Why Organize At All? Benefits To Organizing And Having Less
Did you know, the average home in the United States has doubled since the 1950's? Did you also know the number of household members has decreased? Yet, 1 in 11 households has to rent a storage unit. So basically, houses have gotten bigger, families have gotten smaller, yet we still don't have enough space for all of our stuff and have to find additional storage elsewhere. Yikes! Here's another staggering statistic. It has been said that the average 3 bedroom home has 300,000 items in it. What? Really?! That just seems insane, doesn't it? And that's a heck of a lot of stuff to manage and take care of.
In my last post, "Why We Can't Let Go Of Our Clutter," I discussed some of the sociological and psychological reasons why we have so much stuff. In this post, I'm going to suggest we combat those urges to have more stuff and offer you some benefits to organizing and having less. Are you interested? Ok. Here we go:
You'll save money.
It's pretty simple: less stuff = less money you'll have to spend. That is especially true for off-site storage rentals! Also, knowing what you have and where things are located, you'll save money because you're not rushing out to the store to buy duplicate items of things you have but weren't able to find. You'll also save money on going out to eat if your kitchen is organized, and you've planned your meals in advance. And how about this? You'll save money on late fees and interest rates if you have a good system of tracking and managing your bills.
You'll have more usable space.
By having less stuff you'll be able to properly utilize desktops, counterspace and your dinner table. You can have adequate space for your children to play and do homework instead of having to search and clear a space for them to use.
You'll help avoid analysis paralysis.
When you have too much stuff, sometimes it's difficult to make decisions. Take clothes for example. When you've got too many clothes, sometimes you waste time figuring out what to wear. Ladies, you know what Im talking about dont you? Yes, I'm stereotyping, but I know some of you have spent 1-2 hours planning for a trip because you couldn't decide what to wear and pack in your suitcase. Am I right? Hey, I've been there too. And what about your kids? Give them a hundred options of what to play with and they'll be frozen trying to decide. Give them only 3 and the choice is pretty simple.
There's less to clean.
I used to have a lot of knick-knacks and a lot of plants. Those extra things used to cost me time and energy having to clean, dust and maintain them. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of dusting. Yes, it's necessary, but I don't enjoy doing it. So, the less I have to dust the quicker I can get on with cleaning and the quicker I can finish!
You can invite guests over without hesitation.
Most of us love spending time with friends and family. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have them over to your welcoming and comfortable home without feeling embarrassed or in a rush to clean it up? Well, you can have that. By getting your home organized and by setting up simple systems and routines to maintain your organized home, you can easily have guests over without breaking a sweat!
You'll be more productive.
By having systems in place like a weekly schedule of chores, a dinner plan, allotted time to run errands, a combined family calendar, and clutter cleanup routines, you'll know what times are reserved for specific tasks and what times you'll have to work on other priorities in your life. Sporadically running errands and doing chores makes it very difficult to manage your time. Instead, if you have a firm grasp on your time, you'll be a heck of a lot more productive.
You'll have better concentration.
I would say for most people, clutter can be very frustrating and very distracting. That's probably because those piles of papers, heaps of laundry and sink full of dishes are haunting you and reminding you of all the stuff you still have to do. Personally, I cannot concentrate on work when my office is a mess. In college, I vividly remember my sister and I cleaning our apartment before we studied for exams because we couldn't concentrate. Clutter is a concentration killer!
You'll save time.
They say the average person wastes about 55 minutes per day searching for things: keys, files, tools, clothes, etc. That's a lot of time over the course of a year! One of the key components to being organized is having a place for everything and everything in its place. By knowing exactly where things go you won't waste time searching for items.
You'll have a sense of control.
Control = Confidence = Nicer You! Professional organizer, Elizabeth Hagen has a book and gives speeches about how to organize with confidence. She tells a story about how disorganized she was at one point in her life and how that disorganization really affected her self-esteem and her relationships. She admits she wasn't a very pleasant person to be around. But once she started to get organized, she noticed she had more confidence and was a lot more pleasing to be around.
You'll have a feeling of calm and peace of mind.
In one of my graduate courses, the professor asked all of the students to introduce themselves and tell everyone where their favorite place in the world was. Folks rattled off places like the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Swiss Alps, Ireland, Japan and so on. When it was my turn, I simply said, "my home." No matter where I lived - an apartment, a dorm room or a house - I've always been able to make it a beautiful, comfortable and relaxing place to be. My home has always been my sanctuary, my escape from the hectic jobs and life I lived outside of it. The last thing I wanted after a 10-15 hour day at work was to come home to a place that caused me more stress and anxiety. So, I made it a place of peace and calm. That's what having an organized home is all about.
So, there you have it! At least 10 reasons and benefits to organizing.