The Cost of Clutter
- Wednesday, January 07, 2009
We live in a society of extremes. People seem to be extremely in debt, extremely overweight and extremely disorganized. people everywhere are trying to come up with new and better solutions to solve these problems but not many of their ideas are working.
It's because they are focusing on the wrong problem. For example, if your child comes to you and says "I have a drug problem." You don't sit them down and say, "Well let's work on a way to get your grades up and then we'll work on your drug problem." How foolish that would be.
The real problem is not the grades but the drugs. You take care of the drugs and the chances are pretty good that the grades will come up.
For some of us, instead of focusing on getting out of debt or losing weight, we need to first give more serious thought to becoming organized. Does that sound crazy, almost laughable? Before you start laughing too hard, look at these examples and see if you can relate.
How often do you go out to eat because your kitchen is a mess? If your kitchen is clean, chances are you would not only be more willing to fix dinner at home but in the morning you would fix breakfast and pack yourself a lunch too.
Here are some benefits of getting your kitchen organized:
- You would save at least $5,000 a year for one person, $10,000 for two, and so on if you ate at home.
- When you are organized you know what you have in your pantry, so you don't buy ingredients that you already have and you don't throw out food you forgot you had.
- You would be using your leftovers instead of tossing them.
- You will start losing weight because you are preparing regular, well-balanced meals instead of eating fast food all the time.
Besides the fact that homemade food generally has fewer calories than fast food, balanced meals create fewer cravings and this helps eliminate grazing.
Organizing can also reduce your wardrobe and laundry costs:
- Do you keep buying more clothes because you are gaining weight from fast food or from the stress of your clutter?
- How big is your wardrobe? Do you or your children own thirty pairs of jeans at $60 a pop because you don't keep up with the laundry or because your closet is so stuffed you can't find anything? That adds up to $1,800 worth of jeans. If you cut it down to even 10 pairs you would save $1,200. How many tops do you own? How about those shoes? Before you say, "There is no way I have that many jeans, shoes, or tops!" go count you clothes. You may be surprised.
- How often do you toss a suit jacket on the floor or on the furniture and then later have to have it dry cleaned because it's wrinkled? Just think what you could save on your dry cleaning bill if you keep a little more organized.
Organizing can save you money in every aspect of your life:
- Do you buy new items because you can't find something? The cost of things like tools, glue, tape, ropes, garden tools, kitchen items, light bulbs, batteries, office supplies and other things really adds up.
- How much do you pay each month in late fees on your bills because you can't find them, your checkbook or even a stamp to mail them?
Who is in charge of maintaining order in your home?
Here's another aspect of organization that we often don't think about. So often we think that the solution to our debt problem is for both spouses to work outside the home. But sometimes we compound the problem when one or both spouses takes a second job. When both spouses work out of the home, who takes care of the house? Frequently, there is a constant battle between them about whose job it is to take care of some element of the housework. After all, the husband has been out working all day so he doesn't feel like it. Oh, but the wife has been working too so why can't she take a break?
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