I recently read an article about the cost of clutter called “Are you misplacing hundreds of dollars” on MSN. The answer for most Americans is yes. For example, the article stated that the average American household spends $2,000 on self-storage facilities each year. That number might be shocking to you but I know from my 6 years as a Professional Organizer that $2,000 is just the average cost. So many of my past and present clients have 2 or 3 storage units that they haven’t visited in several years costing them well over $2,000 each year.
There are so many other costs to living a clutter and disorganized life, this is a list of a few of them that I took from the MSN article. These costs will really make you think that maybe it is time to hire a Professional Organizer in 2011. Why not invest that extra cash into clearing out the clutter and creating a customized organizing system that functions for you and your family instead of throwing your money away. Like I always say…it pays to be organized!
- Credit card issuers will collect more than $7 billion in late fees this year, according to Odysseas Papadimitriou, a former lending executive and the CEO and founder of CardHub.com.
- Banks collected more than $37 billion in overdraft fees last year, according to research firm Moebs Services, before new rules kicked in that restricted such charges. One in four checking accounts had an overdraft fee during another 12-month period, according to a 2008 FDIC survey (.pdf) of 39 banks. Four percent of those banks’ accounts had 10 to 19 bounced transactions, paying an average $451 in fees, while 5% had 20 or more, paying a whopping $1,610 on average.
- Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars in federal tax refunds expire unclaimed because people fail to file their tax returns within the three-year time limit. The unclaimed refunds typically average between $550 and $600, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
- Unpaid parking tickets and library fines have become big business for collection agencies, which increasingly have taken over dunning duties from municipalities. Municipalities are owed more than $40 billion, according to an estimate by Kaulkin Ginsberg, a collection industry research company. An overlooked ticket or forgotten library book thus can become a collection account on your credit reports, tanking your credit scores and perhaps leading to higher interest rates.
- More than $32 billion of unclaimed property is sitting in state treasurers’ escheat offices, waiting for the owners of about 117 million abandoned accounts to claim the money. The accounts range from utility security deposits to life insurance payouts to the contents of safe-deposit boxes (although items of value may be sold and only the money kept; paperwork without commercial value, such as birth certificates and photos, may be shredded).