I'd like to thank Alice Robertson for writing this guest post on the many reasons we need to declutter our homes. Alice is an expert on home cleaning and decluttering, and her ideas have motivated me to keep going in getting my own home in order.
One day in the future, your stuff is going to wind up in a landfill. That is, if you don’t take measures to prevent it now. While you might not think that your lifestyle matters on a global scale, the reality is that it does, and perhaps even more than you might think. Keep reading for ways you can be an environmental steward at home.
Purge and Merge
An uncluttered space is good for your mental health, but there are plenty of physical benefits as well. Fewer items to get dusty means that you’re breathing in less unwanted contaminants, you’re at a reduced risk of injury at home, and you can spend less time cleaning and organizing. And it’s good for the environment, too.
Start your decluttering extravaganza with a blank slate. Rent a portable storage unit and clear your entire home of everything except the essentials. Open the windows to air things out and then get to work cleaning every nook and cranny. You don’t have to use harsh chemicals; Today’s list of eco-friendly cleaning supplies can help you get things spic and span. If you’re using an old vacuum, invest in a new cordless model, which will not only motivate you to keep things clean, but it’s also lighter and easier to store than corded vacuums.
When it’s time to put your stuff back in the house, only go back in with things that truly make you happy. Keep in mind that even your beloved books, photos, and DVDs can be stored digitally instead of taking up space on the shelf. Large items, such as unused appliances, bedding, and sports equipment, can be sold or recycled. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to leave these items on the curb and your local “junk collector” will be more than happy to pick them up for resale. Make sure to do this on days your trash service is not scheduled to come.
One of the simplest ways to declutter the kitchen is to replace many small appliances with one or two multi-purpose devices. Country Living extolls the benefits of the Instant Pot, which represents itself as being able to replace seven other appliances, including the slow cooker and vegetable steamer. In the bedroom, consider getting rid of duplicate clothing items and excess pillows you don’t use. When there are things you have to hold on to, never underestimate the power of hidden storage to keep things neat and tidy once you’ve done the initial work.
Electronics are an invention of modern day man, and technology has made life much easier. However, there are environmental concerns that go along with the components contained within items. Cadmium, mercury, and lead are harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Usable items may be donated, but old fax machines, stereos, and broken cell phones can be recycled. PartSelect.com notes that many manufacturers, including Apple and Canon, offer corporate refurbishing/recycling programs.
Paper is another item that’s perfect for recycling. Unfortunately, considering that nearly half of all waste in American landfills is paper, this isn’t happening enough. By recycling paper products, you save trees and water and help reduce methane gases caused by decomposition.
The things you do at home, such as cleaning with environmentally friendly products and eliminating waste, have a positive impact on your community. You’ll use less energy and won’t be as reliant on landfills. While you might just be one person, your actions may encourage others to do the same. You owe it to yourself and to future generations to do your part now.
Image via Pixabay