Every home can benefit from decluttering. However, it’s even better if we can ensure we do so in an eco-friendly way. If you need to lighten the load at home, here is how you can recycle, reduce and even reuse.
The Big Things
Sometimes, decluttering our homes involves removing large items we can’t necessarily deliver to a charity shop. Mattresses, big televisions, ovens and other appliances can all pose a problem, yet arranging for your waste disposal company to pick them up just dumps them in a landfill. It may surprise you, but even things you think are past their sell-by-date can be reused. Try listing such items on websites such as Craigslist or Facebook as free with the caveat that they need to be picked up. You can also call around to dumpster rental companies, and see if they themselves recycle. Some do, and so it does not hurt to investigate and learn what your best options are.
Many of the cleaning products we use actually poison not just our environments, but our homes too. While often safe in small doses, by using these chemicals over and over, we build up our exposure, and may experience negative side effects because of it. Replace these harsh chemicals with natural solutions, many of which can be crafted out of common kitchen items.
Beyond the cleaning agents, you’ll need good cleaning appliances. Take care to choose ones that don’t take up too much space and get the job done right the first time. Small, easy-to-use, lightweight appliances can lessen the burden of cleaning and help keep you motivated to keep your home clean. For example, if you’re due to upgrade your vacuum, consider one that’s efficient and lightweight (bonus points if you find a budget-friendly option). This vacuum review guide can help you make the right choice.
Enter the Cloud
Another way to keep clutter minimized, and to keep from accumulating more, is to embrace going digital. By keeping documents, photos and other things stored online, either on a hard drive or in the cloud, you can cut back on the amount of papers you have clogging up your life. Rather than printing pictures and pasting them into books that themselves take up space, you could try digital scrapbooking. By going digital, not only do you save on paper and chemicals, you can create designs you might otherwise not be able to physically manage.
Storing your important paperwork online will keep your desk free, but also make accessing your documents so much easier. A quick search on your computer can save hours of flipping through folder after folder.
So much around the home gets wasted. We throw out hundreds of items each week that we can actually reuse or repurpose. Plastic bags can be turned into items to help us bake, or even store bread to keep it fresh. You can use the mesh bags that onions and potatoes come in to keep your knitting sorted, or to clean out tough, baked-on messes. Most of us know we can reuse mason jars, but hold onto old razors as well. These can be used to keep your clothes tidy. You could also turn those old tissue boxes into knickknack containers, or a place for used tissues by a bedside. Do a little research to determine what you can reuse around your home.
There are many ways we can clean up both our lives and our environment. By using modern technology, eco-friendly cleaning products and reusing whatever we can, we can make a large difference in how we feel at home. Recycle and donate what you can, and repurpose whatever else is left to live a clutter-free, green life.
This article was contributed by Gus Stewart, a fellow Earth and Gardening Enthusiast. You can read more of his work and see what else he is up to on his website gardenable.org.