4 Ways to Sustainably Declutter

Marie Kondo's Netflix special "Tidying up with Marie Kondo" has sent viewers in a cleaning frenzy. Living a minimalist lifestyle may be appealing, but there is a lot of wastefulness that is accompanied with decluttering. While taking out bags of trash may seem like the easiest solution to cleaning out your living space, there are more sustainable alternatives to producing more waste. Here are a few ways to sustainably declutter: 

1. Giving back to the community 

There are many ways to repurpose household items for those in need. Mose items that get swept away in the process of decluttering are still very functional. Donating them to local women's shelters and animal shelters are a great way to reuse items for those who need it the most. There are easy ways to DIY pet toys or cage comforters to donate. Extra pillows, towels and blankets are always needed at shelters and can provide a sense of security for people without it.  

2. Composting and Recycling

If you're cleaning out your bathroom you will most likely come across a lot of old shampoo bottles and half empty face wash. All of these findings are plastic items that can and should be recycled. Empty toilet paper rolls, loofahs and cotton balls are all examples of various household items that can be composted. Before adding to the pile of landfill waste, reevaluate the products you're considering throwing away and figure out if they can be recycled or composted. 

3. Resell

College students accumulate an obscene amount of textbooks throughout the years. More often than not they go untouched and form a stack of books in the corner of a room and very rarely will you receive adequate financial compensation from the book store for returning them. Sell old textbooks on Amazon and furniture on Craiglist or Facebook Marketplace for other students to buy. 

4. Don't get rid of it all

It is very easy to get caught up in the hype of minimalism and decluttering but that does not necessarily mean that everything must go. Marie Kondo emphasizes keeping things only if they bring you joy. For me thats holding onto every tiny memento that brings me back to a moment in time. Some may see this as clutter but it's happiness for me. Cherish those random tokens of joy and protect the evironment simultaneously.