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10 ways to declutter without throwing items away

This month our friends from Junk2GO are featuring on the blog, yay! It ties in nicely with my previous blog on where to take your unwanted items and they have some really fantastic creative ideas on how to upcycle and reuse those items that are no longer being used. Thanks guys!

Junk

Decluttering – why do it?

Clutter – some of us hate it, and some of us just have so much of it it can be impossible to know what to do with it all. And so it sits there, accumulating, gathering dust and making your home slowly feel like something out of an episode of Hoarders.

Once you have so much stuff though, what do you even do with it? I mean, you might still want to use the electric bread knife that’s been sitting in its box for ten years right? And even though the kids have moved out, they could want to come back and play with that Xbox someday. Or maybe their kids will? If you catch yourself having these kinds of thoughts – you need to declutter.

Decluttering is a simple concept really, and it’s a wonder why not enough people do it. As clutter builds up in your home, it can have a negative impact on your living situation. Think about how wonderful it feels relaxing in the lounge after a spring clean versus trying to put your feet up after a long day and realising you can’t put your feet up because a pile of washing has been sitting on the footstool for a few days. And maybe it’s not that bad – most people have varying degrees of clutter around their home, we’re only human of course – but if it’s beginning to feel as if it’s getting out of control, or if you’re just sick of the mess and want a more zen minimalist feel to your home, decluttering could be your new mode of operation.

An organised home can lead to saving time and money, less stress and rushing round in the morning because you can’t find that thing you thought lived in the kitchen cupboard but clearly doesn’t anymore, more space in your home, more energy and a good feeling that your mind is a reflection of your newly ship-shape home.

Sometimes though, it’s not that you have too much stuff, it’s that you have too much stuff that’s not being used. You can do all sorts of cool stuff without actually having to throw anything away, like upcycling old furniture and garden junk, donating stuff to op shops and even implementing a new recycling system in your home.

10 Ways to declutter your home without throwing things away

If you don’t want to add more to the waste that’s already going out of your home, upcycling and organising what’s already there is the way to go. Having a system in place to sort out actual junk from something that is useful could help you on your way to organisational nirvana. Here are ten ways to declutter your home without having to throw too many things in the bin.

1: The 4 Box Method

This is a go to method of declutterers and will get you into a good habit of thinking about each item in your house because you’re forced to make a decision about it. It’s pretty simple really – get four boxes, label them “put away”, “give away/sell” and “storage” and use the last box for actual trash. Pick up a piece of clutter, and ask yourself which box it belongs it. Making the decision might allow you to release the grip on them.

11011395 - collection of cardboard boxes isolated on white background

2: Organise First; Buy Second

Just because the 4 box method is recommended, you do NOT need to go out and buy a load of storage supplies to do this. Use old boxes already lying about to do the organising, and when you’re certain there’s a need for an extra bin or basket, and you know what they’re going to be used for, then you go out and buy it. Sometimes it’s easy to convince yourself you’re making progress by buying things to organise stuff into, when actually, you just need to start.

3: Recycle and give away

Once you’ve organised these boxes, go through the ‘waste’ box and sort what can and can’t be recycled or upcycled. Make sure that the box of things to give away actually gets given away. Drive down to your local charity, or put out a Facebook post telling friends they’re free to come pick the stuff up from your house.

4: Make furniture from old pallet wood 

They’re pinned all on your Pinterest boards, and they look so cool and minimalist. But you think, when am I going to do that? Now is the time! If you’ve got a stack of pallet wood lying around it can be turned into so many things – beds, garden seats, garden beds and more. Find inspiration online, grab a friend, and get your DIY on.

Pallet

5: Turn your old furniture into garden decoration 

If it’s not more furniture you need, but less, turn your old chest of drawers into a unique garden bed. Give it a neat paint job, fill a few of the drawers with soil, plant some begonias and your garden will go from drab to fab instantly.

6: Turn your old furniture into anything in fact!

You might not have a garden, or need any extra planters, but you might need shelves. Use old drawers turned on their sides and stacked together for a cool looking shelving unit. Paint them whatever colour you like, and find a place for the things that you’re trying to find places for, in style!

7: Never going to ride that bike? 

If your trusty Schwinn is sitting at the back of the garage getting rusty, give it a makeover and turn it into a cool garden ornament. Grow flowers from the basket, and rest it on your deck or in amongst the greenery. Or, take it apart and use the wheels to hang as artwork.

36064635 - vintage bicycle on vintage wooden house wall

8: Make your galley groovy 

If you’re one of those people who has a drawer full of kitchen utensils and you literally use only about five of them, make yourself a cool benchtop organiser. Upcycle old mason jars, stick a label on them and use these to store them in instead. Not only will you end up getting rid of a few things you never use, but you’ll be able to see and access the ones you do use easily.

9: Have children?

If you have children and you’ve got the space for it, upcycling old appliances into kids playroom toys can be fun. If you’ve got and old oven, after removing the cord and giving it a good clean out, pop this in the playroom. Chuck a few of those old utensils in there too and you’ve got a play kitchen that kiddies will love.

10: Gift ideas

So many of the things we accumulate and then eventually throw away can actually make excellent and thrifty gifts. Earrings made out of cork anyone? A photoframe made from a cool old map or poster? Decluttering is definitely the aim here, so don’t go keeping every cork you find on the off chance you might feel crafty one day.

Recycling and rubbish removal

Drawers

After all your upcycling and op shop donations, you’ll probably still have some household waste. If you don’t want to just see it all in landfill, there are ways to remove your household rubbish that will leave your conscience feeling a bit lighter.

There are several companies that do rubbish removal straight from your home, but be sure to go with one that you know disposes of waste responsibly. Check out their website and if they’re transparent, they’ll tell you exactly what they do with the waste you’re giving them. Look for someone who recycles as much as possible, like Junk2Go, who are dedicated to providing an environmentally friendly service, and will take most forms of junk from your home.

Decluttering can seem like a huge process, and the amount of stuff being thrown away might seem scary. But by upcycling, repurposing and recycling, organising your home can be fun, and inexpensive and you’ll reap all the benefits of a stylish and organised home.

 

Further readings

http://www.upcycled-wonders.com/garden/garden-junk-ideas-garden-art-junk

http://organizedhome.com/articles/cut-clutter

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/pro-organizer-tips-what-not-to-do-when-decluttering-your-home-168836

http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cool-Upcycling-Projects-24338804#photo-25011156

http://www.upcyclethat.com/

http://www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/g2286/10-upcycled-items-that-can-be-repurposed-into-diy-planters/?slide=11

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219310

http://www.greenideas.co.nz/upcycling/at-home/(offset)/10

2 Comments

  1. November 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Love the idea to make furniture from old pallet and recycling, reusing is the key to clever de-cluttering. Have shared your blog with my wife. She enjoyed reading it. Thanks

    • November 26, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      Very true – I love being able to reuse and recycle where possible. I’m glad your wife enjoyed reading it! Thank you :)

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