a new person because you’ll be able to focus your time and money on the things that are truly important to you.


› Declutter and Organize to Save