Updated: Jul 29
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Did you know that the average American home has over 300,000 items? How many of these do you think are actually needed? Research shows that the average American can spend up to $18,000 a year on non-essential items. A recent feature by Forbes on e-commerce sales found that non-essentials increased by double and even triple digits in 2020 alone.
This rate of consumption can obviously lead to clutter. Surprisingly enough, sifting through everything you own might actually end up saving you more money in the future. With a few steps, the invitation to own less is an invitation to freedom, intentionality, and passion.
Not convinced? Here’s how decluttering can actually improve your budget.
Decluttering is an extra source of income
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More than 26% of Americans can earn some extra money by filing for federal tax returns. There are tons of methods for doing this, including donating your excess items to local charities. Doing so can actually deduct an amount from your taxes, so long as you provide proof.
For quick cash in the wallet, however, Real Simple suggests an online sale. You’d be surprised at the items that people would be willing to buy — as long as you know where you’re selling them. Consider eBay for memorabilia like comic books and stamps, or Amazon for cellphones and other electronics, and you might even earn up to $3,500 in one sitting!
Decluttering helps balance your budget
When you go through your clutter, you can take stock of what you already have. This allows you to identify what you really need, helping you plan out your budget for the necessities and how much you can allot for other wants.
Balancing your budget doesn't have to mean doing technical or complex accountancy. In fact, a guide by AskMoney on balancing budgets discusses how this is simply paying attention to your money and where you’re spending it. Just start by writing down your monthly income, and start listing your expenses, like rent or bills and insurance.
Clutter is a variable expense, and decluttering helps you make mindful decisions about what items you actually want and will actually end up using. Budget can then be properly allotted for these without going over your limits.
Decluttering increases frugality
Consumerism and materialism are real problems in America. Cultural analysis by Verywell Mind shows that this attitude towards material belongings stems from increasing societal pressure and competition to appear like you belong to a higher class.
When left unchecked, consumerism can lead many people to start hoarding, collecting, and keeping several items of little use or worth. By resolving this behavior through decluttering, one learns to associate value with items of necessity and quality instead. Declutterers can then focus on function and practicality above all else, and with good habit-building can learn to be more frugal as well.
Decluttering increases productivity
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When it comes to getting tasks done budgeting is often the last thing people want to do. However decluttering could help prevent that. Psychology experts from The New York Times aren’t, as data shows that clutter or hoarding leads to more stress. Besides the mental load of juggling the amount of personal belongings, clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile) as well.
When we work in clearer, stress-free environments, our mental health improves and this results in a boost of productivity. The Yerkes-Dodson Law defines this dependency and explains that we get work done faster and of better quality when we feel comfortable. This will make you much more likely to get difficult tasks done, like setting a budget.
So what are you waiting for? If you want to spend less, save more, and feel better, reach out now. We love downsizing and decluttering and our post "Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!" shows how together, we can create a lasting system of organization anywhere you need it.
Article contributed by Rosette Johnson exclusively for