I was reading this post from The Simple Dollar on decluttering and money, and I think one of the commenters (chacha1) actually made a brilliant point:
“…[T]he correlation between uncluttering and financial success. You rarely see true financial freedom in a cluttered household. People who have trouble dealing with their Stuff almost always have trouble dealing with their money, too. And that’s because the same emotional triggers and environmental pressures that shape our spending also shape our relationship with Stuff.”
I think this comment is very interesting. I have very few things at my apartment that I’d be hesitant to chuck in the dumpster, donate, or sell on eBay. Most of my clutter-type stuff is at my parents’ house in my former bedroom (childhood toys, mementos from vacations, etc.) but I think I could easily go through all of that in a few days and pare down most of it to a couple boxes. Stuff is just not that important to me.
Clutter (especially stuff on the floor!) drives me crazy, albeit slowly. I can handle a pile of my husband’s laundry waiting to be put away or a stack of art supplies… for a few days. After a few days, though, I lose my patience and just put it away. Part of my happiness project is to just take care of those things right away (especially tasks that take one minute or less) so it’s not a looming project.
In a similar way, I’ve totally lost my patience for paying interest and lack of control over my finances. Having my spreadsheets and my Mint.com account keeping track of everything in an organized way makes me feel much more at peace. There’s not a lot of mental clutter surrounding these things for me, so I just feel free, kind of like being in a clutter-free room.
Ooh, this makes me want to organize a closet…