How to Declutter the Right Way
Here are some small ways that you can reduce your household waste impact on the environment when cleaning and decluttering your home!
Be Mindful When Discarding Larger Items
When it comes to outdated furniture and appliances, or other additional items that take up more space than your average waste items, there are a few ways that you can lessen your environmental impact by making responsible waste disposal decisions by upcycling or reselling.
- Upcycle! This has been a popular trend for years, if Pinterest boards are any indication. People love to find ways to reuse old furniture pieces in creative ways to give them new life. For example, you can transform old wooden shutters into a small decorative table, you can turn trash cans into garden planting pots for medium-to-large plants, and even turn old dresser drawers into adorable and rustic end tables.
- Resell! Using classified ads to resell usable items has been around for ever, but with the advent of the internet and popular usage of social media sites becoming ever more popular, now is as good a time as any to give your items new life by using the second-hand economy. Popular places such as Facebook Marketplace have made it easier than ever to connect with locals seeking similar items or even looking to give away stuff rather than send it to a landfill. Whether you decide to adventure to a site like Craigslist, use an existing social media platform, or try your luck at local/regional websites such as SouthEastTexas.com, reselling or bartering items is a good idea!
Remove Paper Waste and Clutter
Have you ever noticed how paper waste from mail advertisements, important documents, and random paper notes tend to accumulate on common surface areas like kitchen tables, counters, and desk surfaces? For so many people, a big source of visible clutter in their life is in fact from paper waste they’ve collected over time.
- Go Digital! One great way to reduce your physical clutter is to switch to digital storage for photo mementos and essential documents. Most of the photos we take are already digital, so storing them in that way is easier than ever. For older photographs, you may want to consider scanning and archiving them by using a common printer/scanner or even taking a “new” picture with your camera phone. For secure documents and paperwork, much of the time people are using PDF documents and sending/receiving through e-mail anyways. Unless you are a business owner, you should consider using a free digital storage platform like Google Drive or Dropbox, but there are many more options if you take a few minutes to look around the internet.
- Cut out the JUNK mail! If you are like most people, you receive far too many unsolicited advertisements and “pre-approved” credit offers in the mail. Consider using an Opt-Out Service by having yourself removed from mailing lists and stop unwanted junk mail and magazines from accumulating in your life. There are several ways to do this online and it’s super easy! In the US alone, we accumulate 5.6 million tons of catalog and junk mail in landfills every year! The junk mail “industry” destroys 100 million trees per year.
Clean Up Routines
Have you noticed the trend in retailers’ cleaning supply options where there are many e-friendly, perfume-free, and natural-based cleaners popping up? This is because of increased public awareness about common cleaners and their accumulated polluting effect on our environment. Some cleaners we have commonly used to sanitize, degrease, or whiten and wash clothes and surfaces have also been harming our water and air for years.
- Switch to Eco-friendly! When harmful cleaning chemicals find their way into air and especially waste-water, thereby polluting soil and animal/plant ecosystems, it has a cumulative effect. Think about switching one of your common cleaners to a Natural alternative.
- Reduce Plastic Use! Many cleaning tools and products come in plastic packaging or contain plastic as the base of the product (such as sponges and brushes). One way to mitigate this is to switch to reusable and washable cotton cloths for cleaning or using old bits of cloth from broken, unsalvageable clothing and fabric, using biodegradable loofah scrubbers, and by using classic “cleaning” items like lemons, vinegar, and bicarbonate soda AKA baking soda to help in your routine.
To read more, visit the article here.