A good question! Decluttering and organizing are beneficial for many reasons, but these are my favorites…
It is good for your mental and physical health.
A decluttered and organized home is a positive step forward in improving your mental and physical health. While many factors play into your state of mind, a clean and tidy space can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When you declutter, you exercise and develop decision-making skills which can lead to a growth in self-confidence and a well-deserved sense of accomplishment. See this U.S. News story for more.
It saves you time and energy.
Imagine trying to find something in a sea of other things: It’s equivalent to looking for a needle in a haystack. And the physical toll it can take on your body to lift, shift, and move things as you’re looking can be gruesome. But when items you use regularly are easy to locate and access, it saves you valuable time and energy. I have saved myself hours of trying to locate things because I’ve systematically placed and labeled them throughout my house for future finding. While it might take a bit to sort it all out now (some suggest an entire house can take up to a year), it will save you in the long run.
It actually saves you money.
While you might think that keeping things around for a while in case you might need them again is a no-brainer, think again. Clutter can cost you way more than save you:
The Bedroom Closets
Everyone has clothing or accessories that they just can’t live without. So it’s no wonder that when you can’t find these items due to packed-to-the-brim closets, you quickly spring to buy duplicates or replacements. I, too, have been guilty of this. I once bought my husband dress socks because he had run out – or so I thought. It turned out I had already bought him replacements… they were just hidden away in the dark recesses of his closet.
Another culprit of money literally laying around is jewelry. Whether it is a class ring, hand-me-downs, or just stuff you don’t wear anymore, it could make you a small amount of cash if you traded it in.
You have 8 cookie sheets, 5 frying pans, 3 different machines that toast things, gadgets that do this and that, and… good God, you can’t even count the food storage containers. All the things you don’t use regularly could be sold, or even donated for a little monetary boost on your tax return.
By the way, all that food you buy that ends up going bad and gets thrown out? You guessed it. Every time food goes bad and has to be tossed out, that is the equivalent of throwing money straight into the garbage.
Bathrooms are notorious for being a trip down “excess past purchases” lane. Hair products, body and face products, and cleaning supplies are some of the most overly duplicated items in any given household. The beauty industry alone is a $445 billion dollar industry for a reason. The sheer amount of beautifying products marketed to both men and women makes it very likely that just about anyone is guilty of this type of hoarding.
The Play Room
This is the biggest clutter-culprit for families with kids because of the emotional attachment children get to some of their toys. However, it’s just as hard for parents to declutter these areas because they also get emotional attachments in the form of memories.
Even though play room clutter seems self-explanatory (birthday parties, gift-giving holidays, “their grandparents bought it”, etc.), there are other reasons why this room can get crazy-crowded. This is something I’m going to cover extensively in future writings, so stay tuned.
The Living Room
Think of how many DVDs, CDs, and books you probably have in your family and/ or living room. With all the modern amenities of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Roku, and many others, having physical copies of all this media is really just wasted money and space. You can even get many of these things for free at your local library.
The Attic or Basement
Everyone has things packed away somewhere. Items like holiday decorations or seasonal decor usually get store in these areas because they only are used once a year. But what about the rest of it? I went into my attic the other day and found 10 storage bins of stuff I forgot even existed. We’ve lived in our house for almost six years, and not once had I wondered, “What’s up there, anyway?” Some of it was junk, but some was stuff that could be sold for a small profit.
If this isn’t enough of a convincer to take back charge of your home, don’t worry: we’ll cover lots more in the future. Until then, consider the above sure reasons to start the decluttering and organizing journey.