By Alice Robertson
Living a clutter-free life is more than a modern trend. In fact, it can keep us healthy, both physically and mentally. However, that doesn’t mean we should simply throw things out and forget about it. If possible, it’s best to be eco-friendly and recycle or repurpose what we can.
Keep It Clean
One way you can keep your house from getting too cluttered in the first place is to stay on top of your cleaning schedule. An easy way to make cleaning less of a chore is to have the right supplies on hand. That means non-toxic cleaning chemicals, as well as a good vacuum cleaner. If you own pets, don’t settle on just any vacuum cleaner. There are models available that do a superb job of removing pet hair; some even come with special attachments.
Avoid the Landfill
One of the most difficult aspects of decluttering can be handling larger goods. We may not need surplus bedding or refrigerators, but we shouldn’t throw them into the garbage. After all, plastic does not decompose because nothing can help it decay. Luckily, things that contain steel, such as mattresses and large electronics or appliances, are valuable to recyclers. When purchasing a new model, the company will often agree to haul away your old one specifically to recycle.
If your goods are in decent condition, you can always try a second hand agency, like Goodwill. Depending on your location, you may even be able to list your item online for free with the only caveat being they have to haul it away themselves. This works especially well in college towns, as there are specific websites such as Curbbed that connect students with used goods.
Remove Paper from Your Life
The amount of paper the USA alone throws into a landfill each year would shock you. Every American uses about 650 pounds of paper annually — that’s almost 212 billion pounds, and this figure does not include businesses. When switching to online billing and digital photos in lieu of physical ones, you can easily cut back on a lot of unnecessary waste. By embracing the cloud, you can help the environment and clean up your house at the same time. There are different options to choose from depending on what you need, and many of them are free. It’s an easy way to lessen our paper waste and clear up space in our homes.
Focus on the Bedroom
We spend a sizeable part of our days in our bedrooms, so it makes sense to keep them relaxing. Start with your closet and go through your clothes. If you encounter anything you aren’t in love with or don’t wear often, you should consider donating it. If something is too damaged to give away, transform or repurpose it, as there are many options to choose from. Want to avoid single-use plastics at the grocery store? You can make an old T-shirt into a produce bag. Once you’ve lightened your wardrobe, put some of the things you have lying around in bowls or in storage containers in the closet. This way, you make your sleep space a sanctuary without compromising your commitment to recycle.
Don’t Overlook Electronics
Like paper, e-waste is rampant in modern society. Yet, many electronics are full of valuable materials and metals that can be reused and recycled. Thankfully, there are places you can go to drop off your e-waste for recycling. Look at what organizations are available near you, such as the ISRI or the CAER. Call or check out their websites to confirm if they have options for donation, including by mail if there isn’t a drop-off near you.
We don’t have to damage the environment to lead simpler, less cluttered lives. By reusing what we can, recycling what we can’t, and donating the rest, we can help ourselves and the planet. Don’t let this be another year gathering mess — clean up your home today.