If you are overwhelmed and in debt and feel like you are drowning and there is no help in sight, I can relate.
But don’t give up hope! If you are willing to make some changes, you can definitely climb out of the hole.
It won’t be easy, but it’s easier than what you are doing now.
Since I have been there, I have been sharing what we did to change our situation.
If you’ve missed those posts, you can catch up here.
That brings me to what we did next. And if I had it to do all over again, I may have done this thing second.
If you are in major debt and serious trouble, and if you are anything like me, then you have months (or even years) of bills that you just haven’t been able to bring yourself to look at.
You have piles and stacks of unopened stuff.
And there is maybe even a chance that if you are in trouble, part of it has to do with the fact that you may not be as organized as you need to be.
Lack of organization and piles of paper and lots of clutter do not help those of us who are financially challenged.
And now that we are in a better place, I strongly believe that clutter helped to cause many of our problems.
So what did I do?
Well, I found myself in a very fortunate situation to have this blog. Knowing that I had a fairly large following, especially locally, Sue Duval, a local professional organizer and owner of The Organized Hive, contacted me and offered me her services in exchange for promoting her business.
It was perfect timing for me, because I desperately needed help in that department.
I didn’t want to admit it, but I did.
I’m a fairly intelligent and well-educated woman, and I had spent years not being able to get my shit organized and feeling like a failure because of it.
The more kids we had, the more disorganized I became and the more the clutter built up.
Then I was in over my head, and I knew I had to do something, but I had no idea where to start.
Or I’d declutter and get rid of a whole boat load of crap, but the clutter would inevitably return because I had no system in place.
When you are disorganized and overcome with clutter, it can be very difficult to get a handle on any aspect of your life. Especially one where you are totally drowning.
Having a professional organizer helped me get rid of crap and even more importantly, it helped me come up with a system that worked.
And that made a huge difference!
When clutter is overwhelming you, it costs you money in a number of ways.
When you can’t find things because your house is a mess, you end up purchasing stuff that you already have. When Sue and I cleaned out the office, we found over 100 glue sticks for my hot glue gun.
100 fucking glue sticks!
Those things aren’t cheap. And whenever I wanted to use the glue gun, I could never find them. Clearly I went out and bought them several times!
What a waste!
I now have enough glue sticks to last me until Number 7 graduates from high school. (And I know exactly where they all are!)
When we decluttered the office, I found over ten gift cards I didn’t even realize I had, and I found two uncashed paychecks!
And this is where I felt like a failure.
A smart chick like myself should not have this issue! A smart chick like myself should be able to come up with a system that works!
But I hadn’t been able to do it.
And needing help is okay.
I needed help to get through the piles of bills and papers I had avoided for over a year, and I needed help to set up a system.
The only thing I regret now in hindsight is not doing it sooner.
So I know if you are in trouble you probably don’t have money hanging around to pay a professional organizer.
And the amount of clutter you have will determine how much help you need.
My office, the area that was the worst and also where all my bills and financial documents were, took us about a total of 10 hours to completely declutter and organize.
Here was just one corner:
Here was another one:
Here was another:
Clearly there was no system, and there was lots of disorder.
I don’t know what your level of disorder is.
You may not need ten hours. Even two hours would really help you to make some progress toward being more organized and on a better track.
I think most professional organizers charge in the $50-$100/hr range. If you could come up with $200, you could get anywhere from two to four hours of help.
How can you come up with $200?
Even $50 would get you started.
Christmas is coming up. If you have family members who are planning on getting you a Christmas present, now is the time to not be shy. Let them know that you don’t need more stuff. Stuff is causing problems for you. Let them know the biggest gift they could give is money toward a professional to help you get organized.
If that’s not an option for you, look for ways to cut down on your grocery bill. I bet you could save close to $50 just in one week.
If you are already at the bottom of your grocery budget, look for things around your house you can sell. Facebook tag sale sites make it so easy to get rid of stuff you don’t need or use anymore!
There are lots of ways you can come up with this money when you get a little bit creative.
If it’s absolutely not possible for you to pay a professional, ask your most organized friend if he/she would be willing to help you out. (By this point, if you’ve been following along since the first week, you should be pretty good at asking for help!)
Find a way to get rid of the clutter and get organized.
It will set you up for success and save you money in the long run. More money than you paid a professional to help you out (I would have saved that much in glue sticks alone)!
Until then, pick one small area of your most cluttered room, and just devote 1 minute to working on it. You can do anything for one minute, and that will get the ball rolling for you!