How to Declutter and Turn Your Home Into an Eco-Friendly Sanctuary

Home is where the heart is, but your home can also be so full of clutter that makes it feel less like the peaceful oasis it should be.

​Whatever your motivation for decluttering, give your well-being a deserved boost by clearing out your personal spaces. Best of all, you can do this without negatively impacting the environment.

Moving Big Pieces On

Do you constantly have to navigate around furniture, or has your mattress or couch seen better days? Ridding yourself of big pieces can be intimidating, but disposing of them doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive. For example, mattresses can be collected by a local junk removal service or a recycling company, and costs for the latter may only total upwards of $40. Some charitable organizations offer pickups, and there are apps that can simplify selling furniture. Dealing with e-waste is equally important, as electronics can have just as serious an impact on the environment. Thankfully, companies like Seattle-based Friendly Earth will collect your unwanted devices free of charge and dispose of them responsibly, and there is always the option of selling online or using a recycling service.

Upload Your Life

This may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but it’s never been easier to protect your memories and your day-to-day documents through digital preservation. If you have mounds of paper spanning years or binders of photographs, scanning could be a smart solution. You could store this data on a computer or by using a cloud service, both of which can help you organize valuables and improve their accessibility. Having a cloud account is advantageous, as computers have a finite capacity and there is a risk of malfunction. Of course, there is also the threat of clutter returning, so make going paperless a habit by transitioning to e-statements, which can be structured like a filing system on your computer.

Clean for Wellness

We want clean homes, especially after decluttering, yet the products many of us use can do much more harm than good. So, according to HomeAdvisor, “when people clean using products and methods that are free of toxic or unsafe materials, and that are safe for the environment and human health, it is called green cleaning.” As a start, research brands that are eco-friendly since you can switch out chemical-rich products for ones that both clean and protect your environment. You could even supplement this approach by using everyday items, from baking soda and vinegar to olive oil and lemon. Natural ingredients may help you cut back on household expenses and can be utilized for just about any cleaning chore.

Make the Home Eco-Friendly

Decluttering is not only an opportunity to clean but to upgrade parts of your home to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. You could, for instance, replace outdated and clunky appliances with models that take up less space, boast eco settings, and put less strain on your home. This will be a process, particularly as decluttering takes time and technology is an investment, so prioritize which devices you want to update. Don’t overlook other aspects of eco-living, though, such as smart thermostats, to help conserve energy, reduce bills, and take control of your environment. By introducing smart additions, you can further streamline your home and improve its efficiency.

​Modify Your Possessions

Sometimes, we want to hold onto mementos of the past, like an old T-shirt we got at a concert or a favorite sweater that’s been torn with age. Unfortunately, they take up valuable room and no longer have a practical use, but they can be given new life through upcycling. This repurposes old things into something new, which could free up your wardrobe while giving you different outfits. You could make leg warmers out of sweaters or transform T-shirts into shorts or dresses. The options are endless and offer you a means to express yourself and save on space. Organizations like Ragfinery in Bellingham, WA even offer upcycling workshops to help get your creative juices flowing.

This is a major project and should not be taken lightly. Whether you are pursuing minimalism or want to replace older possessions, don’t let decluttering become overwhelming. Take it in your stride, and remember that your efforts are worthwhile.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

About the Author

​Ginger Reid spends her time writing and searching for ways to make a positive impact on our planet.  She believes that any small changes will help cut our environmental footprint.

About Olga Lockhart

Olga Lockhart, Marketing Manager for Pathway Design & Construction, researches, analyzes, and writes about these key topics: Universal Design, Aging in Place, Northwest building & Seattle remodeling trends, air quality issues, and solutions, during construction. She's also willing to chat about travel and culture out of the office.

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