Disorganization habits start early. As a kid, you may have tossed clothes across the back of the sofa or across the foot of your bed. Back then, your mom picked up after you. When you forgot where you put your house keys, a sibling helped you find them or told you were you last left your keys. Being disorganized didn’t change the way you thought about your childhood home. That’s changed.

Being disorganized comes at a high price

Now that you’re grown and have moved into your own house, hardly a day goes by when you don’t complain about lack of space. The layout of your house isn’t the reason why you’re feeling cramped when you rush through your house early in the morning, just before you retire to bed or on busy weekends.

Lack of organization is robbing you of space. Pile enough clothes up in a corner of your room, closest or basement and you could lose a quarter or more floor space in the room. As your family grows or you move your work from the office to home, you might think that the only way to get the extra space that you need is to buy a larger, more expensive house.

That’s just one way that disorganization can cost you money. Other financial costs associated with being disorganized include unpaid bills, late fees, fatigue and frustration. Concerning the financial costs, disorganization can cost you by:

  • Causing you to misplace invoices. If you don’t find invoices within the general 30 day limit, you might be responsible for late fees and penalties.
  • Give utility companies authority to turn off your heat or air conditioning if you pay bills beyond the grace period because you forgot to pay the bills after you lost the invoices.
  • Lowering your credit rating (again, those late payments due to lost invoices)
  • Buying clothes, office supplies, toys and shoes twice (because you couldn’t find them in a disorganized space and forgot you already had them)

The financial damage is bad enough. But, loss of personal energy is even worse. It could take you 15 to 20 extra minutes to get ready and rush out the door for work in the mornings if you’re disorganized. You’d be in the habit of searching and hunting for things.

You probably don’t want to. But, the rushing and searching could frustrate you. Let frustration combine with impatience and you might shout at your spouse or kids. You might start to tear at your relationships.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of work to get organized. Start by clearing out closets and the basement. Fill large, moving boxes with clothes, shoes, toys and other items that you don’t use. Get clear, plastic storage containers. Place shoes, supplies and toys that you plan to keep inside these storage containers.

Keep going until you can see most, if not all, of your floor space. To do this, you may need to move chairs and the sofa close to walls, away from the middle of the floor. Also, get in the habit of cleaning your home weekly. Stay away from buying items that you won’t use, that will only cramp your space.

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