Simply Orderly invites you to peruse these statistics and consider what clutter and chaos in your life is costing you and whether the value of becoming more organized is worth your time and effort?

We spend a lot of time looking for lost items.  Can you find your stuff when you need it?

Average Americans spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items. US News and World Report

On average, we spend 6 minutes looking for our keys in the morning. IKEA

The top five items men look for in their homes are clean socks, remote control, wedding album, car keys and driver’s license. For women, the top five items are shoes, a child’s toy, wallet, lipstick and the remote control. IKEA

The average American wastes 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find. Newsweek

The average office employee spends 1.5 hours a day (6 weeks per year) looking for things.

The typical executive wastes 150 hours a year (almost an entire month), searching for lost information. For someone earning $50,000 a year, this loss is equivalent to $3,842 annually.  Forbes ASAP

Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost and misplaced articles.  American Demographic Society

We keep too much unnecessary “stuff”.  Are you a clutter bug?

80% of what we keep we never use.  National Association of Professional Organizers (hereafter referred to as NAPO)

Getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 % of the housework in the average home. National Soap & Detergent Association

We wear 20 % of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest hangs there, just in case. NAPO

25% of homeowners polled with two-car garages, fill it with so much stuff, they can’t park even 1 car inside and 32% fit 1, but not 2 cars inside. U.S. Department of Energy

There are almost 40,000 self-storage facilities in the United States.  The demand for storage doubled from 1994 to 2004. The Self Storage Association

We strive to be more organized.  Are you making any headway in this department?

More than 1 out of 4 Americans would like to be better organized. NAPO

Home storage products have become a $4.36 billion industry.  Newsweek

Our troubled economy has prompted a need for empowerment.  Cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering your home can provide this much needed sense of control. 25% of those polled indicate they’ve been more interested in these activities since the recession began. Icono Communities panel

55% of consumers polled say they would save 16 minutes to one hour a day if they were more organized. Those consumers are then wasting 2-15 days a year! NAPO

We are inundated with paper, documents and information.  Do you have a handle on the influx, storage and retrieval of information or are you buried?


80 %  of the papers we file, we never refer to again. The Small Business Administration

Each year, about 100 million households receive 16.6 billion catalogs. Direct Mail Association

The average American receives 49,060 pieces of mail in their lifetime; 1/3 of it is junk mail. NAPO media stats

The use of office paper has tripled since the birth of the computer. Organized World

Typical US workers are interrupted by communications technology every 10 minutes. Institute for Future and Gallup

The average executive wastes six weeks annually searching for important documents lost in among the clutter. Wall Street Journal

Executives commonly pick up a single piece of paper from their desk 30-40 times before acting on it. Michael F. Woolery, Seize the Day

US employees waste more than two hours a week finding, sharing and storing documents.

23% of adults pay bills late and incur late fees because they can’t find their bills. Harris Interactive

Every day Americans buy 62 million newspapers and throw out 44 million. That’s the equivalent of dumping 500,000 trees into a landfill every

A full four-drawer file cabinet holds 18,000 pages. NAPO

It costs about $25,000 to fill a four drawer filing cabinet and over $2,100 per year to maintain it. Gartner Group, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Young

Time spent mishandling paperwork detracts from a company’s ability to service customers, increase sales, and improve the bottom line. Small Business Administration

Corporations don’t understand the value of efficient document management or the cost of bad document management. Thornton May, author of Imaging World

The average office spends $20 in labor to file each document, $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document, loses one out of every 20 documents and spends 25 hours recreating each lost document.  PricewaterhouseCoopers

Every year, enough paper is thrown away to make a 12’ wall from New York to California.

We lead busy lives.  Are you progressing toward achieving your goals or just running around, stressed out and accomplishing very little?  Where does your time go?  If you could create more free time, what would you do with it?

65 % of those surveyed, describe themselves as “very” or “insanely” busy.  Day Runner

Perfectionism costs 50% or more of the total effort required, to squeeze out the last 10% or so of quality. Jeff Olson, The Agile Manager’s Guide to Getting Organized

Using the correct organizational tools can improve time management by 38%.  Mobile Technology Product

“Parents spend an average of 23% of their free time scheduling and coordinating their children’s and family’s schedules.” Harris Interactive Online Survey

Coordinating family members’ schedules and tracking homework assignments are significant areas where parents need the most help. 28% of parents said coordinating schedules between work and school activities was the thing they enjoyed least about sending children back to school. Over 50% of the parents questioned stated they have trouble completing their to-do-list. FranklinCovey Products.

40% of adults say if they had more time, they would spend it with family.  Day Runner Survey

Multi-tasking decreases productivity by 20-40% more than those who focus on one project at a time.  The time lost switching among tasks increases the complexity of the those tasks. University of Michigan

Sales reps surveyed were most productive when they assigned themselves only three tasks per day and had a great sense of accomplishment when they completed those tasks. Accountemps

Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday, not because they aren’t smart, but because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with the increasing workloads and demands. Wall Street Journal Report

We have unorganized homes and offices.  Do all your things have an assigned place or have you surrendered to clutter encroaching on your living and working space?

31% of customers surveyed reported they were more satisfied after cleaning out their closets than they were after sex. IKEA (Be right back… I’ve got a few closets to clean)

65 % of nationwide consumers polled noted that their household was at least moderately disorganized, 71 % said their quality of life would improve if they were better organized and96% indicated they could save time every day by becoming more organized. Of those, 15 % felt they could save more than an hour each day and 30 %  felt they could save at least 30 minutes each day if they were more organized at home. NAPO

The top areas in homes where organizing services are requested are the home office or den, kitchen, closet, master bedroom and the garage/attic/basement areas. NAPO

Realtors regard “first impression” improvements such as de-cluttering closets to be one of the smartest ways to spruce up your home before putting it on the market. NAPO

Household order, characterized by routines and cleanliness, was associated with a range of early reading abilities in a sample of 455 kindergarten and first-grade children. Teachers College, Columbia University & Ohio State University

Married men are four times more likely to leave their pajamas on the floor in the morning compared to single men. Women with shoe racks are seven more times likely to be on time for work than women without shoe racks. IKEA

When asked what the biggest challenge to improving  organization, 32.9% said “lack of space”, 27.3% said “finding the time”, 25.2% said “too much stuff”, 6.7% said “not sure what product to use”, 2.7% said “products at local retailer don’t meet my need” and  5.1% said “other”.  Homeworld Forecast Consumer Survey conducted by NPD Group

50% of homeowners rate the garage as the most disorganized place in the house. NAPO

1397 people asked “How long would it take you to get your house ready for dinner guests”, gave these answers:  65% said 4 hours or less, 11% said they would never invite anyone inside, 10% said 8 hours, 7% said 24 hours and 6% said 40 or more hours. NAPO

Our Kids may be heading down the same chaotic path. 

The top services NAPO members provide to school-aged children are: 1) organization of their rooms and/or study areas, 2) closet organization, 3) help determining what to keep or discard, 4) advice on organization and time management in the home and 5) school programs on organization and time management. NAPO

“Children are simply not alike in their ability to be organized. Some children have better organizational skills than others. Children vary in their ability to meet deadlines and manage their time effectively.” NYU Child Study Center

Disorganization at work makes us work longer hours.  Do your information and time management systems help or hinder you at work?

43% of the Americans surveyed described themselves as disorganized and 21 % have missed crucial work deadlines. Nearly half say disorganization causes them to work late at least two to three times a week.  David Lewis’s survey of 2,544 office workers in United States and Europe for Esselte Corporation

27 % of workers polled said they feel disorganized at work and of those, 91 % said they would be more effective and efficient if their workspace was better organized. 28 % said they would save over an hour per day and 27 % said they would save 31 to 60 minutes each day. NAPO

“Men who organize their home offices are more likely to spend time playing with their children than men whose home offices are in disarray.” IKEA

An enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $48,000 per week, or nearly $2.5M per year, due to an inability to locate and retrieve information.  NAPO

96% of office workers are frustrated by their company’s information management. Harte-Hanks

UPS and GM have implemented clean desk policies. Wall Street Journal

Employees spend roughly 25% to 35% of their time looking for the information they need to do their jobs. Document Magazine

Stress makes us sick.  How can you reduce and control some of the stressors in your life?

80% of our medical expenditures are stress related. The Centers for Disease Control

Stress-related illness costs the nation $300 billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity American Institute of Stress

Who hires professional organizers and why?

The Top 5 Client Groups are residential, home-office-based businesses, small-businesses outside of the home, special needs customers and large and mid-sized businesses.  NAPO

The top 5 reasons professional organizers are hired are: too much clutter, general disorganization, difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard, difficulty finding things and selling a home or moving. NAPO