The hardest part of tackling an untidy home is getting started. Once you begin to tame the chaos, you’ll want to keep going and there is no shortage of advice on how to do it. From ‘clockwork cleaning’ to the KonMari method, there is a ton to choose from.
But I think there is really no-one-size-fits-all method when it comes to how each of us approaches decluttering. Whether you are a knick-knack loving maximalist or a Bohemian book collector, I want your house to feel like your home.
I want to help you put the “U” in declutter and say goodbye to all the rigid rules and fold your t-shirts the way ‘U” see fit.
I like to call it NEAT-ish, and along with my good friends at Value Village®, we are going to show how to declutter in a way that makes sense to “U” and our family, all while helping the planet.
3 Ways To Put The “U” In DECLUTTER
As I said before, there is not a perfect way to do this, but over the years, I have found that there are a few things you can do to make it more fun and accessible:
- Have fun Decluttering!
The decluttering process doesn’t have to be stressful – it can be fun and environmentally friendly! Find ways to chill out and enjoy the process, such as inviting your friends over, turning your bedroom into a “keep or donate” runway, and popping on your favorite playlist on the way to drop off your items.
2. Make reuse a ritual.
Make organizing your own repeatable ritual, and it will get easier—and more responsible—every time. When you learn how to enjoy decluttering, you’ll support a happy home and planet.
3. Always Declutter Responsibly
Don’t stop at decluttering your way; For good clutter karma, donate your items to a nonprofit organization at Value Village® and keep clutter out of the landfills. In fact, Value Village® keeps 700 million pounds of reusable items out of North American landfills every year.
Why should we declutter RESPONSIBLY?
We now consume 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is a 400% increase in clothing production from 20 years ago, and it makes the apparel industry one of the top polluters in the world. Unwanted and discarded textiles are not just showing up in apparel but also our towels, bedsheets, furniture and even stuffed toys.
Twenty-five percent of the world’s chemicals are used to produce textiles and a simple t-shirt takes seven bathtubs of water to produce from a cotton plant to finished product. Over 8,000 potentially toxic chemicals are involved in making it. It travels an average of
37,000 km before you get to wear it, and its carbon footprint is 20x its weight.
If you want to reduce greenhouses gases, recycling your clothing is a good place to start.
Three-fifths of all clothing produced ends up in landfills within one year of being made, and more than 150 billion garments are produced annually – enough to provide 20 new garments to every person on the planet every year.
When your clothes end up in landfill, they don’t normally have enough oxygen to break down, so they end up decomposing through something called anaerobic digestion. This process results in the emission of dangerous greenhouse gases that, in a landfill, are largely uncontrolled and end up escaping into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Recycling 100 million pounds of clothes helps the environment as much as removing 26,000-35,000 cars from the roads.
It takes a lot of energy to produce clothing; every item goes through a complex manufacturing process that uses an extraordinary amount of electricity and water. By recycling clothes when they are no longer wanted, you ensure that all that energy doesn’t simply go to waste.
Don’t stop at decluttering. When you declutter responsibly and donate your items to a nonprofit at Value Village®, you’re refreshing your home, helping your community, and protecting the planet. Win-win-win!
This post is sponsored by Value Village®. TVI, Inc. d/b/a Value Village® is a for-profit professional fundraiser. Visit valuevillage.com/donate to learn more.