Anyone who has ever tried to declutter their home can tell you the bitter truth: decluttering isn’t as easy as collecting things. On the contrary, it’s hard work, with lots of annoyance and headaches.
And that’s only the process itself.
When it comes to deciding what to do with things we no longer need as environmentally-minded people, we find ourselves in a difficult situation: how can we actually get rid of stuff without harming the environment even further? Here are a few useful tips:
‘Room by room’ rule
If you think about decluttering your home all at once, you will likely get tired after a couple of hours and lose your motivation. Instead, why don’t think instead about decluttering room by room? This way, you will be able to see the actual impact of your actions on your home. Also, you will not have to go back to a room after you’ve finished. It’s much less overwhelming tackle one room a day, or a couple of days if necessary.
Unless you take on this task more frequently than most people, decluttering your entire home would be too much work for one day. Thinking of decluttering your entire home means that as you leave one room, you notice the clutter in another. It’s easier to declutter one room and leave the others till later. Just make a schedule and stick to it. Plan how to use your spare time and get satisfaction from finishing several small tasks instead of concentrating on how much work you have left.
‘Buy what’s empty’ rule
But if you make a rule only to replace what’s empty, it will help you cut back on waste. What is more, you will also notice which products you use most and you won’t have so much clutter. Apply this rule to pretty much everything: not only beauty products, but cleaning supplies, food, and any other consumables.
Also, when it comes to things like makeup or something else you might end up not liking, use the Internet to see reviews of other people who have used the same product. Or go out and try to get some testers or samples before you actually buy some.
DIY beauty and cleaning products
Another great way to avoid unnecessary clutter is to make your own beauty and cleaning products and reduce the number of packages, bottles, and boxes you keep in your cabinets. Instead of using harsh chemicals and several different cleaning products for your bathroom and kitchen, you can try making your own using nothing more than baking soda, vinegar, and citrus fruit. Not only does this smell great, it’s also perfectly safe to use in every room in your home because it’s non-toxic, and often even edible. And you won’t have to pile up different specialized cleaning products anymore, leaving your kitchen and bathroom clutter-free.
Old T-shirts are particularly great to work with, because they can be transformed into pretty much anything from comfy underwear to yoga pants, vests, and grocery tote bags. All you need is some patience, sewing needles, and a pair of scissors, and you’ll be ready to go.
You can also try upcycling other things too: old chairs into an outdoor bench, CDs and DVDs into decoration for photo frames and mirrors, old drawers into dog beds, and chandeliers into old flower pots.
The same goes for shoes, toys, and decorative items from your home – if you no longer need or want them, you can donate them to someone in need.
Not only will you declutter your home, but you will also do a good deed and make someone’s life a bit better and easier.
Have a yard sale
In a hurry? You can also organize a simple yard sale, so your neighbors can come bargain hunting.
If you are worried about the environmental impact that decluttering has, you should know that you can always find ways to make eco-friendly decisions. You can do a lot to help both the environment and other people with your actions. When you choose to go green, you are making a positive impact and doing something nice for our planet.
Derek Lotts is a Sydney-based writer and researcher who frequently contributed to Smooth Decorator