Organize Your Life and Save the World (at Least a Little Bit of It)

written by Alice Robertson

If you have never considered your personal impact on the environment, perhaps you should. Every person has a responsibility to be a better friend to Mother Earth. One of the most important things we can do to achieve this goal is to declutter and organize our homes so that we produce less waste and actually consume the goods we purchase.

The Environmental Magazine explains that Millennial minimalist living has already begun to have a positive impact on the environment. Living with less stuff means that you will consume less energy and have fewer trips to the landfill.

Here are a few tips to go green at home and put the environment first.

Purge

Spend a weekend – or a week depending on how much stuff you have – going through your belongings to determine what you’ve been living with that you don’t use. Household goods, clothing, and other usable items can be donated. Once you have decided what stays, consider bringing in an interior cleaning service (this will cost between $107 and $176 in the Perris area depending on how large your home is) to help you deep clean so that you can start with a blank slate. Many cleaning services utilize environmentally friendly cleaning products, but make sure you ask about this when you call for a quote.

Digitize

There is an entire world behind your laptop, phone, and tablet screens. It’s called the cloud, and it is a form of storage you can use to further tidy up. Products, such as the once-novel Amazon Kindle, have now made it possible to go virtually paperless at home. Likewise, streaming television services mean you have access to an unlimited variety of entertainment without having to fill your shelves full of discs and DVD cases. Motherboard’s Jason Koebler explains that DVDs (and ostensibly other forms of physical media) contribute to billions of kilograms of carbon emissions each year. And it’s not just your movies and books that can live in the cloud — photographs, receipts, and even legal documents can be scanned and digitized to free up space in your home now and, more importantly, eliminates waste later on.

The Big Stuff

One of the most challenging aspects of making room in your home is figuring out what to do with the big, bulky appliances, furniture, and bedding that you don’t need. Earth911 suggests recycling large appliances, such as the refrigerator or air-conditioning unit. Check with your product manufacturer to see if they have recycling services in place. Likewise, your old mattresses can be recycled, especially if it’s an older model with metal coils.

A Smaller Footprint

If you want to make a lasting impact on the environment, be mindful that you don’t return to your cluttered ways. A few tips to keep you on-track are:

  • Shop with intention: Don’t just buy things because they are on sale, and only bring items into your home that have a defined purpose.
  • Recycle the small things: Make it easy for yourself to recycle paper, plastics, and glass by placing recycling bins in the kitchen and garage.
  • Bring in a professional for advice: A professional organizer (at a cost of $30 – $80 per hour) can help you make the most of your living space and give you the tools you need to keep it clutter-free.
  • Keep a green cleaning routine: Outfit your home with organic and environmentally friendly cleaning products, preferably ones with reusable bottles.
  • Watch what you wear: Remember that cheap clothing is almost certainly on a fast track to the dump and will most likely live in the back of your closet after just a few wears.

Your actions at home have a positive impact on the environment and may inspire others to follow suit. While cleaning your house may not save the entire world, it will make a difference. Every little bit counts so do your part and remember the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Image via Pixabay

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