Upcycle, Recycle, or Donate
Instead of throwing away your old T-shirts, jeans, and other clothing, give them new life and turn them into something you can use; for example, T-shirts can become headbands or scarves. Jeans, on the other hand, can easily become tote bags, kids’ games, or Christmas stockings — with a little work. If you aren't handy with the sewing machine, or you just want these items out of your house, recycle them instead. You can recycle almost anything, from clothing to electronics, through recycling centers in your area. For your favorite sentimental treasures, give them to a younger relative to keep them in the family. It will bring you joy to see someone else enjoying something that you love. Local charities in your area may also appreciate donations, especially bigger items you don’t want sitting in a landfill, such as furniture.
Sell What You Can
If you have various items that you think someone else might buy, have a yard sale or use an online site such as Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace to get rid of your stuff. Books, clothing, electronics, furniture, and toys are always sought after. Not only will you be able to declutter your home, but you'll also make a little money along the way. Use safe practices when selling to strangers; meet in a public place and have someone with you as a precaution.
Embrace the cloud! Get rid of paper clutter stored in your home by going digital. Physical photos and other important documents can be scanned (or photographed with your smartphone) and uploaded to cloud storage (some are free, though others will run you around $5.99 per month, depending on what you need). You should also have your smartphone set to automatically back up your photos to the cloud as well. If you have a lot of photographs or paperwork, you can actually hire a service to scan and archive everything for you. Rest assured the vast majority of cloud storage services are safe and secure, using multi-layer encryption and other processes to protect your privacy and your documents. Paper documents can be lost or destroyed by fire, moisture, and other means, while digital documents will be around forever.
After you’ve decluttered, you need to deep-clean your home to give yourself a fresh start. Rather than using cleaning products made with chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and your family, use homemade cleansers made with baking soda and vinegar. You can also find eco-friendly cleaners at most grocery stores; just read the labels carefully. Look for the EPA's Safer Choice symbol to help identify products that are safer for human health and the environment.
Decluttering your home in an eco-friendly way will leave you with more space and less waste. After you declutter, it doesn’t mean you need to stop making new purchases altogether. However, you should give more thought to what you buy. Try to avoid impulse shopping, and only purchase what you really want or need. Also, be sure to shop from manufacturers and retailers that care about the environment as much as you do.
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