The Hidden Cost of Disorganization

Oh, I wish I were an organized person! Peter Walsh asks in his book, “What is clutter costing you?” He thinks in terms of space, peace and relationships but after this week’s decluttering experience, I’m considering the monetary costs. Earlier today, I shared a few ways to make money off the items you are purging. Now, I want to count the ways clearing out and getting organized can actually save money:

  • Found money: I turned up a $3 Pinecone Research check in my cleaning this week. It’s not much, but at times I’ve found $20 bills tucked into coat pockets and entire deposits that never actually made it to the bank.
  • More tax deductions: I do a pretty good job organizing my receipts in January but if I often wonder how many more deductions I would find if I were more organized throughout the year. I’m sure there’s a receipt here and there that have gotten stuck in the bottom of a purse or thrown away with the bag.
  • Easily Finding & Using Coupons: This is probably the area I do the best with. When people see me in the store, they often comment on how organized I am. Having coupons sorted & at your fingertips means you never miss a deal!
  • Knowing what you have so you don’t overbuy: The flip side of the Eat From Your Pantry challenge is if your pantry were always organized, you could create meals from what’s on hand all the time! On Sunday, I paid full price for a roll of packing tape—I had a shipment to mail and several game boxes to repair. Last night, I unearthed the roll I couldn’t find.
  • Paying Bills on Time = No Late Fees: This one is a pretty obvious one, but how many times have you paid a late fee or overnighted a check or package because you couldn’t get it together to mail it on time in the first place.

I cringe at the money I’ve wasted over the years, but we’re moving onward and upward! When I finally cracked and asked the hubby for help, I told him anything we found and any effects of the clutter just couldn’t matter. The important thing is to jump in and get started. Five boxes and a bag of trash later, I feel a lot lighter! There is still a very long way to go, but we’re making progress and every little bit helps.



This article is part of our New Year, New Budget series. We are concentrating on New Year’s resolutions and helping you find ways to tackle them inexpensively. This week focuses on the popular “Getting Organized” resolution.

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