Alice Robertson of Tidy Homes began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner, which involved A LOT of decluttering. Over the years, she has helped clients get rid of everything from old mattresses to outdated electronics to entire closets worth of clothes. “Luckily, we don’t have to haul it off to the dump anymore. There’s a way to recycle just about everything!” says Alice. Here are her tips to decluttering your home while keeping the Earth and environment in mind.
Decluttering your home is a huge undertaking. Even if you declutter your home regularly, each time can lead to going through, reusing, and getting rid of more stuff than you even thought you had. However, when you get rid of anything in your home, it has to go somewhere. Sadly, if you aren’t careful, many of the things you throw out will end up in the landfill. Instead, you should be careful of where and how you get rid of items you no longer need when decluttering your home. Luckily, there are many ways to get rid of your old belongings that are eco-friendly.
Many items can easily be recycled. This includes most appliances. For example, small appliances are relatively easy to recycle, because they are mostly steel. Furthermore, many appliances also have microchips, which contain valuable materials that can be reused. In some areas, it is even illegal to simply throw out these electronics because their parts and materials can so easily be repurposed.
You can check to see if other items can be recycled by looking for certain labels. The Huffington Post has a chart that explains each symbol so you can quickly tell whether or not something you’re looking to get rid of is recyclable or not.
For things that are still working and lightly used, you can look into donating them to someone in need. Clothes are a huge donatable item, but others, such as books and toys, can also be given away. You can also donate art and craft supplies to nursing homes or low-income pre-schools. Toiletries, cleaning supplies, and all those toothbrushes you get from the dentist can also be donated to those in need. Diapers are also a huge need in many communities, because they are not covered by federal assistance programs but are extremely necessary for a baby’s health and well-being. Bikes, cellphones, and sturdy bags are also needed, and can be donated locally in your community.
When it comes to pictures, newspaper articles, and other important pieces of paper that you don’t want to get rid of, you can scan them and upload them onto the cloud. This will allow you to clear out clutter but still view them. When you’re done, you can recycle your pictures and other documents.
When you’re done decluttering, you’ll probably discover that the space that was once covered with stuff is now dirty and in need of cleaning. It is impossible to clean under and around piles of clutter, and after finally cleaning it up, it quickly becomes apparent that the area needs a lot of cleaning. Plus, now that the space is clear, you will have to keep it clean in the future. To motivate yourself in this task, you might want to invest in a quality, upright vacuum. Having a good vacuum will encourage you to use it, which will make keeping your space clean an easy task. Many upright vacuums have adjustable heights, which makes them great for a variety of floorings. You might also want to look into green cleaning products. According to The Spruce, using green cleaning products can make your home safer, protect your health, and can even save you some money. To use truly green products, you might even want to consider making your own so you know exactly what is in each product.
Decluttering your home is a big undertaking and can lead to a lot of waste and unneeded belongings. Instead of sending your unwanted stuff to a landfill, we recommend using some of the tips in this guide to lessen your impact on the earth and get your belongings to those in need.
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