Clutter takes many forms: a basement packed with unused furniture, a computer desktop littered with icons, too many finance related accounts to track, a mind filled with so many things to do that nothing gets done, an extra 30-odd pounds... I'm familiar with all of that and more, which is why I'm "here".
I've been working on the physical clutter for a few years now and I've got a ways to go. At least the clutter that's left is banished to the far reaches of the home: the basement, the attic, the unused bedroom and a few small nether regions. I'm still plugging away...sometimes donating, sometimes selling and contantly amazed at how much is left to do.
In seemingly unrelated events, my partner and I had a financial scare at the end of last year. We had let our credit card debt get a little out of hand (buying mostly things we truly needed and currently treasure) that we expected to wipe out with my year end cash bonus. We had been about $1500 (= on month) away from paying off all our credit card debt when we went on vacation in the summer. We could have been credit card debt free by August, but instead were approximately $12,000 in the hole by the end of the December. When we saw that the net cash of my bonus would barely cover a third of that, the clue-phone rang with our wakeup call.
2005 was declared the year we "get our finances in order".
Suze Orman was the person who made the connection between clutter and (bad) debt for me. A few weeks ago, I heard her mention that a cluttered house is a sign of credit card debt and it just made sense to me. I don't want either in my life, but it's a struggle sometimes. I was inspired by making some of my goals finally visible over at 43Things and coming across Brian's Personal Finance for the New Age since he's thinking through a lot of the same things as I am.