Sustainable Ways To Declutter Your Home

Clutter. We all have it at one time or another. Whether it’s overflowing wardrobes, cupboards or those unintended collections, I recently heard them described as ‘doom boxes’– we can all use some fresh tips and ideas for decluttering and simplifying our lives.

In this post I’m rounding up a collection of ideas and tools to help you tackle and tame the clutter monster. And best of all, throughout I’ll be providing strategies for how you can make your decluttering sessions more sustainable!

When you’ve emptied the contents of your wardrobe over your bed, or pulled out all the kitchen drawers, it can be very tempting to reach for the black bin bags and chuck everything out with the general waste. However, with a little knowledge and a  small amount of effort you can fix your clutter issues using solutions that are more sustainable and kinder to the environment.

Preparation

The biggest reason we let clutter build-up is that we’re in a rush. But instead, if you spend a couple of extra minutes a day on decluttering, you can skip the day-long (or more) marathon of decluttering every few months.

Break everything that needs decluttering down into small areas and tackle them one at a time to avoid overwhelm and the temptation to throw things out when you are left with a big pile of stuff. 

And remember just because there’s something that we no longer want or have a need for it doesn’t mean that it has reached the end of its useful life.

Before you start, put a sorting system in place so you know where to place items as you go. Consider the following:

  1. Items you are keeping
  2. Items to be repaired
  3. Items that can be reused and can be passed on to friends and family, charity shops or even sell online or at a car boot sale. Some charities will even collect items directly from your home
  4. Items that can be recycled – Gather them up in a box or bags and take them to your household recycling centre. Even small electrical items can be recycled. 

Decluttering Small Spaces

All these ideas are great, but how about those of us living in small apartments? Or RVs and tiny houses? 

Luckily, there are a few special tips I found just for those of us in tiny living situations.

    1. Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise. In tiny living spaces, simple living becomes a million times more important. You need to learn to prioritise what to keep, ie what you need and what you don’t need.
    2. Consider using self-storage solutions like Now storage self-storage for those items you use or still want to keep but don’t use on a regular basis. Fortunately for the environment, investing in space at a self-storage facility means that none of your household goods is to a landfill. And also that you won’t need to repurchase those items again in the future if you do find you need them again. 
    3. Organise what’s left. Now that you’ve cleared everything you don’t need, you have to organise what’s left like a pro. Check out Pinterest for storage and organisation ideas for tiny spaces.

Can it be repaired?

Can you fix it or upcycle it to keep it in use? Repair doesn’t need to be that complicated. There are some basic quick fixes that are easy to do from repairing your clothes to upcycling your furniture. 

For clothing check local events that for learning to fix your clothes sessions or hire a local seamstress. 

For small appliances, someone local may be able to help, just ask around or post in a local forum. 

Can it be used elsewhere?

If your items are in good working order, then they can be reused either by donating to a local charity shop, giving them away for free or selling them. 

Just check with the charity shop that it does accept the items – otherwise it might cost them time and money to dispose of.

You can sell your pre-loved items – either online or at a car boot sale – to earn a bit of cash or give it away to someone in your local community through sites like Freecycle, Freegle and Gumtree.

Recycling

If something can’t be repaired or reused, then you should check to see if it can be recycled.

The best way to do this is to check what you can recycle in your area on your local council’s website.

Before taking it to your local recycling centre or recycling bank, separate items out into different types for example books, textiles and electricals.

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