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Blog: Simplify Your Life
How Much Is Disorganization Costing You?

We've all heard that we should try to be more organized, but do you actually know why? It's not because a tidy room looks nicer -- it's because disorganization disrupts your life and robs you of precious resources. Have you ever calculated the price of disorganization -- to your wallet, your relationships, your schedule? You might be surprised at some of the ways clutter and chaos cost you...

Calculate The Financial Cost

Disorganization is an insidious but often unnoticed drain on your wallet. The money leaks start as dribbles, but over time, become a flood that sweeps you away. You can't find your electric bill to pay it until a week after the due date -- 20% finance charge. You throw your mail in a pile, leaving it unopened on the desk, a conference registration deadline passes you by -- $50 late fee. You misplace a gift card you were given for your birthday and don't find it until it has expired -- $25 you could have saved. You shove your bank statements in a drawer without looking at them and overlook an error in your last deposit --$100 lost. It's a simple equation -- the more organized you are, the more money you save.

Reclaim Your Wasted Space

We live in a society focused on consumption, burdened by excess, and overwhelmed by "accumulation" -- more and more stuff coming into our lives every day, with very little ever going back out again. How often do you buy or pick up something that you really didn't want, didn't need, and don't care about? Could be a magazine, a brochure, a free giveaway at the store -- but you accepted it unconsciously, now it's taking up valuable space that could be used for some better purpose, and it will take an act of Congress to get it out of your life again. There's the problem!

The piles are slowly squeezing us out of home and office. Without a good system for staying on top of it all (read that as "throwing away 90% and keeping the 10% that matters"), even the items we care about and need become clutter. It has become so overwhelming that many people buy homes larger than they need so they will have enough storage space for stuff they have never even unpacked or looked at -- and they even pay the storage industry thousands of dollars a year to babysit boxes of junk they never use. We've got a serious clutter epidemic!   

Plug Any Drains In Your Time

Clutter can also be found in your schedule -- this type of disorganization is particularly irritating and frustrating, because it's eating up precious minutes of your life that you can never regain. You know you're experiencing time clutter when you seem to always be running late, no matter how hard you try to get out of the house on time -- when you go 90 miles an hour every day, but can't manage to get caught up -- when "time wasters" like procrastination and interruptions keep you from ever completing a project -- when you're always putting out fires, functioning in "reactive" mode instead of "proactive" mode -- and when you can't focus on your real priorities because your to-do list is always full of busy work. It's time to get off the treadmill!

Stop Wasting Emotional Energy

How often has the stress in your life been related to disorganization? Your mood is greatly affected by how smoothly your day goes -- have you ever had things spin out of control because you ran late or missed a deadline or spent 20 minutes searching for your car keys? How do you feel when you come across a document you should have acted upon months ago? Guilty? Stupid? Remorseful? We beat ourselves up unnecessarily over poor organizational skills. But it is depressing to see nothing but piles and stacks around you -- like your life is out of control.  The mental toll is just as great as the more tangible costs of disorganization.

Decide To Be Organized

Once you realize how much disorganization is costing you, you have a reason to want to change. The idea of cleaning out all the clutter, setting up storage systems, and revamping your schedule may seem overwhelming -- but I guarantee you that getting organized is way less challenging than continuing to attempt to function in the middle of chaos.

Keep the vision of a clutter-free and chaos-free life in front of you for motivation as you move forward with your organizing efforts. And just recognize that this is going to be a process (possibly a slow one) -- it's not going to happen overnight. But if you commit to your goals and stick with it, just another small change every day, you will see progress. It's never too late to get organized!

read the original post of this blog

posted on: 1/19/2010 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips

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Simplify Your Life

by Ramona Creel

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About Ramona:

I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!

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