The Cost of Clutter

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Low-Maintenance Living

The cost of clutter can be a real killer. Clutter that never gets used gets stored. And storage space costs money whether it’s in your closets, garage, basement, or a storage unit.

After all, what do you think your monthly rent or mortgage payment pays for? Space, that’s what it pays for! Think about it. How much space is required to hold those magazines and newspapers going back two years? Three square feet? Four square feet? And that’s just the newspapers and magazines. How about the clothes you never wear? Are they using up two feet or five feet of hanging closet space? What about all those papers going back twenty years?

They may be in boxes in the garage, but those boxes are still costing you money for the square footage they occupy. Is your never-used clutter taking up 10 percent of your space? 20 percent? 30 percent? Some simple arithmetic will show you how much of your monthly payment goes to store useless clutter. Just figure the percentage. If your monthly payment is $650 and your clutter controls 10 percent of your space, you are paying $65 per month for clutter, or $780 per year.

If you’ve reached the point where you think you have to move because you “need more space,” think again. How much more money per month is that extra space going to cost you? $100? $200? $500? Unless you have three extra children with no place to sleep, it’s a good bet that all you need the extra space for is to store your expanding cache of clutter.

It doesn’t take an accountant to figure out that you can save money by eliminating clutter. First, you won’t have to move, which will save you moving costs, deposit expenses, and /or escrow costs. Then you’ll save the money you would have added to your monthly rental or housing payment. (Don’t forget to multiply that times twelve to come up with your yearly savings.) Now, add the yearly savings to the moving, deposit and /or escrow savings for a total (savings) amount. With that eye-opening figure fixed firmly in your mind, take an honest inventory of your clutter.

Finally, do the only sensible and financially prudent thing:

Chuck, give, or otherwise get rid of all the useless clutter that's currently occupying that expensive square footage.

Take the money you will save yourself over the next clutter-free, don’t- have-to-move year and invest it. Then watch your money—in stead of your clutter — grow.

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