There’s a perplexing phenomenon that occurs in homes around Britain. We clean out drawers and closets, ruthlessly removing items no longer used. Then after some months, returning to the tidied space, it has mysteriously become full and disorganized. It’s hard to remember how it all got there but it means it’s time to declutter again.
You can’t escape from decluttering and it’s actually healthy. A study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology brought out, “Possession clutter has a strong negative impact on psychological home and perceived well-being.” So it feels good to get rid of unneeded items and there’s a way to feel even better about it: doing it in a sustainable way. You can feel happy knowing you’ve done your part to keep unnecessary items out of landfills. Here are 5 ways to be more sustainable as you declutter.
Swap Party & Donate
An enjoyable way to get rid of unwanted clothes is to hold a swap party with friends. All of you bring clothes, shoes, bags, ect. and lay them out on a bed or couch. If there’s anything you need or really want, you can take it. With anything leftover, drop it off at a nearby charity shop. Socializing over a bit of cake and coffee and getting a new-to-you sweater is fun, saves money and stops unwanted items going in a dumpster. Involving your friends also helps encourage sustainability not only for yourself but for those you care about. There’s a word of caution: be careful you don’t take so much that you replace current clutter.
If you’re not up to holding one of these gatherings, donate to local charity shops. A quick Google search shows ones that collect so you don’t have to leave your home. Keep in mind that it’s not just clothes and bric-a-brac all charity shops take. Some charities collect furniture.
Sell & Giveaway
This option is easier than ever with apps like Gumtree and the Facebook Market feature on Facebook. There are many people out there who are looking to style their home and closets on a budget and they know buying second hand items is a great way of doing that. All you need to do is take a few pictures on your phone to upload with the price.
If you have any furniture that is a bit worn but usable, where you feel bad throwing it away but can’t justify selling it for much, post it on one of these sites for free. Selling or giving away can help you get rid of things quickly. If you don’t have suitable transport or don’t want to carry your things away, it is one of the easier options to be sustainable since people can collect the items from you.
Some belongings are dear to us for various reasons but, at least for the time being, we may not have space for them. Storage facilities like The Storage Vault keep your items free from damage and secure for as long as you need. With self storage you know your possessions are safe and you don’t have the weight of clutter on your mind. Sometimes you feel a pang of regret after you get rid something when, a few months down the line, you realize you really do need it. Self storage is a good option for items that don’t have everyday purpose but are still useful to keep.
Be aware of recycling options in your area. Go to your City Council website. In the search engine, type “recycling.” What to put in your bins, recycling and waste centres near you, and what you can bring to them is some of the information you can find. This is particularly useful for broken items or things you can’t sell like old laptops or toasters.
Declutter in an Organised Way
Let’s be realistic. If you are anything like me, at the beginning of decluttering, you are excited and ruthless. You might feel up to doing several closets or rooms at once. A few hours into the process, you start to flag. You see the mound of stuff in front of you and lose the will to go on. When you get to this stage, it is less likely you will try to be sustainable. You might start throwing whatever you don’t need into the bin to finish as quickly as possible.
Instead of ripping the room apart all at once, start in one corner and work your way around. Look at the items around you and in the nearby drawers. With the things you are getting rid of, make different piles of what you can sell, swap, donate, store elsewhere, recycle, or throw away. If you get to the stage where you can’t go on, at least you know what you’ve done and where the items you’re won’t keep are going. You can carry on at your next burst of motivation. So put your favorite tunes on and crack on at it. Feel better with a clutter-free mind and knowing you are helping our beautiful planet stay green.