Eco-Friendly Tips for Decluttering Your Home the Right Way

Suzie Wilson

Although decluttering feels great, it can be bad for the environment. Toxic chemicals and unnecessary landfill waste are common byproducts of spring cleaning. Luckily, there are several ways you can cut down on waste, reduce your impact, and keep your decluttering sessions sustainable. Here’s how to turn your home into an uncluttered sanctuary the eco-friendly way.

Rehome Your Unwanted Items

As you go through your belongings, you’ll start creating piles of things you no longer want. Many of these, like clothing items and books, you can quickly drop off at a donation center. However, other items, such as furniture, appliances, and outdoor tools, are more difficult to rehome. Instead of taking these objects to the landfill and contributing to the country-wide waste problem,put them in storage until you have the time to sell or donate them. You’ll be able to find self-storage units in Alpharetta, Georgia, for an average of $65.03 per month.

When you’re ready, there are many ways you can find online and local buyers for your items. Sell your antique décor and paintings on Etsy. Post your larger objects on Craigslist, Facebook, and in your local newspaper. Smaller items can be listed on eBay since these can be shipped for a lower cost — this is a good way to sell unique hobby equipment and tools that only a specific group of people are looking for.

Recycle Everything You Can

Sadly, you won't be able to sell or donate anything that's broken, in very bad condition, or doesn't work anymore. Again, avoid chucking these in the trash. Many people don’t know that things like bedding, electronics, and appliances can be recycled. According to Mic, you can even recycle running shoes, holiday lights, toilets, and artificial Christmas trees. You may have to do a bit of research to find waste management companies that will take your items, but the time is worth it to keep large objects and hazardous electronics out of the landfill.

Digitize Your Paperwork and Photos

Paperwork is among the top four items people lose during their lives. As you cut down on clutter, try digitizing all of your paperwork and organizing it into simple, searchable folders on your computer. Scanning phone apps can make this simple and quick (CamScanner, for example, will only cost you $4.99. While you’re at it, scan your photos to keep these safe from getting lost in the attic or deteriorating over time. Then, sign up to receive electronic mail from your subscription services, credit card companies, and banks so you receive fewer unnecessary paper documents. Avoid losing sentimental pictures and important paperwork to data loss by uploading everything you can to the cloud. However if you have anything truelly important or valuable we do not recommend cloud storage. Once you have it in the cloud you have lost control of your info.

Choose Green Cleaning Products

Although most household cleaners are used indoors, their pollutants easily find their way into the environment, where they contaminate waterways, endanger animals, and contribute to air pollution. Cleaning chemicals also release compounds that can create a hazardous environment inside your own home! So, avoid products that contain phosphates, phthalates, glycols, nitrogen, and ammonia. Many “green” products contain the same dangerous compounds as toxic cleaners, so be sure to read the ingredient list instead of grabbing a product based on its environmentally friendly marketing. Also, check out products from websites like Green Depot that specialize in green cleaning products. You can even make your own cleaning products with simple ingredients like soap, vinegar, and baking soda.

Decluttering is an excellent way to minimize your life and restore a sense of calm to your home. By taking the time to tackle your home with the environment in mind, you’ll feel even better about your cleaning efforts. Plus, you'll be setting yourself up with some environmentally friendly cleaning habits to help you reduce your impact for years to come.

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