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Decluttering – How to set your home for a Zero-Waste lifestyle

When it comes to Zero-Waste, our home and the way we shape it, influences tremendously our lifestyle. When I started to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle I noticed how the areas in the home that I had decluttered and reshaped to be eco-friendly where the most effective ones in term of reducing my waste. And after reading great books on the matter and learning from the best, I realized why. 

Our home is like a reflexion of ourselves. How many times have we felt better after cleaning our home, or slept better after spring cleaning our bedroom, etc., that is because we are very connected to our home and how we organize it. If we dedicate a space in the entrance of our home to our shopping and grocery bags, it is more likely that we won’t forget them on our way to the bulk store. Yet, If our home is already cluttered with stuff that we keep just in case our efforts will likely go vain.

Decluttering and getting rid of what is unnecessary helps make room for what we really want from life. It literally gives us the space to create our waste free-ish sanctuary. But be careful, going through this process will unveil a lot more than you think. It will reshape your home and yourself as well.

“If you want something you’ve never had You must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”  — Thomas Jefferson

This being said, time for action!

1. Look at what you have and what you want your life to be like

Before you start using you awesome new natural DIY cleaning products, look around you. Do you feel like you have too much clutter in your home? WHAT is cluttering your home? Mark it down and asl yourself if it reflect who you are inside.

Then, look again at each room in your home and this time think about this great Zero-Waste life you’re creating. What do you want to do in your new home, what do you want to have to make it happen. This will help you when time comes to declutter and discard.

2. More storage is NOT an option.

More storage will not help you declutter so don’t bother getting new storage containers. Keep in mind that you’re decluttering to have more space, not an organized clutter.

3. Go Category by Category

According to Marie Kondo leader in the world of tiding up, it is best to start the process, not room by room as we are often drown to, but category by category: Books, Clothes, Office stuff, papers, kitchen stuff, etc. This is the best way to not miss anything. Put all your items in the middle of the room and choose what you want to keep.

Our friends at Home DIY wrote a interesting article on the topic and published a checklist to help you. If you want to give it a try.

4.  Keep What Sparkles Joy

You want your home to sparkle joy within yourself. Feel secure and utterly happy in your special place. To do this, only keep the things that are useful and/or that sparkle joy.

To organize the process, create 3 piles:  “KEEP”, “ON HOLD” and “DISCARD.” Hold each of your items, one by one and select where they need to go. If they don’t sparkle joy when you hold it, nor have they been used in at least a year, discard. Same goes with duplicates, put them in the Discard pile. When you’re done, sell online or donate this pile to your close ones, to non-profit donation centers, to homeless centers, to the library, etc.

4. Have respect for what you’re getting rid of

All the things you’re letting go of, all the kitchen machines, the extra plates, the books covered with dust, clothes you haven’t worn since high school, the makeup that perished in the back of your cabinet or all the craft tools you kept because “one day, who knows”… Don’t simply toss them, but thank them for being here when you needed them. Know that you’re not sending them to landfill but offering them a new life with someone who might be in need for your stuff. Being thankful makes it way easier to let go!

5. When it Gets Hard

We all go through it. Certain things are harder to let go of than others. Ask yourself why you’re having an issue with that specific item. If it come from past relationships, ask yourself why and if this is still important for you to have. Do you feel you owe it to the person or yourself to keep this. Do you keep things because of how they make you look? Do you need that external approval? If it costs a lot ask yourself if that thing has been useful and bringing joy into your home. If that’s not the case, sell it or donate it. Whatever makes sense but don’t keep things “just because.”

Remember all the great cleaners you learn to make here? As all of your things are in the middle of the room, use this great occasion to put them to use. Go in your drawers, cabinets, etc. and clean them up!

7. Organize

Now you are in the process of discarding. Focus on what you want to have and how you want to have them. For example, if like me you have a tendency to forget your grocery bags, change their location and put them in the entrance of your home, or in your car so you won’t forget them anymore. Set things so you can have easy access to the things and activities you want to focus on.

If you want to read more about the subject I would advise you to start with the classics, like the Zero-Waste Home by Bea Johnson or The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo are great books to learn from.

We want to know how you’re doing!

Curious to know if our advices are helpful, leave a picture in the comment section below or on a greener life community here!

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