How Decluttering Your Home Decreases Financial Debt


These tips for eliminating clutter will help you achieve your financial goals – because decluttering your home decreases financial debt.

Here’s what prosperity advisor Paula Langguth Ryan, author of Bounce Back From Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet, says about financial debt and a cluttered home…

Before her tips, a quip:





“Amidst all the clutter, beyond all the obstacles, aside from all the static, are the goals set,” said Donald Rumsfeld. “Put your head down, do the best job possible, let the flak pass, and work towards those goals.”

Sure, you can achieve your goals if you’re “amidst all the clutter” — but you’ll get there faster if you have a neat home! If you need help decluttering, read The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life.

And, here are her tips on reducing clutter and decreasing debt….

How Decluttering Your Home Decreases Financial Debt

Clutter causes you to spend more money, lose track of things like grocery coupons or money-back guarantees, and forget about DVDs or books that need to be returned. Clutter increases financial debt by creating confusion and chaos. Decluttering your home decreases debt by reducing stress and helping you feel happier and “lighter.”

Both home clutter and financial debt increase stress levels, which increases the likelihood you’ll spend money on things you don’t need. A cluttered home causes you to spend spend money to replace things you can’t find, or to purchase organizing assistance such as containers, books, or even a professional organizer’s help. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t.

Why You Need to DeClutter

When you declutter, you know exactly what you have. Food doesn’t go bad in the fridge because you forgot it was there or couldn’t see it amongst all the Tupperware and containers. You never have to go out and buy a replacement for something you already have, but can’t find.

And, you may spend money on things you don’t need because you feel unsettled because of all your home clutter. Decluttering your home decreases debt by reducing the compulsion to spend money. Not only does decluttering decrease debt — it helps you achieve your financial goals!



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8 Decluttering Tips

  1. Reduce clutter in a way that makes you feel empowered. Don’t try and bite off big chucks if that’s stressful – make a game of it.
  2. Pick one drawer, or one pile, and go through it. Create new piles: Toss, Keep, Give Away.
  3. Don’t worry if you don’t know where something is supposed to go right away. Just know it goes in the KEEP pile.
  4. Don’t keep anything that isn’t beautiful, useful or something you absolutely love. For papers, if you could find it somewhere else with a few phone calls, toss it.
  5. If you do decide to do a big area, or an entire room, or your garage, take everything out and start with the empty space, even if it means you create total chaos somewhere else. The results when you’re done will be worth it entirely.
  6. Put things where you will think to find them, not where you think you should file them. If you always go out the same door, then put your phone and your keys right there, on a hook or a shelf, so you know exactly where it is every time.
  7. When you use something, put it back where it goes. Create a place for everything.
  8. Don’t be afraid to throw things out – no matter who gave them to you, no matter how much “sentimental” value you think they have. Keep the memories inside your heart and create peace in your space.

For more ways to reduce clutter, read More Tips for Decluttering Your Home.

Ryan’s surprising tip about relationships, clutter, and debt: Clutter and debt are great ways to keep ourselves from interacting with others. We often use clutter and debt as protection devices for not having people over, or not going out and doing things with other people. If you like your privacy and your space, then give yourself permission to keep your privacy even if you have a clutter-free home — or even if you’ve decreased your financial debt.

Another surprising tip about clutter is how it affects our health: Respiratory illnesses from mold and dust, accidents from stumbling over clutter, and even fires are caused by clutter. And if your kitchen is cluttered, you probably aren’t eating as nutritiously either, because you can’t get to the sink or stove easily.

For more financial tips, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.

What do you think about these decluttering tips, or the connection between financial debt and home clutter? I welcome your thoughts below…





Paula Langguth Ryan is a prosperity advisor, mediation consultant/coach and author. Visit her at the Art of Abundance.


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13 thoughts on “How Decluttering Your Home Decreases Financial Debt

  • Laurie Post author

    It really helps to live with someone who doesn’t want stuff, or clutter. If you live with a packrat or hoarder, it’s much more difficult to declutter. I realized this recently, because I’m married to a wonderful man who likes to keep his stuff, just in case he needs it one day…

  • melodie

    Hello, Fellow De-clutter People: A few more ways I plan to get, and stay, de-cluttered: (1) ask family and friends that buy gifts on special occassions, to give gifts that are expendable, instead of what-nots, pictures and candles. (2)Think “dusting, dusting.” (3)Pass special items along now instead of later. Especially bulky ones. (4)Most importantly – Resist the urge to buy items that cause clutter. Stay out of re-sale stores!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jen…I agree that clutter is directly related to other issues, from weight to debt to self-esteem.

  • Jen

    Great advice. I always felt that the clutter in my house related directly to my self-esteem and weight loss goals. Reading your article has made me see that house clutter is also effecting my budget and the ability to pay off some debts.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Yes, I saw Dr Phil help that lady in NYC with her incredibly cluttered apartment…he kept asking her what the payoff was, and she finally said it’s more comfortable to keep clutter around than decide what has to go. Something like that.

    I don’t know about her debt, though…that’d be a good show for Dr Phil: how reducing clutter decreases debt!

  • Randilee

    Hi, on Dr Phil yesterday was a great show about reducing clutter. Dr Phil called the “Got Junk” guys to go and remove it all! That’s what you should do with your debt, too…just take it to the dump 🙂

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    I’m the same way, Max! I deplore clutter, I find it suffocating, and I love to be organized.

    And I’m not in debt, either (except for the home mortgage, but some debt just can’t be helped!).

  • Max

    Hello,

    I find clutter to be suffocating. I can’t get work done at the office or relax if I’m surrounded by clutter. Being organized comes naturally to me. I guess it’s not a surprise that I am not overweight and I’m not in debt!

    Thanks for this article,
    Max

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    After reading this article, someone told me that she missed out on a rebate on her new fridge, because she lost the rebate form! By the time she found the form, the deadline for the rebate had passed.

    See — that’s just another way that clutter can increase debt (or at least cause you to save less money).

  • Laurie PK

    Thanks for your comment, Valerie — and for sharing this article!

    I detest clutter, and my husband is a bit of a packrat, so we’re usually wrestling over what to keep and what to clear out. I don’t mind if he keeps things out of sight or in his garden shed. But, I do want my as little stuff around me as possible — I like the clean, open feeling.

    Now, that might be a great article…how a minimalist can live with a packrat! Maybe I’ll interview Paula about that next time…

  • Valerie

    This is a great article. I’ve sent the link to several others.

    I love this comment too: Clutter is like a depressant. You don’t want to do anything because of all the chaos around you, so you tend to be less active as well.

    Blessings~~

  • Paula Langguth Ryan

    Good point, Jessica — and reducing clutter does lead to possible weight loss. When you’re able to move around your home, you get more exercise, for starters. But in addition, when your kitchen and dining room table are uncluttered, you tend to eat there, and eat slower and cook and eat healthier meals – so you wind up eating less and eating better quality food, which leads to weight loss.

    Clutter is like a depressant. You don’t want to do anything because of all the chaos around you, so you tend to be less active as well.

  • jessica w

    Good points! I’ve found that getting rid of my clutter has really helped me focus on things (including getting out of debt).

    My next question is if weight loss (fat clutter) will also be coming as I get further out of debt.

    I can certainly see myself gaining energy and losing anxiety (and emotional eating) as I get closer and closer to being debt-free.