The Price of Time

When I talk to people about why they want to get organized and what they hope to achieve in the process, their responses always come down to time.  An organized life requires an upfront investment of time that then pays dividends in time saved that can be spent on things that really matter.  People fundamentally want to get organized because they want to spend more time having fun with their families and friends and less time hunting for that one particular sweater in the back of the closet or dealing with overdue bills.

Your time is precious, and it’s finite.  So, whether you’re purchasing someone else’s time or using your own, I strongly encourage you not to discount its value. Whenever I talk to my clients about amounts of money, whether it relates to the pricing of my services or their options to make money on the items they no longer want, I always try to frame the discussion in terms of time and effort. 

Yes, hands-on organizing that’s tailored to you by a professional is relatively expensive in terms of both time and money.  However, you have to compare that investment with how long it would take you to organize the same space by yourself, and how well the final product would work for you compared to the solutions a pro would create. 

I like to tell my clients that the reason they should hire me is so that they never have to undertake a huge organizing project ever again.  I set up systems and teach my clients how to manage them so that they may only need an organizing checkup now and then to keep things running smoothly.

On the flip side, clients often see dollar signs when they look at items they no longer want that were very expensive when originally purchased.  I regret to inform you that most things do not hold value, since the secondhand retail market is flooded with vintage and antique pieces while the current trend is toward simple, minimal design. 

Further, the amount of money you can make by re-selling your castoffs is directly proportion to the amount of time and effort you put into the sale.  The easiest option, consignment, means a big chunk of your profit is taken off the top, while the options that yield the highest return, like eBay, require you to do everything yourself and reward more work on better pictures, marketing copy, and sale monitoring

When making organizing decisions, it’s important to consider the big picture, and how much your personal time is worth.