Our Eco-friendly Decluttering Guide

Written by
Iryna Komazova
January 16, 2023

Decluttering is often on our to-do list, but easy to ignore. Sorting things out requires time and energy, and our modern lifestyles are busy and time-poor—a problem that only increases during the holiday season. But January can be a great time to get decluttering off your to-do list. With holiday socialising over, it’s often a quiet period. Our advice? Set your January weekends aside to get it done properly—and eco-consciously! Read on for our eco-friendly decluttering tips.

Declutter by Category

If you’re serious about getting rid of your old stuff, then you should be ready to spend time on it. Which leads to an important question: how best to manage this task without losing motivation and giving up?  

You might recognise the following scenario. You’ve spent the day in your bedroom tackling your wardrobe. It’s now organised with a perfect system in place. But then you keep finding more clothes in other rooms around the house! Suddenly, your new wardrobe system doesn’t work anymore. How can you avoid this?

One solution: declutter by category. Tidying expert Marie Kondo earned her fame thanks to this advice. By approaching your task one category at a time, you see the whole picture. You can spot duplicates and similarities in what you own. 

Kondo suggests organising items into 5 categories: clothes, books, papers, other items, and then sentimental items when decluttering. But it’s up to you to divide these broad categories into smaller subcategories to make the task easier. For example, when you’re working on the miscellaneous category, you could separate the items further into the following:

  • kitchen appliances;
  • toiletries;
  • medicine;
  • kids’ or pets’ toys;
  • hair accessories;
  • jewellery.
Clothes are the best category to start decluttering

What Stays and What Goes 

We all know how hard it can be to get rid of our things. To help you decide, try Kondo’s now well-known advice to look at each object in turn, and ask whether or not it still sparks joy. But if that doesn’t work and you’re still struggling to let go, there are a few more questions that can help you decide:

  • Do you remember the last time you used this item?
  • Are you holding on to this item “just in case”?
  • Are you keeping this item for practical or sentimental reasons?
  • Will you actually use this item regularly?
  • Are you keeping this item just because it was a gift?

The aim of decluttering is to say goodbye to possessions that don’t make you happy anymore, or have reached the end of their usefulness. 

What to Do with Unwanted Stuff

Now you’ve sorted out what to keep, the equally important task—of getting rid of them in a planet friendly way—begins. 

As you’ve probably guessed, throwing items in the bin is the last thing we’d suggest. We’re here to help keep your rejected items out of landfill or incineration! Passing these unwanted items on to someone who needs or wants them is the most environmentally friendly option. Why don’t you try to repurpose, sell, upcycle, or give them away through dedicated websites or Facebook groups? And if you have broken or damaged items that you still need or want, now is the great time to fix it—or find someone who can! 

If those options aren’t possible, find out what is accepted for donation or recycling in your area, and by which organisations. Here are a few ideas:

  • Charities or churches (they usually accept clothes, accessories, and toys in good condition. Sometimes, they have clothes recycling programmes for which you need to separate the shabby items from the good condition ones).
  • Libraries (give books in good condition).
  • Curbside recycling schemes.
  • Community recycling centres or waste banks.
  • Small recycling/upcycling initiatives.
Try to find another home for your old stuff

***

Once you’ve sorted your home and removed what you no longer need, it’s time to organise your living space effectively. Take your time, look for space organising ideas, and enjoy making your home cosy and filled with the things that make you feel great!

Main image credit - freepik.com

After the busy Christmas period, January is the perfect time to think about what should stay in your life, and what should go. So, let’s start with your old stuff—and do some eco-friendly decluttering! 
Share this article
No items found.