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5 Eco-friendly Ways To Declutter Your Home

March 4, 2020
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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

Three years ago, I went on a huge decluttering mission.  I had read Marie Kondo’s book and felt truly inspired to change my home for the better.  But I wanted eco-friendly ways to declutter.

 

I knew that this would mean that there would be many clothes, furnishings and other items that I would want to remove from my home.  I wasn’t happy with the idea that these would end up in a landfill.

 

Getting started with Konmari

  1. Follow the book. Don’t skip any steps as you will subconsciously give yourself permission to pick and choose the parts of the process that you agree with.  Do it as she says and you’ll make it through to the end.
  2. Get a checklist. Pinterest is full of Konmari tick sheets that you can pin up on your fridge to track your progress visually.
  3. Join a local Facebook group. There are lots of Konmari Facebook groups.  If you pick one that is local to you it will be full of tips and ideas to help you out.
  4. Sort your exit strategy. This is basically what the rest of this article is about, so I won’t go on.

 

What is an exit strategy?

An exit strategy is how you intend to remove unwanted items from your home/life.  Many people who talk about the Konmari method stress the importance of knowing what you are going do with those items that no longer “spark joy”.

 

Making these decisions before you start will make it easier to move them on and therefore, avoid any of them creeping back into your life.

 

How to declutter items in an eco-friendly way?

  1. Sell them

If you don’t want them, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t.  Those people might even be willing to pay for them too.

 

I have listed and sold all manner of items on Facebook marketplace, eBay and Gumtree.  People will buy anything for the right price.

 

Choosing where to list your decluttered goods is half the trick.  I find that Facebook marketplace is great for toys and children’s clothes.  You can list household items like furniture but I’ve actually had more success on Gumtree with these items.

 

If it’s adult clothing, shoes or electronics then eBay is perfect.  Just make sure you do your research on pricing and postage before you list.  Plus, it is always good to wait for a “maximum £1 selling fees” weekend.

 

  1. Regift

If you have items that are brand new or nearly new, then why not consider regifting them?  You might not love it but that doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t value the gift?

 

One of the perfect examples of this is kids’ toys, particularly after birthday parties.  When you invite 30 children to a party, there is no way your kid is going to love all those gifts.  I save the unloved ones and pass them on at the next party.

 

Same applies to gifts that I have received from my students in the past.  Sometimes there are foods I can’t eat or it’s an item that is just not to my taste, so I pass them on to someone else.

 

  1. Donate

If you can’t sell or regift an item, then the next best strategy is to donate them.  Clothes and homewares can normally go to a charity shop, just ring ahead and ask them first.

 

Unopened toiletries and food can typically be donated your nearest Foodbank.  Some charity shops like The British Heart Foundation will accept large items of furniture.  Give them a call and see if they will come and yours.

 

Old bedding and towels are often accepted by animal rescue centres or vets.  And if you have any other items not listed here then you can try local Facebook groups.  Offer things up for free and see if anyone wants them.

 

  1. Recycle

For those goods that cannot be used by anyone else then you must try to recycle them.  Local recycling centres in the UK are good are accepting most types of material for recycling.

 

If you have larger items like mattresses and furniture, some centres will even offer a collection service for a small fee.

 

If you have old electronics, then you drop these off at places like Currys for recycling.  Again, it might be worth ringing ahead to check particularly if it is something big.

 

Remember that some items will contain more than one type of material, so it might be possible to break items down so that part of them can be recycled even if it can’t as a whole.

 

  1. Repurpose

This one is hard and should only be used as a last resort in my opinion.  If you are trying to declutter your home, the last thing you want to be doing is turning your old stuff into new stuff that you don’t want either.

 

However, there are some exceptions to this.  For me, I am happy to turn well-worn textiles into rags that I can use for cleaning and decorating purposes.

 

I have also turned old clothes, that didn’t fit, into bags that I used for shopping.  It was a great way to keep old festival t-shirts that I liked but could no longer wear.

 

Books can be used for decorative purposes. But think carefully about whether you like them enough to keep them on a shelf forever.

 

Furniture too can be upcycled into truly beautiful pieces, but if you don’t believe that you will ever do it then use a different exit strategy.  Be focused on your goal.

 

Time to get started with eco-friendly decluttering

With your eco-friendly exit strategies sorted, you can now go full steam ahead with the decluttering.  The best bit is that once you’ve emptied your home of all the items you don’t want, you’ll be less inclined to buy more.  It is magical!

eco-friendly ways to declutter

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.


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7 responses to “5 Eco-friendly Ways To Declutter Your Home”

  1. I may be an enigma, but love to get rid of things. You have some good suggestions on how to do so!

  2. Yashri says:

    Best methods to everyone. I hope everyone will follow the methods to save more time and money a lot!

  3. Kristine says:

    This is very true! Thanks for the tips. We definitely need to think about these options before we throw away.

  4. Very nice tips to declutter your home. I have seen that a lot of people dont wish to dispose their belongings so repurposing them is a nice way to retain such things yet find utility in them. Thanks for sharing!

  5. crisshex88 says:

    I have just finished the decluttering of my room and most of the house and I feel like a new person!

  6. I love that resurgence of decluttering with the Marie Kondo book. I started decluttering when we first married 23 years ago so I would not end up hoarders….LOL and never looked back.

  7. Jenny says:

    LOVE this post, thank you! While our family has not done the whole KonMari thing, we did take some steps to decluttering some parts of our home, and we always look at all those same options for “what do we do with it now” rather than tossing it in the bin.

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Welcome!

Looking After Your Pennies is an eco-friendly personal finance blog written and managed by Charlotte Jessop.

 

I write on a variety of topics including frugal lifestyle, eco-friendly living, money making ideas and generally how to make your money go further.

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