Thanks to celebs like Stacey Solomon, decluttering is the thing of the moment. I say thanks to, because not only can clutter be bad for our minds, but also for the environment.
With landfills filling up we can play a part in making sure we only send things to the landfill as a last resort. That doesn’t mean that we should keep hold of everything we own, but it does mean disposing of clutter sensibly and in an eco-friendly way.
If you have a lot of clutter in your house that you are desperate to get rid of, it can be really tempting to hire a skip and throw it all away. But, this isn’t the most eco-friendly decluttering mindset.
Over the last few years I have refined my decluttering, with more focus on how my junk can be reused, recycled, donated or disposed of responsibly.
Eco friendly decluttering tips
Recently I was offered a very large, very brightly coloured plastic toy for my daughter. The person who offered it to me got it for free, but went out of their way to clean it and pick it up. I have set myself a rule that if something comes in, something else has to go out. This would mean that if I accepted the large plastic toy I would then have to remove something I love from the house.
As I wasn’t prepared to do this, I politely declined. I don’t think the person who offered it was offended either!
You are also in control of what you buy and bring into the house. Once you have got your home to where you want it to be clutter wise, make a pact with yourself to only buy eco-friendly, perishable items that aren’t going to take up space in your home.
Charity shops are a great way to get rid of some of your quality items. However, socks with holes, broken toys and damaged clothes are not going to sell. Only donate items that you believe to be saleable.
You can also donate good quality clothing to women’s shelters and homeless charities. Some places also take toys and household items, so it is worth checking what else they might take.
Donating doesn’t stop at toys and clothes though. You can even take in date and unopened food to the local food bank.
If you have something in your house that you like, but it is broken, try fixing it. I know, pretty old school. Things are so cheap and easy to access these days that we are happy to buy new and replace rather than fix it up. If you haven’t got the skills to fix a dress or a larger item, find a professional who can.
Car boot sales are a great way to make money and get rid of unwanted, quality items. These are mainly on in the summer months, so if you don’t want to hang around for the next sale it would be worth donating to charity or trying out some online selling sites.
Facebook Marketplace is a fantastic place to sell and giveaway toys and childrens things, often without the need to post. Freecycle is a space to offer free items to local people. Depop is a great spot for good quality womens, mens and childrens clothes as is good old eBay.
Unsaleable items such as damaged clothing and electronics can be recycled. You would need to go to your local waste recycling site or find out if your council takes textiles/electronics curbside and if so how they want them to be separated.
When you are following our eco friendly decluttering tips, it is going to be really tempting to throw out all of your tupperware – I mean, where do all the lids go!? However, the little plastic lunch boxes you get from the takeaway can be reused as a way to organise your drawers. When things are organised you will be more likely to keep clutter free and you can also see what you have.
Using tubs also works well in your underwear drawer, which if you read our sustainable underwear blog should already be pretty minimal!
I have sorted out my kitchen cupboards and fridge which has helped me to see what I have and need each week. Doing this stops me from buying more tins of tomatoes and jars of peanut butter! It also means I can easily see the dates on food in the fridge so less goes to waste.
Eco friendly decluttering action points
- Start small – 1 drawer or 1 room at a time!
- Make a plan – Look up local charity shops and shelters where you might donate quality clothes to
- Get ready to sell – If you plan on selling you should know that it can take more time than donating. You’ll have pictures to take and upload, descriptions to write and then dealing with the incoming messages. You may also need to package it up and arrange postage
- Get inspired – follow declutter dollies and stacy solomon on Instagram for some great inspo
- Find out about recycling – Get on to your local councils website to see if they offer curbside textile and electronic recycling
Why not try and reuse something you would usually throw away and repurpose it into something new – just like we did with our old CBD bottles