Alice Robertson began her career in the home organization industry as a professional house cleaner. After cleaning and organizing her clients’ homes for years, she decided to open her own home organization business. Over the years, she has built an impressive client list, helping to make spaces in homes and businesses more functional. She recently created tidyhome.info as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years.
Green Cleaning Tips: Declutter without Adding to the Landfills
Believe it or not, the way you keep your home clean now can affect future generations. Keep reading for tips on how to get your space in top shape without impacting the earth.
Declutter your house for cleaner air and a better quality of life
If you aren’t already aware, you should know that clutter causes stress, can decrease your enjoyment of your home and, left unchecked, may become a potential health issue. Fortunately, eliminating messes and excess stuff isn’t that hard. Budget Dumpster recommends setting goals and creating a sorting system, which will make the task less overwhelming.
Donate or recycle what you don’t need
When you are sorting your belongings, separate them into “keep” and “donate” piles. Many things, such as clothing, gently-worn shoes, and kitchen items, will be welcome at your local homeless shelter. Larger items, such as mattresses, old computers, and appliances, can be recycled or donated for repurposing. In fact, most recycling plants or garbage services can point you toward an organization that will actually pick up your old mattressso you don’t have to lug it to the dump.
The main point of recycling or donating is not to let the big stuff turn into a big problem for the next generation. According to ERI, electronics waste is a major issue. The glass in a smartphone can take up to two million yearsto decompose. All of the metal, batteries, and assorted bits and pieces of our outdated technology tax the environment and can actually lead to significant health conditions for people many years down the road.
Embrace the cloud
While technology has added to the clutter in our landfills, it has also made it easier to avoid trash and trouble. There are very few papers that can’t simply be scanned and stored for later access. Receipts, coupons, and healthcare documents should be recycled instead of allowed to sit around collecting dust. Photos are also easy to store online, and there are numerous cloud-based platforms that make photo storage a streamlined process. In fact, if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you’re entitled to unlimited photo storageand an additional five gigs of free storage for other types of files.
Keep it green and clean
Once your home is neat and tidy and you’ve taken a truckful to the recycling center, keep things clean and healthy by switching to green cleaning products. If you are especially environmentally conscious, a bottle of vinegar and a box of baking soda will clean virtually every surface of your home. These can be washed down the drain without fear of contaminating your local water source. But if you don’t have time to make your own cleaning products, Todaylists the best eco-friendly cleaning suppliesavailable on the mass market.
You may also take the opportunity to assess your current cleaning appliances to consider whether it’s time for an upgrade. Vacuum cleaner upgrades are often neglected - we tend to hold onto our old ones for far too long. If it’s time for a new one, your old model can be donated to an animal shelter or local thrift shop. Pay attention when shopping for a new vacuum, as many are fully adjustableand can easily go from hardwood to carpet, which means you can get rid of a few extra tools in your cleaning supply arsenal.
Get the entire family involved
Unless you live alone, there are other bodies in your house that contribute to the state of your home. Give the entire family an opportunity to help you achieve your green cleaning goals. Children should be supplied with an empty box and encouraged to fill it to the top with toys they no longer need. The garageis another place that shouldn’t be overlooked, and even your outdoor enthusiast husband should be encouraged to let go of excess fishing gear, golf clubs, and lawn care tools he doesn’t use.
Cleaning your home – and keeping it that way – doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And your household goods and cleaning routine don’t have to hurt the next generation. Reuse when you can, recycle when you can’t, and donate those things that still have plenty of life left.
The Spruce offers more tips on green cleaning.