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Spring is around the corner, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning! If even the idea of that fills you with dread, you’re not alone. Decluttering can be overwhelming and might end up with you paralyzed with inaction rather than tackling your whole house in one day.
We’ve compiled some of our favorite ways to not just make decluttering simpler, but also to refresh your space in a sustainable way.
Decluttering, while rewarding, can definitely feel daunting. How did I end up with so much stuff?! is probably a thought that runs through your mind more than once. But don’t worry! You can break it down into doable steps so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Go through each area in your home and catalog what you want to get rid of, repair, or repurpose. That way, you don’t feel like you have to deal with everything all at once and can keep track of what you want to do with everything. This also helps spread the decluttering out over time if you prefer to take it slow and steady.
If you’re repairing something, how do you plan to repair it? If you want to donate something, where’s the proper place to donate? Be sure to look up local swaps in addition to locations that take donations all year long. For items that need to be recycled, check out what Terracycle will accept – they go far beyond your local recycling center.
Try to be pragmatic. Even if something has sentimental value, if you haven’t used it in the past year, do you still need it? This applies to everything from clothing to appliances to your vast mug collection. Here are places you can donate:
That box you haven’t recycled might make a great storage container. The beer glass you won at bingo night could double as a vase for flowers. Glass beauty containers (like what we use for our Hair & Body Oil or Daily Antioxidant Serum) can be repurposed for travel toiletries or essential oils.
A hole in a sweater or a broken appliance might be easier to fix than you think! If you can’t fix it yourself, see if you can find someone who can. Choosing to fix items instead of replacing them (when possible) goes a long way for sustainability.
As you clear your space out, it’s also worth taking a moment to reflect on where all these items came from. Did you buy more than you meant to? Can you remember why you chose each thing? In doing this exercise, you may be able to identify some patterns that you can work to change with time. It’s natural to end up with more stuff than you realized, but there are a lot of small ways you can work to reduce your clutter over time. Having no-buy periods or cutting yourself off from buying another of a certain item (do you really need another water bottle?!) can be incredibly helpful in the long run. This will also help identify what items are most meaningful to you and what gets the most use.
Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or involve new purchases. There are plenty of ways to spruce up your space both sustainably and affordably.
This is free and makes a huge difference. Rearranging your space can bring a whole new sense of life to your home. Follow these tips for rearranging. You can even try out a room layout app to see how things can shift around.
While plants aren’t free (though you might be surprised what you can find online!), they are generally an affordable way to instantly add life (literally!) to a room. Plus, plants are shown to improve indoor air quality, and you can even find some that absorb more carbon dioxide than others for an extra eco-friendly option.
There are always plenty of swap meets and flea markets happening where you might be able to find some treasures for cheap or even for free. You can find anything from a painting to drinking glasses to furniture!
A cheap but effective way to switch up the aesthetics of your home is by using pillow covers. Try to look for covers made from organic or recycled materials, instead of the standard polyester.
Adding a pop of color is a surefire way to bring some new life into a space. Look for VOC-free paint to keep it eco-friendly; this guide can help find the right paint for your home.
Hopefully these tips make spring cleaning feel a little more accessible and less dreadful. As always, remember little changes make a big difference, and progress is more important than perfection! Do what you can declutter and simplify, and know that all the little tweaks you make add up to a real impact.
We’d love to know how you’re refreshing your space! Tag us on social media @theearthlingco to share what you’re doing for your spring cleaning.