Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

by deborah on February 23, 2016 · 9 comments

in Green living, Living Green, Living Green

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

Humans produce a lot of waste.

According to one study, the average American generates about 4.3 pounds of waste every day,

more than half of which goes straight into landfills.

Worse, with spring around the corner, most people are about to fill their trash bins more than usual.

The annual spring clean usually results in a massive decluttering initiative that sees tons of unwanted

junk thrown away.

However, not all clutter is inherently garbage; in fact, most of the clutter around your home can be

disposed of in ways that conserve resources, preserve the environment, and contribute to a needy

community.

Here are five steps to help you overcome your clutter in a smart, sustainable way.

Recognize the Dangers of Hoarding

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

You might mistakenly believe that saving everything you have ever purchased is the best way to be

green: You are preventing it from entering a landfill and endangering the ecosystem, and you might

even find a way to recycle or upcycle some things later on.

However, this behavior can quickly , putting you, your bank

account, and the environment at risk.

Though it may seem harmless, holding onto old, unnecessary possessions is usually a sign of some

mental or emotional instability.

At its most drastic, the behavior is called “hoarding” and treated with intense counseling and medication.

Still, even minor hoarding can be detrimental.

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

For one, you are paying over and over again to store your stuff: You might lease storage space or

own a larger home to contain your clutter; you pay to relocate your things whenever you move;

you might even hire labor to maintain your unnecessary goods just in case you do decide to use them.

Worst of all, hoarding is literally unsafe, as clutter can attract disease-carrying pests, make living

structures unstable, and present serious risks for fire, flooding, and more.

Once you recognize that keeping junk around is bad all-around, you can start effectively and efficiently

decluttering your home.

Put Your Needs to the Test

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

The hardest part of a purge is sorting through your possessions to determine what should stay and

what should go.

Unfortunately, more people err on the side of keeping more than they need.

Living with less is actually more fulfilling that cluttering your life with unnecessary junk

You can employ the following simple tests to determine what items you no longer need to own:

Place sticky notes on every piece of furniture in your home.

Whenever you use that piece of furniture ― by sitting on it, opening it, or placing

things on it ― you can remove the sticky note.

After six months, you should give away any furniture that still bears a sticky note.

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

Reverse all your clothing so every article is inside-out.

When you wear an item, you can reverse it once again to be right-side-out.

Any clothing that remains inside-out for six months should be given away.


Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

Box up miscellaneous clutter and write the date on the outside of the box.

If you have no reason to open the box for six months, you should get rid of it.

Find Someone Worthy of Your Possessions

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

It is tempting to throw all unnecessary, unwanted possessions into the garbage because that method

rids you of your clutter quickly and quietly.

However, allowing usable items to fill landfills is unacceptable.

Instead, you can perform minimal research to find charitable organizations that will ,

vehicles, or anything else you have.

Often, your old goods go directly to families in dire need of assistance, meaning charities prefer items in

good, working order, but plenty of causes accept broken-down or poorly functioning donations which can

be refurbished and sold with the proceeds then going to those in need.

Avoid Repeating Your Wanton Behavior

Cleaning Clutter Without Endangering the Environment

It is easy to get into the habit of buying more than you need, especially when you live in a place

with plenty of space.

However, being an extravagant consumer endangers the environment ― by encouraging producers

to deplete more natural resources, by generating more and more trash, and by wasting energy

transporting and storing useless items.

Living with less is actually more fulfilling that cluttering your life with unnecessary junk

Therefore, after this spring clean, you should commit to living a minimalist lifestyle.

Living with less is actually more fulfilling than cluttering your life with unnecessary junk; it compels

you to evaluate the benefits of every potential purchase, helping you gain control of your finances

and keep your home clean and organized year-round.

It isn’t difficult to, and there are so many personal and environmental benefits.

 

What are your favorite tips for overcoming clutter in a smart, sustainable way?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.

Shared on Kind and Healthy Fridays

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie February 25, 2016 at 5:45 pm

Great post! I try to donate instead of putting them in the trash, just in case it can be used by someone. I also have posted boxes and packing materials free on craigslist because I’d rather have someone reuse the boxes and packing supplies again instead of recycling them. Hopefully we can all do more to help the planet, little by little.
Carrie

Reply

deborah February 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

Hi Carrie,
That’s brilliant! I love the idea of posting boxes and packing materials free on craigslist to encourage people to reuse the boxes and packing supplies again instead of recycling them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I appreciate it.

Reply

Leigh February 25, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Thanks for sharing this post at the Healthy Living Link Party!
Blessings, Leigh

Reply

Amberjane February 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

I need a good spring-clean too many hoarded things in my cupboards – thank you for sharing with Pin Worthy Wednesday.

Reply

Betty March 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I agree living with less is best. I have found that if I have not worn it or used it within a year it goes to co-signment or charity.

Reply

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