Whose New Year’s resolution is to get more organized? Quite a few Americans, in fact. It is the 2nd most popular resolution. And this is the best: Getting organized will actually save you money! (Saving money is the 3rd most common resolution.)
Not only that, but having an organized home brings peace of mind, helps you feel in control of life, and generally makes life more enjoyable.
In America, a capitalist economy, accumulation is a problem. We buy things we don’t need, they take up space in our home, and eventually we donate them or throw them out.
So, how exactly does spending money to get organized SAVE money?
- You can see what you have. If your clothes closet is jam-packed or your office supplies are stuffed willy-nilly in a cabinet, it is difficult to see what you have on hand. Often, you will go out and buy more file folders, staples, or another pink top because you don’t realize you already have one.
Just last week, I worked with a client in his office closet and we purged 4 boxes of mostly office supplies, which I donated to a thrift store for him. Now, he does get tax credit for the donation, but it is not even close to those supplies’ original cost of about $200. Another client has spent HUNDREDS of dollars replacing power tools he already owned because the original tool was buried!
- You use what you have: Our grandparents/parents are good at this because they lived through the Depression. They made do; they used things up.
For example, how many times have you gone out to buy travel-sized shampoo, conditioner or lotion when you have a drawer full of hotel samples at home?
Cha-ching! Another great example of this is using the food you have. How much produce, meat and other perishables do you throw out per month? Instead, if you make a menu, shop for that, and cook the meals planned, you will seldom have to throw out spoiled food.
- Organize your finances: This is an obvious one. When you have a SYSTEM for bill paying, you know which bills get paid at the beginning of the month, which get paid on the 15th, for example. Organizing your bills starts with organizing your mail.
One thing professional organizers excel at is creating a SYSTEM for incoming mail. That means mail :
- Always goes in the same place (doesn’t have to be fancy)
- Gets sorted into categories like File, Respond, Pay
- To complete your SYSTEM, include another 2 or 3 categories: Bills paid on 1st , bills paid on 15th, bills paid on 30th
This SYSTEM lets you see at a glance what gets paid when, and takes so much stress from monthly bill-paying!
Not only that, stick with your SYSTEM and you will never have a late fee again. That is definitely worth the time or money spent!
- Actually find money! I can’t tell you how many times I have actually found money while sifting through a client’s papers. Uncashed checks especially. Once, as I sorted through a box of newspapers and discarded magazines, I found a $350 check from my client’s Grandmother. He had convinced himself he had already deposited it. Other organizers tell about finding thousands of dollars in one home!
- Get back your time: Time is money, after all. Think about all the times you have had to go searching for a tool like the duct tape or Philips head screwdriver and spend an hour looking for it?
Think about the frustration, the missed opportunities the delay in your project—you could be exercising, moving to another project, having family time, reading, etc. And your weekend time is valuable, just like your billable time.
It does pay to be organized. The savings are worth the extra effort and expense, if you need help. An expert like me will help you get the job done faster and create a SYSTEM with lasting results!
Resources: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/,http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/money/advice/a19197/organizing-save-money/, http://www1.cbn.com/family/get-organized-%09%09-to-%09%09-save-money, http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-being-organized-can-save-money