I asked professional eco-organizer, Julie Coraccio, to share some easy tips to help you go green when letting go of clutter while also preventing clutter from building. Every little thing you do can make a big difference. Here are Julie’s 7 Rs of eco-organizing.
1. Reduce: Donate items that you no longer love, need, or use to those who could put those items to good use right now. Pick a charity or adopt a family to give things to. What’s in it for you? The less stuff you have, the less you have to organize.
2. Re-use: It’s great if you save things like shipping boxes for re-use, but if you don’t have an immediate or forseeable need for them when you empty them, pass them along. Take them to a local moving company, to BJ’s or Sam’s, or find out if a business or nonprofit organization is moving and give the boxes to them.
3. Repair: Attempt to repair an item before purchasing another one or throwing it out. There are lots of handy people out there! If you can’t repair it yourself, look for someone who can. Ask around.
4. Re-purpose: Figure out how you might be able to re-purpose an item. Get creative. Instead of buying a special plastic case for holiday ornaments, I use a cardboard wine case with dividers. And you know those clear plastic, zippered bags that new bedding and curtains come in? I use them to store holiday lights and electrical cords.
5. Return: Are you holding on to things that belong to someone else – like things your grown children left behind? You aren’t required to hold on to what doesn’t belong to you. Return that stuff and get your space back! (If they don’t want it, then go ahead and donate it.)
6. Recycle: Set up a recycling center in your home or business to make it easy to recycle things like plastic bottles, metal cans, dry cleaner hangers, plastic grocery bags, paper/cardboard. Know your community’s guidelines and learn what you can take where for recycling. Then please do your part.
7. Re-think: Think before you buy. Then think again. Do you really need that item? Do you really love it? Modern conveniences and marketers have convinced us that we need stuff we really don’t! More stuff will not bring you happiness or joy. Consider purchasing experiences versus things.
Some of my favorite eco-organizing resources
Don’t want to hold on to that thick manual? It’s probably here: www.manualsonline.com
Learn how to live a greener lifestyle and get rewarded for it: https://www.recyclebank.com
Need a pair of skis for a weekend trip or an entertainment system for a party? Rent it at at http://us.zilok.com
My husband served in the Army and I am a fan of this pick-up charity: http://www.scheduleapickup.com
You’ll find lots more on my site: http://www.healingorganization.com
Reduce paper clutter with these handy apps
Love, love, love Paper Karma app for stopping junk mail before it starts! And it’s free.
Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use – also free.
Notability: Use to test out furniture placement in your home.
Notespark: Share to-do lists with family, friends, colleagues. When you cross something off the list, it’s deleted from the synchronized list.
Genius Scan+: Great if you have lots of receipts to manage.
Julie Coraccio is a professional organizer and coach. She was the first professional organizer in North Carolina to specialize in green organization for both home and business. In 2011, she was awarded the NAPO-LA Green Award for Most Eco-Friendly Organizing Service and the Triangle Business Journal’s Green Entrepreneurial Effort/Innovative Idea of the Year Honorable Mention. She hosts the internet TV/podcast series, Clearing the Clutter Inside & Out. For more information about Julie, her services, and her show, please visit http://reawakenyourbrilliance.com and http://www.healingorganization.com