The Cost of Clutter and Explaining it to your Kids
Today I was reading a great article by Amanda Enayati titled “Why Clutter Matters and De-cluttering is Difficult.” In the article, she states that clutter is expensive and costs an average of $10 per square foot just to store items. Approximately 10% of the population spends $1,000 a year on storage units. Of the people that have two car garages, 25% are too full for the owners to their park cars! Sadly, 23% of people pay bills late and incur fees due to misplaced/lost statements. Overall, an average American spends a year of their life looking for misplaced items. Explain the cost of clutter to your kids.
As a fun exercise, go a step further with your kids and talk about all the “stuff” in your garage/basement. Ask them to think about how much you paid for all that “stuff!” Make a game of it. Pick out 10-30 items and have everyone write on a sheet of paper, what they think was spent on all of the items in total. Then make the game into a scavenger hunt. Have your kids make a list of all the “stuff” in your garage/basement (the items that you have picked out). (Note: Each kid can have the same lists or you can have them look for separate items.) Then go to the store(s) and have the kids locate and write down the price of the different items. For example, maybe your list has four lawn chairs, two bikes, grill, lighter fluid, coals, five gallons of paint, potting soil, 25 planting pots, lawn mower, etc. After your trip, have your kids total up their lists and see who was closest to the total guess that was written on the paper. Ask them what they learned like this. Were they surprised at the cost of all the stuff? How much would you have to pay in taxes? Calculate tax of 5%, 8%, and 10%. How often is the stuffed used? Is the “stuff” in good shape or has it been damaged or neglected? How many weeks would it take your kids to save their full allowance to pay for all that “stuff” (including taxes 10%)? How would it feel to have the money spent on all the “stuff” inside their MoneyBag instead?
Here is to filling your MoneyBag!