Financial Impacts Caused by Clutter

Clutter is the thief of many things.

Clarity, rest, peace, productivity, health, and so much more. But today I want to focus on what clutter is capable of doing to you financially.

Here are some examples:

  • 1 in 10 Americans rent an offsite storage unit which is currently a $38 billion dollar industry. Storage units for many people are where they put their most highly delayed decisions; and it costs them.
  • The average person spends 150 days of their life searching for lost things. Time is money!
  • A Princeton study found out the more stuff you have around you the more EACH piece of stimulation competes for neural representations, AKA, your attention. So this results in decreased performance and increased stress. Costly at work and home.
  • Every single item you own requires not only your attention but space and maintenance.
  • A messy kitchen equals more takeout meals and expired food waste.
  • Folks who have stacks of papers they struggle to go through can be also stacking up late fees and penalties for missing deadlines.
  • The common cost I see with my clients involves lots of duplicate purchases because they didn’t know they already had something or couldn’t locate the original.
  • The things we buy immediately depreciate upon their purchase, and it only goes down in value year after year. Having a surplus of clutter because it was worth something once upon a time can cost us in many ways in the here and now.
  • Hidden behind our household clutter can be the deterioration of our home that we can not see until it is too late.
  • In the midst of clutter can be uncashed checks, rebates, cash, and gift cards. I would say over half my clients find money and forgotten valuables during their decluttering journey.
  • Are you paying for a larger home than you need to essentially store clutter? To find the money you are losing per square foot, try this. Divide the monthly cost of your home by the square footage. You now have a value per square foot. Next, add up the estimated square footage of unusable space due to clutter. Multiply that number by the value of your home per square foot, this is your monetary loss due to clutter.
  • If you are considering a move, please remember moving is both a lot of work and can be costly. Do you want to pay to move that can of beans or that sewing machine you haven’t used in ten years? The cost adds up fast in a move.


These are just a few examples, but I see unique costs for each client. Unfortunately, our lizard brains despise loss and resist being uncomfortable. So we hang onto items because we “might” need them or “just in case” or because they were once worth something. The cost is in the now. It is all the things I listed above but there is also a mental and physical expense that adds up.


I challenge you to shush your lizard brain up and consider what value can be ADDED to your life by letting go of what you no longer need.