Have you ever considered how much your stuff is costing you? Not only does this include monetary cost, but psychological cost as well. If you’re currently in a predicament with your stuff or someone else’s, let us present to you “The Cost of Keeping Your Stuff” to reconsider its value. 

According to gobankingrates, as of August 2016, the average monthly cost of a 10 X 15 square foot storage unit is between $75-140/month. For folks that don’t have a separate storage unit but keep the basement and attic piled with stuff, some simple math can help you tally what you’re paying to keep your stuff. Here’s the equation for you…take a 2,000 square foot home (with a $4,000 per month mortgage); if it has a 200 square foot basement space and a 200 square foot attic that’s used for storage, you can divide the mortgage cost ($4,000) by the amount of square feet (2,000) and get a monthly cost per square foot ($2 per square foot). Take $2 per square foot and multiply by 400 square feet of storage space, and the cost of storing your stuff is $800 per month or $9,600 per year (12 months multiplied by $800).

Pause from reading this blog post for a moment and look around your home. Are you housing items that you no longer use or love? There are two significant benefits to decluttering – psychological and monetary.

The psychological benefits to decluttering include:

  • being able to find what you need in your space
  • having breathing room in your spaces to be able to easily maneuver around
  • having a welcoming environment for family and friends
  • more time
  • better concentration

The monetary benefits to decluttering include:

  • get paid for unwanted items
  • take a tax write-off for donated items
  • live comfortably in a smaller home rather than having to upsize to fit you AND your stuff
  • reduce your monthly outgoing costs by eliminating the storage unit fees
  • not having to buy things that you currently own but just can’t find
  • lower moving costs by having less stuff to box and move

Now look around your house for the second time and reconsider what you’re keeping. Do any of those benefits of decluttering speak to you? What are your next steps? If you’re thinking of downsizing in the near future, imagine the further cost of packing up these items and paying to have them moved. Better yet, the cost of moving them and then paying additional monthly storage fees. Save yourself some money in the long run and start decluttering now!

I’m not trying to convince you to take extreme measures, like living with 100 items or less, personally, I enjoy having nice things and living in a home with creature comforts. But I do believe that we need to reflect on how we live and make efforts to live more intentionally and that means looking at all the stuff we have and asking ourselves, could we live with just a little bit less?

Written by Kari Noble

Kari Noble

Professional Organizer