The life changing effects of de-cluttering and tidying have come to the forefront of home and work space design. In 2019 the breakout TV show of professional Japanese de-clutterer Marie Kondo bought these discussions into the mainstream. In the time since the topic has been broached by many writers and professionals seeking to connect the art of de-cluttering workspaces with de-cluttering and relaxing the mind. The act of de-cluttering and its link to mindfulness is now more widely espoused than ever. On top of these benefits is the question of the potential financial gain.
Marie Kondo importantly raises the positive effects of de-cluttering on our minds. She emphasises the importance of an object’s ability to “spark joy.” It remains important to ask what de-cluttering means for the financial sides of our lives. Can de-cluttering, even discarding, unused objects save us money? Does tidying the home or office environment lead to a perceptible monetary saving, or perhaps even a monetary gain?
The concepts of de-cluttering and minimalist lifestyles allows people to more establish the link between de-cluttering and financial implications. Billions, or even trillions are wasted yearly on objects that increase clutter in people’s lives. Smarter use of space and increased ability to work efficiently can help lower the negative costs and psychological impact of clutter.
The Cost of Clutter
In his book The Minimalist Home, expert on efficient and minimalist living and Joshua Becker introduces the concept of “clutter cost.” This is the draining effect on our money, time, energy and space by each object in the home and work space. Every object in our lives is given a value in terms of its utility, its use to us. This value is depreciated by the “clutter cost.” Becker highlights how every object in our home lives and work spaces has both its benefits and burdens. Only by assessing “clutter cost,” can people properly navigate the decision of keeping or discarding necessary, or unnecessary, possessions.
“Clutter cost” helps us visualise the costs to our time and energy that these objects incur. With clutter cost in mind we can be liberated from the backward-looking temptation to hoard. Prized purchases that have depreciated in monetary or useful value can be looked at objectively. We can take more effective stock of each objects ever changing position in our professional and personal environments. This will help us identify and dispense with the negative monetary and mental effects of unnecessary clutter.
By continually applying the concept of clutter cost to objects across our daily work lives. De-cluttering becomes not simply a one-time act of spring cleaning. It becomes a state of mind in which more effective financial decisions can be made. This will help maintain lower home or office costs, more effective spending, and greater efficient use of space. Traditionally, we are tempted to value an object only by its original price tag. By considering an objects ability to disorganise our lives, we can better understand the negative consequences of hoarding and clutter. This leads to mistakes and delays when we attempt to work amongst it.
Bringing Back Meaning
One key effect of de-cluttering is its ability to give us greater respect for the essential things in our lives. Devoid of clutter, the role of each object in our work station stands out with visible purpose. Anomalies become easier to spot. Unnecessary appliances can be identified more quickly once they are no longer hidden amidst the clutter. Viewed in this way, the act of de-cluttering becomes easier to maintain as it continues. Less old clutter makes the build-up of new clutter in the work place easier to locate and objectively value. De-cluttering helps us evaluate each object catalogued in work space as well as our minds. Redundant purchases and duplications can be avoided. Ultimately, saving money when we would otherwise be tempted to buy what we have merely misplaced.
As well as reinstating each objects purpose, de-cluttering makes objects easier to locate. This will help you save valuable time and increase the efficiency of using home and work space. Time is also saved if the principles of de-cluttering are carried into your daily lifestyle. De-cluttering can be more than just one great act of a weekend cleaning. To truly reap the benefit of a de-cluttered lifestyle, make it consistent practice at home or in the office.
Cutting Down Ongoing Costs
De-cluttering can bring about savings in more obvious ways as well. Electrical appliances, such as refrigerators or freezers, can incur large running costs in terms of energy consumption. These appliances take up space that could be better in other ways
Similar principles apply to vehicular assets. Unused or unnecessary cars, motorcycles and motor-homes merely depreciate in value whilst taking up importance space. Recent research has shown the average UK home hoards around £1200 of unused objects. The expedient selling of your unused appliances and vehicles is one way of capitalising on your de-cluttering. You can make yourself profit whilst bringing you benefits of being without the clutter.
Donating whilst Decluttering
De-cluttering does not just mean signing off an object’s one-way ticket to the dump. Tax relief is another benefit of de-cluttering your home or work place. Governments around the world provide tax relief based on the value of the goods donated. Information on tax benefits for donated items can be found on relevant charity and government websites.
A Renewed Vision of the Work Space
De-cluttering brings a number psychological and financial benefits. The act of de-cluttering is not a one-time act of discarding of rubbish, or living a minimalist lifestyle. De-cluttering allows us to maximise usage of our possessions and effectively sell or donate them before they become a burden.
The profitability of decluttering is becoming more noticeable each day. Whether it is the tangible money-making power of timely selling of unused assets, or the less noticeable motivational and financial boost created by a streamlined lifestyle and professional environment, decluttering can lead to a renewed vision of the work space and the money-making power of each object in it.