Action 229: De-clutter your life (and cupboards!)

declutterDate: 17 August
Action: 229
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL


Written by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton from Monsoon of Random in the UK

De-cluttering for the environment!

We all know that consuming less is better for the environment – and buying second hand is another great option, as it reduces the strain on resources.

However, what happens if you already have cupboards full of things you’ve consumed over the years – can de-cluttering these also help the planet?

The answer is a resounding yes … check out just a few of the ways below.

1. Buying Less

As you de-clutter, you may find things you didn’t know you had – it’s possible that in a home full of things, you’ll never found one that you kept “just in case” and bought a new one anyway.

This is one way clutter and over-buying leads to more consumerism. If you de-clutter now, know what you have, and know what you don’t need, you’ll buy less.

2. Charity Shopping

One persons clutter is another’s treasure, right?

Items suitable for a charity shop being thrown out is an issue; sharing is still the key to reducing the consumption of newly produced items. Storing unused possessions is selfish to the Earth, as if someone can’t find it second hand, they’ll be forced to buy new.

In addition, of course, you’ll be helping those less fortunate than yourself, via the charity and by making something available to someone who might not be able to afford new.

Charity shops have been very busy in recent months. If you know your local or preferred charity shop is currently heaving with donations, source another one.

Or perhaps sell an item online via eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or Vinted instead. Find those unused items a loving home, rather than leaving them unused.

Find the best place to share your items, not just the most convenient.

3. De-clutter your mind

This is a relatively new concept, but one that’s often used on minimalist sites.

A clutter-free home means a clutter-free mind, according to many.

With all the time you don’t have to spend organising your possessions, you can spend time helping with causes you care about – activism, environmental projects, create a wildflower garden, start a compost heap, share your environmental tips with others – the list is endless.

4. Zero Waste

De-cluttering makes it easier to stick to your zero waste commitments.

For example, how many cloth bags do you need to be zero waste? It’s probably not 20!

Less means less to worry about, clean, store, repair or dispose of later.

Take action!

So, just think of all the good you can do for yourself, others, and the environment by simply having a clear out. Just pick a drawer or a cupboard – you don’t have to do it all at once.

Personally, I find clearing out really satisfying and it definitely makes me think twice about future purchases.

  • reuse valuable items and reduce demand on resources
  • help others via a charity shop (or alternatively make a little bit of cash selling things on)
  • reduce your carbon, plastic and resource footprints
  • reduce your waste
  • clear your mind and feel more organised in your life

This article has been contributed by our guest writer Lynsey Clayton of Monsoon of Random