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Why Declutter Your Home? Because Clutter Increases Financial Debt

One of the best reasons to declutter your home is because the more clutter you have, the more financial debt you’ll accumulate.

Clutter increases financial debt in several ways, says prosperity advisor Paula Langguth Ryan, author of Bounce Back From Bankruptcy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Back on Your Financial Feet.

Here’s how clutter increases debt, plus Ryan’s tips for decluttering your home.


Before her tips, a quip:

“Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.” ~ Terri Guillemets.

Physical clutter leads to spiritual clutter, which leads to financial debt. How? Ryan explains below. How do you declutter your home? Get a guide like Organize Now! A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life. Decluttering your life is a process — it doesn’t happen in one day.

Here’s how one expert describes the connection between reducing home clutter to pay off your financial debts….

How Clutter Increases Financial Debt

Debt (whether it’s credit card debt, student loan debt, or any kind of debt) is financial clutter. Debt causes stress the same way material clutter does. When you have material clutter at home, you often wind up spending more money to replace things you can’t find, or purchasing “organizing assistance” such as containers, books, even professional organizers. Sometimes you buy things you don’t need to declutter your home — and they just cause more clutter and more debt!

When you eliminate clutter, you decrease financial debt because it helps you see exactly what you have. Food doesn’t go bad in the fridge because you couldn’t see it amongst all the stuff or you forgot it was there. You never have to spend money replacing something you already have, but can’t find. If you declutter, you won’t be as prone to buying more stuff in an attempt to feel better about how much clutter you have!

Reducing clutter decreases stress, which reduces the compulsion to spend money to feel better about your life. Spending less money will help decrease your financial debt — and even increase your motivation to set and achieve financial goals.

How to Declutter Your Home

Here are Ryan’s eight easy, effective decluttering tips…


  1. Reduce clutter in a way that makes you feel empowered. Don’t bite off big chunks of decluttering time if it’s stressful for you. Find ways to enjoy decluttering your home.
  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 it, not where you think you should file it. 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.

Did you know that clutter also creates barriers between you and other people?

“Clutter and debt are great ways to keep ourselves from interacting with others,” says Ryan. “We often use clutter and debt as protection 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 a debt-free life.”

Home clutter also affects your health – Respiratory illnesses from mold and dust, accidents from stumbling over clutter, and even fires are caused by clutter. If your kitchen is cluttered, you probably aren’t eating as nutritiously either, because you can’t get to the sink or stove easily.

To learn more about saving money and getting out of financial debt, read my most popular money articles on Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals.

What do you think — do you need to declutter your home? Is there a connection between clutter and financial debt in your life? Comments welcome below!

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


5 thoughts on “Why Declutter Your Home? Because Clutter Increases Financial Debt”

  1. I can’t tell you how much time I see people waste, hunting for stuff in piles of clutter. It’s frustrating, because time is money! I definitely believe clutter increases financial debt…my husband likes to keep stuff just in case they come in handy someday. I call him a hoarder, but he says he’s being practical.

    I throw things away too fast; he keeps them too long :-)

  2. Glad I visited FB today. I need this reinforcement Laurie – yup, that bad. I’m amidst all these re-organising, decluttering, and trying hard not to be “hurried.” Never mind that clutter is unavoidable at my current wave of life swing, still, one needs to de—clutter, which ever way.

    G’day! Love your site, naturally.

    Inspired Pen

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks Jill! As I re-read this post, I realized that it’s less “how to declutter your home” and more “why clutter increases debt.” Should be two separate articles, I think…

  4. Thanks for the timely reminder, Laurie, as we head into heavy buying season.

    I like Fly Lady (flylady.org) for day to day decluttering handholding.

    Keep up the interesting posts!

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