10 Ways to Minimize Waste While Decluttering

10 Ways to Minimize Waste While Decluttering

We’ve recently moved cities and realization struck me about the clutter I had piled up in my life. So today I’m going to talk about an initiative I took at my home that I’m going to share with you. I have known to have tendencies of a hoarder and I refused to accept it. But recently I have realized that less is more and I have successfully taken the first step to declutter my life. I talked to a few people in my life and got a few tips that I thought are worth noting down for everyone. This makes me feel better as I’m trying to save the environment too. So here I go.


Old is Gold. Furniture which you no longer feel comfortable to use or which look worn out can be recycled. A lot of local shops in India will take in the used furniture or restore them for a price. If you are living in the US, do not forget about Goodwill, garage sales, backyard sales, Craigslist and flea markets. There are a lot of YouTube videos available for restoring of furniture, once you’ve restored it you can even sell it online and make a few bucks.


Plastic is terrible for Mother Earth and for Humans too, so plastic must be avoided as much as possible. A considerable amount of plastic is used in homes in India to throw away waste. All the waste is put into a plastic bag and dumped. India has banned bags that are over 50 microns. For groceries, remember to carry your own bags, a few bucks and you can find vegetable bags on Amazon or Flipkart. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.


Clothes that no longer fit or that have long faded can either be donated or reused in cleaning at home. Don’t throw these off, build up a pile and give it at Goodwill or to those who can’t afford it. If they are beyond the use of others, cut it up and use them as cleaning rags. Po has collected all her memorable old t-shirts to make them into a quilt, which is not a bad idea.


Old Newspapers don’t have to be discarded. They can be recycled easily. These also reduce the need to deal with them on monthly basis. If possible go paperless and read your news online. But even if you do like reading the crisp newspapers early in the morning, make sure you sell them. You can make money by selling your newspapers.


We all have those boxes whose lids are broken or missing and lids that won’t fit the box anymore. So many broken toys are sitting in the corner of the box. Recycle them, if they won’t be of any use for another kid. Plastic bottles and boxes can be reused in so many ways. Look up on YouTube for tutorials to help reuse your junk. You can grow herbs for your kitchen on your counter with the boxes, or you can create art. If you cannot then the best thing is to recycle them.


Did you know pillows have an expiry date? I didn’t! Apparently, they last only up to 3 years. So you can either discard it or reuse the material for other purposes. If the pillow has foam it can be used for cleaning (just like a sponge) or made to create 3D dolls or even used for foam painting which will be fun for toddlers. And you can recycle pillows too!


Your old books can either be donated or sold. In the US, there is Half Price Half Books store where you can sell your books and in India, a lot of street vendors buy your newspapers and your books. Before throwing away a book remember you can either sell it off or donate them. A lot of kids struggle for good books, for them this would be a boon. If you have a bit of a time, have a makeshift library at home and invite the neighborhood kids to borrow them for free, as long as they return.


Whenever you are discarding used or broken glass, always remember to recycle. Glass takes a million years to decompose if you do not have any use for them recycle them. Reusing all glass bottles or jars is the best way to make use of it since glass is safer to use than plastic. Wrap your glass items in a paper before tossing it into the recycle bin.


I realized how much kitchen waste we generate. Kitchen waste can also be reused by making it into fertilizer. With proper guidance, you can actually generate your own manure at home that’s rich in a lot of nutrients enough for plants. Amazon has scraps storage boxes that can be put in the fridge, the contents can then be taken to a composting facility or composted at home.


Most of the decorative material that you used for your kid’s birthday party can be reused for their birthday next year or for any event like Diwali or Christmas or Eid. Po leaves the birthday decorations to reuse them for every birthday. The discarded color papers and crepe papers can be put into recycling. Some of them can be given away, if not reused.



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