Getting rid of clutter and having an organized home is incredibly rewarding. As beneficial as it is to declutter, however, many people are now realizing that most of that stuff ends up in the landfill. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to cut clutter without the harmful impacts on the environment.
Step 1 - Decide What to Keep
The first step to a clutter-free home is sorting everything. As you do this, the blog Simply Fiercely recommends taking time to reflect and set some boundaries. For example, if you’re sorting through clothes, think about the qualities that define your style, and set boundaries to eliminate ones that don’t meet those requirements.
Step 2 - Find Eco-Friendly Solutions for the Stuff That Goes
You may be surprised by how many different types of items can be donated. For example, Earth 911 recommends donating craft supplies to schools and old bedding like comforters to animal shelters. Large items like appliances and furniture that are still in good condition can be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity or local thrift stores.
What you don’t want is to donate something that ends up being trashed. To avoid this happening, check first with any local organizations to make sure it’s something they can use, or choose a national organization that takes donations.
If you’re willing to put a little time into it, you may be able to sell some items that are in good condition. As people are becoming aware of textile waste, there has been an increase in the number of websites that buy and sell clothes and accessories.
When you’re ready to upgrade electronics, you may be able to trade them in at a retailer to get a credit toward new items. And for many other kinds of items, there is always potential to make money by having a yard sale or using a buy/sell/trade website.
If you don’t have time to sell or donate everything right away, one option is to put what you don’t want to keep in storage. This allows you to take your time finding the most eco-friendly solution for everything, rather than just dumping it all in the landfill. Storage in Boise can be pricey, but many places have sign-up specials to save money. For example, at StoragePLUS - Eagle Rd., you can rent some units and save up to $25 off for your first eight full months.
Most of us are in the habit of recycling everyday items like bottles and cans, but you can also recycle larger household items when you’re ready to get rid of them. Many stores that sell large kitchen appliances will take your old ones to recycle, often for a small fee. Some municipalities will also take used appliances to be recycled.
If you have old electronics that you can’t sell or trade in, you can take them to many electronics retailers for recycling. There are also websites where you can search for recycling options in your city. One way to cut clutter even more is to scan photos and important documents and use cloud storage to keep them electronically. Then you can shred and recycle paper copies.
The main goal of decluttering is to get stuff out of your home, but some things can be reused or repurposed. To make sure you don’t thwart your decluttering goals, only keep things to reuse if you can upcycle them in a way that’s useful, like creating storage or decor.
This is also the perfect time to “green” your cleaning products. One option is to switch to chemical-free brands, or you can make your own products to be absolutely sure they’re good for the environment. Being kinder to the Earth starts at home, with our everyday choices like cleaning products and bigger choices, like decluttering responsibly. Taking the time to declutter conscientiously limits the impact on the environment and leaves you with a greener, cleaner
Guest Blog by Alice R. of Tidy Home