Getting organized is not just about purchasing beautiful or functional containers to store your stuff. It’s about using the things you have; donating those items you don’t use, like, or need; and recycling whatever you can. Kermit the Frog was known for saying, “It’s not easy being green.” However, I beg to differ. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are four (just like a 4-leaf clover) lucky tips for de-cluttering in an eco-friendly way that result in being green while organizing.
Donate unwanted clothing and small household items to Goodwill or other non-profit organizations such as local shelters or charities. This is a win-win-win situation: the item gets a second life benefiting someone who can really use it, you get a tax receipt for your donation, and, importantly, the unused item gets out of your house.
Recycle old computers and electronics. Tossing these items in the trash is terrible for the environment. Most computers and many other electronics contain lead. Instead, take them to your town or county’s electronic recycling event, or drop them off at Best Buy. If you have old cell phones, donate them to Secure the Call which takes your cell phones and converts them into 911 emergency access phones for senior citizens and domestic violence victims.
Repurpose unwanted/used items. Chipped your favorite souvenir coffee mug? Turn it into a pencil cup for your desk. Recently ordered checks? Use the boxes they came in as drawer inserts to organize your junk drawer. Has your toddler recently graduated to “real people” food? Use empty baby food jars to store small items in your home office, such as paper clips or thumbtacks. Have some extra plastic ice cube trays? They make great organizers for pairs of earrings or other small jewelry items.
Reduce the amount of mail that comes into your home. To reduce the number of prescreened credit card and insurance offers, contact www.optoutprescreen.com or call them at 1-888-OPT-OUT. To opt out of receiving unsolicited or junk mail, contact the Direct Marketing Association to remove your name from their list. Visit the websites of your credit cards, utility providers, loans, and other regular payments to request electronic bills instead of physical bills. If you choose to pay your bills online you also reduce your carbon footprint, while simultaneously saving the cost of a stamp!
Not sure where to recycle an unwanted item? Take advantage of the recycling database Earth 911; simply enter your zip code for local community options to recycle a wide variety of items. Now you have four tips to help you make your March organizing both lucky and green!