By TreeLiving

Spring cleaning is an annual tradition in many homes around the world. It’s the perfect time to clean your home from top to bottom. However, nothing ever truly feels clean if there’s clutter. And to be honest, it’s difficult to get to the dirt if there’s clutter in the way. So the first step to a truly clean home is to unclutter. And it’s also good for the e nvironment! Here are a few tips to help you unclutter and be eco-friendly at the same time.

Start on the Right Foot – Focus on a Small Space and Organize

Taking a look around a large cluttered room might feel too overwhelming. Instead, start with a small and manageable space. For example, instead of trying to clean and unclutter your entire kitchen, focus first on the pantry or the refrigerator.

As you start removing the items from the space, create four piles: keep, recycle, donate, and toss. Keep the items that are essential or that can be repurposed into something useful. Recycle and/or compost as appropriate. Donate the items that are in good condition and can be reused elsewhere. Toss whatever cannot be re-used or recycled. As you’re uncluttering consider how your clutter impacts not only your space but also the environment.

#1 Compost

There are many items that you might be surprised to learn you can compost. For example, shredded paper and cardboard can be composted. If you don’t have a compost bin in your home, there are often local compost centers where you can take your materials. This might also be the perfect time to start composting.

#2 Donate

Your gently used items can help others. And donating them helps keep them out of landfills. If an item can still provide value, donate it instead of throwing it away. Consider donating clothing, furniture, electronics, linens, toys and more when sorting your clutter.

#3 Repurpose

As you’re looking at the items, can you repurpose them? Can you make them fit another need in your home? This prevents you from spending money on new items and adding more clutter to your home later on. Also, look for ways you can repurpose items in your home to manage your clutter. Old peanut butter jars for example, can make great pencil holders or paper clip storage. A cardboard box can make a nice file box. And shoe boxes can be used to organize your pantry.

#4 Scan It

Instead of storing all those important papers, and the not so important ones, you can scan them and store them digitally. Tools like the Neat Desk can make organizing your files quick and easy. It’ll save space, eliminate clutter, and it’s eco-friendly too.

#5 Recycle

You’ll be surprised just how much you can recycle. If you can’t donate it or repurpose it, look for ways to recycle it. If you don’t have curbside recycling in your community, there’s probably a recycling center in or near your community. Your local recycling center may take:

• Electronics
• Scrap metal
• Batteries
• Paper
• Plastics

Once you have the clutter removed and handled in an eco-conscious manner, it’s time to get down to the dirty work. Remember that the chemicals in many household cleaners are toxic to you and the environment. Use natural cleaners to stay healthy and safe. With the clutter gone and your home cleaned from top to bottom you’ll feel refreshed, renewed and ready to enjoy the warmer months ahead.

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