I was working with a client recently who struggled with throwing things away. Not necessarily hording because she wanted to keep everything, but creating an unsafe living environment because she would just get so overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.
One item I kept discovering, were backpacks. Most of these backpacks were full of a year’s worth of homework and notebooks, but several also had brand new school supplies. However, because of the disorganization in the home, these school supplies were going unused and instead, just being repurchased each year. I found at least 6 of these backpacks.
There are a couple of points I want to make with this example. First being, that it truly does cost more to be disorganized. This constant need to continue to purchase items because they cannot be found adds strain to the finances, but also compounds the clutter. If the new items coming into a home do not have a designated space, or are not going to be used right away, chances are, they too will become absorbed into the clutter.
The second point I want to make is that there is lost opportunity to repurpose items from prior years. Colored pencils, markers, barely used notebooks, are all items that can continue to be used to save money. Every year, families struggle to supply the items needed for the classroom. Similarly, teachers struggle and often end up bridging the gap. Put this clutter to good use! Everything in a person’s home (likely) had a purpose at one point. Don’t let that item become useless because it is buried in a pile.
Over and over again, I am seeing that the more of the same item a person has, the less attention is paid to that item and it is more likely to become clutter. Pencils, for instance. After organizing, you may find that you owned over 150 pencils, scattered all throughout the house. Pencils are small and don’t take up much space, but what if we said the same about coffee mugs. Soon your house is overrun by half used coffee mugs. If we have only one or two of an item, we are more likely to ensure they don’t get misplaced and equally, they don’t create as much clutter.