Clearing out clutter and getting more organized can have a wide variety of benefits in your work and in your life – from enjoying your space more, to helping you be more effective and productive (among many others). One frequently-overlooked benefit of getting organized is that it can actually save you money. In addition to finding cash or checks buried in a drawer, in an old bag or briefcase, or under an old stack of paper, there are multiple other ways that getting organized can help your bottom line. Here are just a few:
Ask for the discounts. Gather bills for the various utilities that you use, including cell phone, Internet, land line phone, and any others. Once you have all the bills together, set aside some time to call each vendor and ask for discounts on each of your services. Just the simple act of you calling and asking for a discount can sometimes uncover deals that you never knew existed. Don’t expect your vendors to contact you and offer you discounts – you need to ask for them. I make a practice of doing this at least every six months.
Lose the late fees. Since you just gathered all of your bills in one spot, look them over for any late fees that you might be paying. Late fees are not only an annoyance that cost you money in the short term; they can also negatively affect your credit rating, which can cost you money in the long term. To help avoid late charges and fees, take a few minutes and sign up for automatic bill payment, which will pay your bills on time every month. I recommend charging all of your bills against one credit card, rather than having your bills debited from your checking account. That way, if a billing error comes about, you can dispute it with your credit card company.
Scrap the extra storage. An offsite storage unit should be looked at as an expense of last resort, something that you pay for only when you absolutely have to. Most of the clients I work with that have storage units generally have very little sense of what’s actually being stored, and mainly keep renting their storage units out of sheer inertia. Granted, taking time to go through and organize a storage unit is not high on most people’s priorities lists, but if you are currently renting one, I urge you to set aside some time to weed through the belongings that you currently are paying to store. With some weeding and consolidation, you may be able to incorporate your belongings into storage spaces that you already have at home or in your office.
Donate for dollars. Start looking for ways to reduce the amount you owe to Uncle Sam. One possible way to save money on taxes is to donate things that you no longer want, need, or use and receive a tax deduction for your donation. Any money you can save on your taxes is like cash in your pocket!
Of course, this list is not exhaustive–but it’s a great place to start. What are some of your ideas for how to save money by getting more organized?