July 10, 2019

The Best Earth-Friendly Methods for Decluttering

GUEST ARTICLE BY ALICE ROBERTSON



Being intentional about what shares your life is increasingly understood as healthful. There are numerous benefits to be gained from paring down, but when it comes to finding earth-friendly decluttering methods, the task can become especially daunting. Read on for eco-friendly advice to help simplify your home and your overall lifestyle.

Reap the Benefits

Is clutter dragging you down? Clutter can infringe on you in more ways than making it hard to match socks or find your keys. You might be surprised to learn that being surrounded by piles of belongings can actually be hard on you, both physically and psychologically. According to Good Housekeeping, clutter can impact your health negatively, making you feel stressed out, encouraging overeating, causing fatigue, and reducing your productivity. On top of all that, piles of “stuff” offer hiding places for pests and germs, making it harder to keep spaces clean.

Start with a Process

Decluttering can be overwhelming if you don’t have a strategy for accomplishing your goal. One suggestion is to sort items into four basic categories:

● Items to put away
● Items to donate or sell
● Items for storage
● Items to recycle or otherwise discard

If you need help putting a plan together for decluttering and have cash to spare, you can enlist a home organizer consultant. In Hollywood, the average cost to hire an organizer runs around $30 to $80 per hour based on the scope of the project.

Clean as You Go

You’ll likely be amazed at what you unearth as you sort through your belongings. Keep some green cleaning supplies handy while working; you can probably make your own from what you have in your pantry. For example, baking soda, borax, lemons, and white vinegar can help build many healthy solutions. If you elect to purchase ready-made products , look for sustainably sourced, nontoxic, and naturally derived options.

Also, while you’re working, you’ll want to grab the vacuum for dust bunnies and debris, and you might even consider adding a new one to inspire you to keeping things tidy long-term. One idea is to pick up a commercial vacuum (available for as low as $110.99 ). It’s a wise choice since they are more powerful than typical residential versions, can handle messes anywhere from your bedroom to garage, and usually offer more bells and whistles than traditional home vacuums.

Rehoming Your Things

Deciding what to do with the useful items you no longer want can be a challenge, but there are more options out there than many people realize. Working appliances, electronics, bedding, and furniture that still has life left are often desirable to charities . Consider reaching out to a local homeless shelter, resale store, or domestic abuse center. Another idea is to sell things online or in a yard sale. There is also a market for upcycling goods, and nearly anything can be reborn as a craft or project these days. For instance, an old mattress and boxspring can provide stuffing for pet beds , and crafters turn springs and wood into yard art. As far as the items that are broken and irreparable, big-box stores often accept electronics, appliances, and bedding for a small fee. Check with places that sell new versions of whatever you need to recycle. If in doubt about something, check EcoScraps’ list of what can and cannot be recycled.

And don’t forget that you can repurpose and even rehome items in your own house to free up space. Get creative and look to storage options under the beds, or add vertical storage inside closets or on walls where possible. And don’t discount mounting your TV to the wall to free up floor space and bulky furniture. Ideally, try to find an inexpensive mounting option yourself since the average cost to hire someone to wall-mount your TV can range from $126-$336 . Thinking outside the box and making the most of your space can free up clutter and breathe new life into your home.

Part with Your Paper

Paper can accumulate quickly, so finding ways to keep it from coming into your home in the first place can mean living a far less cluttered life. Start with the invoices and statements entering your home each month, and set up online billing and payments. This option is available through most lenders, utility providers, and other services; if in doubt, ask the individual organization. You can even digitize your memories by saving old photographs to the cloud so you can savor them whenever and wherever you wish. Photos of loved ones, your kids’ coloring book pages, and mementos from vacations can all be safely stashed, out of harm's way yet easily accessible both now and down the road.

Decluttering your home can be a challenge, but with sound strategies, you can enjoy the benefits of having “less.” Clean as you go, and find appropriate, earth-friendly outlets for the items you edit. With a simplified living environment, you can be healthier and happier.

Alice Robertson
alice@tidyhome.info
TidyHome.info

Image courtesy of Pixabay