No one likes clutter…but have you ever thought about the costs? As we grow older, clutter can seriously impact the lives of aging adults – financially, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Americans collectively spend a whopping $2.7 billion every year simply replacing items that have been lost due to clutter or disorganization.
Clutter can result in a number of financial consequences including:
● The loss of income due to the misplacement of expired refund checks;
● The inability to save on groceries due to misplaced coupons;
● Late fees incurred by loss of bills that could otherwise be paid on time;
● Inability to return purchases due to lost receipts;
● The expense of needing storage units due to an overflow of clutter.
Time is Money
Did you know that the average American wastes 55 minutes a day looking for things? That’s nearly 14 days a year spent searching for items – redoing, re-buying, returning and shuffling stuff around hoping that you’ll find them. Those 14 days almost always include substantial amounts of time on the phone with customer service or on hold, if we’re being realistic.
Sometimes, misplaced items may even require you to take time off work to settle a more significant matter, such as a misplaced driver’s license or passport.
Time is so valuable, especially in our senior years – making assistance with de-cluttering your life all that more important.
Mess Leads to Stress
Perhaps most notably, clutter has been proven to take a physical, mental and emotional toll on people, especially aging adults. According to Psychology Today, clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli, causing our senses to work overtime on things that aren’t necessary or important. Clutter also distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on, making it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. These factors can increase anxiety, stress and general discontentment with your environment.
A cluttered house is also more challenging to clean, leading to more dust, allergens, and bugs in your space. These factors can negatively affect one’s physical health and cause more trips to the doctor – another unrecognized financial cost.
For older individuals, tripping, fire hazards and injuries sustained from moving items are hazardous aspects of a cluttered home. According to The New York Times, frustration with clutter increases with age. Among older adults, clutter problems were also associated with life dissatisfaction.
Now is the time to take action to remove clutter and simplify your life.
Life Managers & Associates supports older individuals as a surrogate family member with the administrative and organizational responsibilities required to age in place. As a trusted member of their team, we help families feel safe and supported — alleviating stress for all.