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Reducing belongings gets ample attention these days, thanks to the many important health benefits you can gain. Figuring out what to do with your “stuff” after electing to part ways can be the tricky part, especially if you want to be kind to the earth. Here’s important advice for cutting down, eco-friendly-style.

Digging in

The task of de-cluttering can be daunting and you don’t want to end up with piles everywhere, so find a logical method to keep things from getting out-of-hand. Sorting items into categories can be one effective strategy. Gather things to be donated or sold, make another pile for discarding, and make another pile for items you need to put where they belong. Steer clear of disposing of things in the trash as much as possible, to help avoid filling landfills. Love to Know explains landfills are a source of gases and liquids which are harmful to the earth. When it comes to items you are ready to re-home, either recycle them or look to sell or trade them through second-hand economy sites like Gumtree. Not only does it keep things out of landfills, it’s an opportunity to make a little spending money.

Dust bunnies, be gone!

Dust, lint, and debris are likely lurking in various nooks and crannies throughout your home, and as you de-clutter there will be certain things you’ll want to tackle with a vacuum. Since you are going to so much trouble and making a fresh, uncluttered start, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to an upgrade. A new cleaning tool can give you incentive for staying tidy, and it’s a useful reward for your efforts. Consider a bag-less vac, since they are not only convenient but going bag-less means one less thing to throw away periodically.

Clean as you go

Be forewarned, you’re liable to be in for an unpleasant surprise as to how much crud surfaces as you work. Keep some green cleaning products handy so you can wipe them away. You can make DIY cleansers from stuff in your kitchen, like baking soda, white vinegar, and lemons, or you can purchase off-the-shelf cleansers for your convenience. Just look for products that mention biodegradability, contain no harsh chemicals or dyes, and are not synthetic.

Re-frame your recycling

Recycling can be more complex than many people realize. The New York Times explains many people are doing it wrong, putting things which can’t be recycled into bins and mucking up the process. Become familiar with recycling guidelines. As far as large, difficult items, look for clever alternatives. For instance, many retailers will accept used items for recycling, such as clothing, electronics, and appliances. Most big box stores will recycle appliances, bedding, and electronics for a fee if they also sell those types of products. Thrift shops accept a variety of donations which are still useful, and certain charities also accept donations of household goods.

Art with your papers

Chances are you haven’t made a purchase from a paper catalog in years, and if you are still flipping pages, it’s time to surf the web instead. Cancel those subscription services, and while you’re at it, contact your bank and other organizations for paperless statements and e-checking services, too. Similarly, it’s time to digitize your memories. No more yellowing photos in sticky album pages! You can scan all your family pics and children’s artwork to the cloud.

Why it matters

You might be wondering what the hubbub is surrounding de-cluttering. After all, people have collected things for time eternal, treasuring their bits, baubles and mementos on shelves and counter tops. However, when things pile up it can be harmful to your health, especially if your belongings are disorganized. MindBodyGreen points out de-cluttering can help you in all sorts of important ways. It appears de-cluttering helps you become more productive and energetic, enjoy a refreshed perspective, and even sleep better at night.

Clutter could be weighing on you more than you realize, leading to stress and chronically being reminded of unfinished projects. Take time to de-clutter for your health and happiness. Knowing you did so in an earth-friendly manner will give you all the more peace of mind.
-Alice Robertson
Click here to check out Alice’s website: TidyHome