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The Cost of Disorganization…can you afford it?

by Patty Kreamer, Kreamer Connect, Inc.

For many, being organized means a place for everything and everything in its place. For others, it means nothing. The true definition of being organized is being able to find things when you need them, not 3 weeks later.

But if you ask me, being organized means saving BIG money…period. Simply put, time is money. If you waste time all day long looking for things, you are wasting money. time is money

Here’s how:

If you spend just 5 minutes of every hour of an 8 hour day (how often do we only work 8 hour days?), looking for things, that adds up to over 4 weeks per year (166 hours). Many times, we spend hours looking for something. It adds up fast when you take each employee’s hourly rate of pay and multiply it by 166 hours per year.

For example: $15/hour X 166 hours X 10 employees = $24,900/year thrown away! OUCH.

The worst part is (yes it gets worse!) that most management and executives average even more wasted time…as much as eight weeks per year!

So what can be done to eliminate most of this wasted time?


For starters, if you are not as organized as you’d like to be, you have to be willing to explore WHY you are not organized. This may reveal some answers that you would rather not hear, but it is the key to success. Over the years, we develop excuses, obstacles and reasons to avoid getting organized. Here are a few examples:

  • You might need it someday!

  • You are a true perfectionist.

  • If you can’t see it, you forget it

  • You have too much stuff!

  • Your stuff needs a home.

  • You grew up with clutter.

  • You have too much to do!

  • Not enough storage space.

  • You are very sentimental.

  • You have had major changes in your life.


Second, you have to take the time to look at your space and map out what you want the space to look like when you are done BEFORE you touch the first piece of clutter. In this step, you will need to:

  • Do a Needs Assessment

  • Define the activity for the room

  • Use Logic

  • Make a drawing of the room

  • Make a list of what you will need

  • Have a realistic time schedule

  • Have the URGE TO PURGE


Finally, you get to declutter by sorting and putting away in a methodical fashion.

Most folks skip the Ready and Set steps and just start to tear into the clutter but don’t develop any long lasting systems. This Band-Aid® will only last a short while before you have to attack the clutter again.

In order to make the clutter go away, a simple process is necessary. When it comes to papers and office clutter, I recommend the E.A.S.Y. system. There are only four things you can do with a piece of paper.

Eliminate it

Act on it

Send it away (it doesn’t belong here)

You file it

If you create four piles that correspond to the E.A.S.Y. system as you sort, decision-making becomes more concise and narrow.

The bad news is that getting organized takes time and commitment. It has to be on your list of priorities for it to really become achievable.

The good news is that getting organized is simple if done methodically and it pays off. Not only does organization provide a less stressful work environment, but it also boosts morale, increases productivity and positively affects the bottom line.

Set the example by taking a look at your space and those around you. Could you stand to be more organized? If so, schedule the time to declutter. After you start, you’ll be inspired to continue and you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders!

Here's to simplifying your life!

Patty Kreamer, owner of Kreamer Connect, Inc., is a professional organizer, speaker, and author of
"…But I Might Need It Someday!”
and “The Power of Simplicity” now available at www.ByeByeClutter.com
Email Patty at
  patty@kreamerconnect.com or call her at 412-344-3252.

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