Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Cost of Clutter




When buying a house, we want to maximize the amount of space for our money. Real estate agents commonly do this by determining the "cost per square foot" when comparing homes. Determining the cost per square foot is simple, just divide the price of the house by it's size.
  • Price ÷ Square feet = Cost per square Foot

    According to census.gov, the average price of a new home in the U.S. is $292,600, and the average size is 2,215 sq ft. This means that a square foot of space on your floor deems a value of $132.00. I don't know about you, but junk filled boxes occupy many square feet of my garage floor and the contents of each box are not worth $132.00. Now try to imagine all of the surface area of clutter in your house. How many boxes could you fill? Think of each box costing you $132.00. All the space you worked so hard to buy is currently being wasted by clutter.

    Clutter is simply a poor allocation of resources. Would you allow a stranger to occupy a room without paying rent? Of course not, so why waste a room storing junk that will never be used. In either case you are paying rent or a mortgage for unusable space.

    So don't ask yourself if the clutter "is worth keeping", ask yourself "is it worth paying $132.00 to keep?"