FEB 05 2019
All Posts
FEB 05 2019
All Posts

The real cost of clutter

Posted by: Monique A. Pearson, General Manager at Rutherford Rede in opinion

The real cost of clutter – how to reclaim your time and space

The New Year is a time for reflection, for change, for making plans. This is the best time of year to reflect on what’s been going on and what you would like to do differently. It can be a very dynamic time with shifts and changes taking place.

It’s also a great time of year to get out a note pad and start writing down, or drawing, what your goals and dreams are (without holding back) and getting clear about what you really want in the year ahead. It’s with this theme in mind that this article focuses on starting the New Year on a positive, stress-free, and ‘lighter’ note.

Resolving to getting organised

It’s been said that life mirrors our environment. So, at this time of year having a big clear-out in our home, office, garage, or storage unit, is a great way to ‘lighten the load’. It seems that a de-clutter in our personal space corresponds with a de-clutter in our mental space. Getting rid of all that clutter is a liberating experience that points us toward a less stressful and more rewarding lifestyle.

Reflecting on the high price of clutter

People keep things for all sorts of reasons. According to the National Association of Professional Organisers, the average person spends one year of their lifetime looking for lost things. Clutter makes every job more difficult. Chores take longer because we spend more time getting ready (finding a clear spot in the garage, hunting for the tools) than actually doing the job. Clutter steals time.

Then there’s the financial impact of clutter. Bills are paid late because we lose them, improper storage results in damage and loss of valuable items, and when we can’t find what we need – we buy another one. On the subject of storage, self-storage unit prices vary greatly depending on which city you’re in, what features are offered and, of course, the size. As an example, a two-cubic metre storage unit which contains fewer items than a one- bedroom apartment will set you back approximately $1,200 per annum. And that’s not factoring in your transportation to and from the storage unit plus you won’t have the flexibility to grab things out of your unit on a whim or at odd hours.

Retaining only those things that matter to you most

Remember that now-regretted impulse buy? An easy place to start with determining the cost of clutter is its initial outlay. Then you need to consider also the cost of up-keeping the items after the initial outlay and use, and the maintenance and storage costs once the items become obsolete.

Millions of people around the world have been turning to a Japanese organising consultant to help de-clutter their homes, and for Marie Kondo, the tidying expert and eponymous star behind Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ there’s nothing that ‘sparks joy’ more than seeing people take ownership of their belongings – and their lives. While most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away your piles of stuff forever, Kondo, according to her website, developed The KonMari Method™ which promotes tidying by category – not by location. Kondo encourages us to keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. We thank them for their service – then let them go.

People around the world have been drawn to The KonMari Method philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking. In the words of Kondo, “tidy your space, transform your life”.

Reclaiming your time and space

While the cost of clutter can be high, embracing a clutter-free life will keep costs down. Consider for a moment that living a clutter-free life is to start by recognising your physical and mental clutter so you can avoid or minimise bringing it into your life from the start.

Regularly de-cluttering your physical space helps you to identify what you have and need for its utility, comfort and/or beauty. It can also free up your schedule as you spend less time searching frantically for your keys, wallet or purse on your way out the door.

Eliminate old paperwork and files you’ve been carrying around for years. While there are some documents you should maintain, some paperwork can be shredded or maintained digitally.

Admit you will never wear that outfit again. We all have that ‘favourite’ item in our closet because someday we will fit into it again. And it’s been 10 years. With too many ‘goals’ clothes, our closet may be stocked with excess to the point where we need to consider letting them go.

Cancel subscriptions you don’t use. Not all clutter is physical. From the gym membership you’ve never used to the gaming subscription you stopped playing, purging unused subscriptions can add more money to your wallet and relieve you of the guilt you experience paying that monthly fee.


Should it stay - or should it go?
     When it comes to important documents it's all about timing

The real cost of clutter – how to reclaim your time and space

The New Year is a time for reflection, for change, for making plans. This is the best time of year to reflect on what’s been going on and what you would like to do differently. It can be a very dynamic time with shifts and changes taking place.

It’s also a great time of year to get out a note pad and start writing down, or drawing, what your goals and dreams are (without holding back) and getting clear about what you really want in the year ahead. It’s with this theme in mind that this article focuses on starting the New Year on a positive, stress-free, and ‘lighter’ note.

Resolving to getting organised

It’s been said that life mirrors our environment. So, at this time of year having a big clear-out in our home, office, garage, or storage unit, is a great way to ‘lighten the load’. It seems that a de-clutter in our personal space corresponds with a de-clutter in our mental space. Getting rid of all that clutter is a liberating experience that points us toward a less stressful and more rewarding lifestyle.

Reflecting on the high price of clutter

People keep things for all sorts of reasons. According to the National Association of Professional Organisers, the average person spends one year of their lifetime looking for lost things. Clutter makes every job more difficult. Chores take longer because we spend more time getting ready (finding a clear spot in the garage, hunting for the tools) than actually doing the job. Clutter steals time.

Then there’s the financial impact of clutter. Bills are paid late because we lose them, improper storage results in damage and loss of valuable items, and when we can’t find what we need – we buy another one. On the subject of storage, self-storage unit prices vary greatly depending on which city you’re in, what features are offered and, of course, the size. As an example, a two-cubic metre storage unit which contains fewer items than a one- bedroom apartment will set you back approximately $1,200 per annum. And that’s not factoring in your transportation to and from the storage unit plus you won’t have the flexibility to grab things out of your unit on a whim or at odd hours.

Retaining only those things that matter to you most

Remember that now-regretted impulse buy? An easy place to start with determining the cost of clutter is its initial outlay. Then you need to consider also the cost of up-keeping the items after the initial outlay and use, and the maintenance and storage costs once the items become obsolete.

Millions of people around the world have been turning to a Japanese organising consultant to help de-clutter their homes, and for Marie Kondo, the tidying expert and eponymous star behind Netflix’s ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ there’s nothing that ‘sparks joy’ more than seeing people take ownership of their belongings – and their lives. While most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away your piles of stuff forever, Kondo, according to her website, developed The KonMari Method™ which promotes tidying by category – not by location. Kondo encourages us to keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. We thank them for their service – then let them go.

People around the world have been drawn to The KonMari Method philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking. In the words of Kondo, “tidy your space, transform your life”.

Reclaiming your time and space

While the cost of clutter can be high, embracing a clutter-free life will keep costs down. Consider for a moment that living a clutter-free life is to start by recognising your physical and mental clutter so you can avoid or minimise bringing it into your life from the start.

Regularly de-cluttering your physical space helps you to identify what you have and need for its utility, comfort and/or beauty. It can also free up your schedule as you spend less time searching frantically for your keys, wallet or purse on your way out the door.

Eliminate old paperwork and files you’ve been carrying around for years. While there are some documents you should maintain, some paperwork can be shredded or maintained digitally.

Admit you will never wear that outfit again. We all have that ‘favourite’ item in our closet because someday we will fit into it again. And it’s been 10 years. With too many ‘goals’ clothes, our closet may be stocked with excess to the point where we need to consider letting them go.

Cancel subscriptions you don’t use. Not all clutter is physical. From the gym membership you’ve never used to the gaming subscription you stopped playing, purging unused subscriptions can add more money to your wallet and relieve you of the guilt you experience paying that monthly fee.


Should it stay - or should it go?
     When it comes to important documents it's all about timing
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