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This is really an update on my post at the start of the year on this being my year to clear. Over 4 months ago I told you of my intention to try and declutter my overwhelming and cluttered house. It is amazing how many things you can accumulate in 20 years of living in a house. Here is my update, and how I am decluttering the Zero Waste way.
Decluttering The Zero Waste Way
How can you get rid of your clutter in the most environmentally friendly way? Find some great tips and ideas here.
It is very easy just to bundle everything up into black plastic bags. And take them to the rubbish dump or throw them in a skip. But this is so ecologically unsound! Just allowing all my clutter to go to landfill would be a waste of resources and really bad for the environment. So by decluttering the zero waste way I can try and minimise the amount that actually goes into landfill.
Sorting Out My Clutter
I have a 5 bag system for sorting out when decluttering. Items to donate (give away), items to sell, items to fix, items to reuse, and finally items to trash. I am actually quite lucky in having areas in which to store everything. Having a large cellar, garage and attic space is a big help! And it means that the organised piles are out of sight. My attic spare room still looks full, but at least our living areas look a bit less cluttered.
In the past 4 months I have managed to sell a lot of my unwanted and decluttered items on eBay. I realised about a month ago that I was going to accept the fact that I was only going to have one child, and so have sold a lot of E’s old toys, clothes and other items. Not a bad profit from just selling clutter.
I also managed to sell some old DVDs and books that I cleared out on Ziffit, most charity shops do not take books these days and they don’t sell well at car boots. It was only a few pounds but every little helps.
Lastly, we do need to do a car boot sale, to sell some of the larger items, and things that won’t sell on eBay.
A fair amount of my clutter has also been donated. I was delighted when a good friend had a little girl a few weeks ago, as this meant that I could send her some of E’s old clothes. This is a great zero waste way of stopping fabric from going to landfill, which is so bad for the planet. Get some more wear out of those clothes!
I do try to reuse a lot of the clothes that I declutter, but there are still items that can really only go to the charity shops. I have been informed that Oxfam are particularly good for utilising everything that they are sent.
Reusing and Recycling Clutter
This is a really big area for me, and an area where I think we could all do more. My clearout has mainly been clothes, but there were also magazines, ornaments and the odd piece of furniture.
There are so many ways we could be upcycling our old clothes. Even if a piece of clothing isn’t good enough to donate to friends or the charity shop, I now have a massive bag of jersey clothes from which I could make a rag rug. I am planning to make one for my little girl’s new outside playhouse.
And there are so many ways of using up old towels and other fabrics. Whilst clearing out I found a lot of burp cloths, bibs and flannel items that were just not good enough for giving away or donating. I plan to make some reusable sanitary pads. At the same time I had a clearcut of my towel cupboard and found that I had a few old towels that were really past their best. I made some reusable kitchen towels, a perfect zero waste substitute for kitchen roll.
Sending Clutter to the Bin
Luckily, even if we do go to the local council dump, they have a large recycling centre, everything goes in separate areas, and hopefully a lot of it will still get recycled.
I now have a compost bin to try and minimise my kitchen waste going to landfill too.
So how is my Year to Clear going overall?
I think I am doing well. I said that I was going to try to list 2 items a day on eBay. This never happened, but I am still happy with all that I have listed and how much has sold.
Said that I was going to declutter at least 700 items from my house this year. I think I have probably done that already. But as you can see from my attic photo, I still have a long, long way to go. However, I do also concede that decluttering is an ongoing process. I will not finish clearing this year even if I wanted do. But I know that I am decluttering the zero waste way.
Do you think you could declutter whilst keeping as zero waste as possible? I would love to hear if you have any tips or ideas for things that you have done. Get in touch by commenting below, or finding me on social media.
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