tidying up with the earth in mind

Tidying Up With the Earth in Mind

Marie Kondo has been making a splash lately with her new series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a television follow-up to her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

Her philosophy and advice have guided many on a journey to remove items from their home they no longer use or need. Kondo’s basic rule is if an item doesn’t “spark joy,” it should be gotten rid of.

This includes everything in the home from books to decor to long-held-onto things of family value.

While decluttering your life this way feels good, it can also lead to a lot of waste. Luckily, there are ways to have the satisfaction of decluttering while remaining conscious of our planet.

Donate or Give Away

Marie Kondo does encourage donating anything that can be donated. Now, there are items that could be donated easily. This includes clothes and shoes, which can usually be dropped off at any large donation container or second-hand store.

Books can easily be donated to thrift stores, used bookstores, or libraries. However, larger items like big pieces of decor and furniture can be a hassle to donate. They can be difficult to load into a car and transport to a facility that will accept them. Some organizations like Habitat for Humanity will actually pick up items! You can also consider giving these items to a friend who may be interested. This means you’ll have some extra help with transportation. Items can also be sold on sites like Letgo, Craig’s List, or the Facebook Marketplace, where many customers will pick volunteer to pick up the item.

Recycle – Without Your Recycling Bin

Many items cannot be recycled traditionally by putting them out on the curb on pickup day, leading to those items being thrown in the trash. One way to recycle items is to upcycle them!

Head to Pinterest or a crafty friend for some inspiration on how to turn older items into something new. The items will feel fresh and they’ll provide the satisfaction of having tackled a new project. This item that has lost its luster may spark joy once again. This is a great way to handle anything that doesn’t quite spark joy but is tough to get rid of or anything that may not be in good enough shape to be donated.

Other items can be taken to different locations that accept them. Old electronics may be taken in by scrap metal yards or a local recycling center. Local recycling centers take a much wider variety of items than municipalities do, so it’s worth it to see where yours is and what they take and to take the trip over.

Keep It!

Remember that anything that doesn’t bring you joy should be discarded. However, some items are just plain functional. If something doesn’t necessarily spark joy but still serves a function, and it cannot be donated or recycled, keep it for now. Keep it until it wears out or the means exist to donate it etc. It will still be gotten rid of eventually, but getting rid of things before they are actually worn out (e.g. old food containers) is wasteful. Put this method of decluttering on hold long enough for items to be completely used before getting rid of them. 

Learn More About Tidying Up With the Earth in Mind

A tidy home brings a feeling of satisfaction and peace that few other experiences can provide. However, it’s important to be mindful of how we tidy. If you have any questions about how you can best care for our planet while living your best life, contact us today!

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