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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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!
- Sell your unused household items on Kijiji or
- 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