The Green Clean: Decluttering Your Home the Eco-Friendly Way
There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned spring clean to help you create a spacious, elegant home, but decluttering can be surprisingly wasteful and environmentally unsound. If you want to help protect the environment as you offload, you’ll need to take steps to rethink and recycle - here are a few tips to get you started.
The first and most important consideration when offloading unneeded items should be recycling. Whenever you’re getting rid of furniture, appliances or other large household items, you should do everything possible to avoid sending them to a landfill. There are multiple ways of recycling your possessions - if you’re handy with tools, you’ll find that chairs, bed frames, cupboards, tables, and more can be repurposed, reupholstered, or disassembled for parts. Alternatively, you could use sites like Craigslist or secondhand apps to quickly find new homes for your unwanted items and profit in the process.
If you’re disposing of unusable electrical appliances, it might be necessary to seek out a specialized solution. Many manufacturers and retailers provide options to donate or recycle materials, meaning you can send them back to where you originally purchased them. Alternatively, check the EPA website for guidance - Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) has developed a series of programs to tackle this exact dilemma.
If you can’t find a buyer or a way to repurpose your unwanted items, another strategy to avoid sending them to landfills is to pay for storage. This is a common method when moving to a new property and sometimes a necessary expense as sellers declutter/clean their homes for staging (this is a great way to increase property value). If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember to track any improvements, taking before & after photos and keeping receipts to help quantify your home’s increase in value.
Finding a good storage unit can be tricky. Ideally, you want somewhere purpose-built with high security and located close to your property. A good, simple way to start is with an online search (e.g. storage units in L.A.) Using storage can give you the time to find your items a new home via donation or a yard sale.
When you’re decluttering, you may also decide to give the rest of the house a good clean. If you want to be extra environmentally friendly, it’s important to pay close attention to the chemicals you’re using in this situation and be certain that they are sourced in an environmentally-friendly way. Try to avoid wet wipes, single-use plastics, and any products that contain sodium dichloroisocyanurate dihydrate, 2-butoxyethanol, or quaternary ammonium compounds - beyond their long names, these chemicals can cause serious damage to aquatic life and even cancer amongst us, humans.
If you want to avoid a build-up of unnecessary possessions in the future, it’s important to transition as best you can to digital solutions. Moving things online will help you to avoid stacks of DVDs, piles of paper, or boxes full of old photos. To help with this it can be worth investing in some cloud storage - an internet storage system can protect your information and give you unlimited space to store old memories or entertainment.
Another way to avoid mistakes from the past is with some simple organization. By mapping out your home and its dimensions, you’ll know which items will fit and which might cause disarray before you’ve bought them, this will help you to keep under budget and build a more cohesive interior.
Decluttering doesn’t have to harm the environment. With the right strategies, it’s possible to completely eliminate personal waste and make some extra cash in the process.
Whether you are selling or buying a property in the Los Angeles and Ventura area, Suzi Farajiani is the realtor for you. Suzi’s achievements include everything from working with first-time home buyers, to current homeowners looking to make the next move up, to multiple investment property owners looking for a return on investment (ROI). Learn more, at: www.agentsuziq.com
Article Submission by: Amy Collett