Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
When the UPS Truck Delivers More Than Just Packages
I see it far too frequently…
- In the woman who can't sleep because she's having marital problems
- In the person who lives with such chronic pain that she can barely leave the house and rarely interacts with other people
- In the person who considers himself to be an artist or a crafter or a chef and who has so many good ideas of things he could "create"
- In the person who wants, once and for all, to get organized
What do I see in these people? I see carton after carton (usually unopened) of STUFF. Stuff they order from the television shopping networks in the middle of the night. Stuff they order from the internet. Stuff for which the operators (who are standing by on the other end of the telephone) are happy to take their order. (They may even chat with them, as if they were old friends.) Stuff that, if they ever get around to opening the cartons and using it, will turn them into the artist or crafter or chef that they think they are. Stuff that they believe will make them organized. Clothing, jewelry, exercise equipment, gifts for other people, you name it and I've probably seen a box of it in someone's house.
I see CLUTTER. Unopened boxes of hopes and dreams piled on top of other, older hopes and dreams unfulfilled.
I see CONFLICT with family members – sometimes so extreme that the clutter is a significant factor in a divorce or a child custody dispute.
I see REGRET that they have let their buying habits get so far out of control.
I see DENIAL that it's really a problem at all. After all, they'll just sell the stuff on E-bay or give it away next Christmas.
And I see FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. Repeated impulse purchases are budget busters. Regardless of the person's financial means, impulse purchases that are never used have a tremendous opportunity cost. The purchaser has spent money that could have been used for something of value on something that never even provides a moment's pleasure after it arrives.
As we professional organizers often say, "Clutter isn't always about the stuff. It's sometimes about what the stuff represents."
When the UPS (or FedEx, or USPS) truck delivers those packages, they sometimes also deliver boxes of clutter, conflict, regret, denial, and financial problems.
Did you receive more than you thought you ordered?
posted on: 2/10/2008 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
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Minimizing Financial Clutter
by Katherine Trezise
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Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.