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Eco-Friendly Decluttering Tips for a Happier, Healthier Home
Sometimes when we’re surrounded by “stuff” it’s hard to know where to begin. Things get especially complicated when you have items you’re ready to get rid of but don’t want to dump in a landfill. Cutting clutter out of your life can be simpler than you might think. Follow these green cleaning tips you can feel great about.
Mattresses and box springs. Discarding old bedding can seem like a challenge. Mattresses and box springs are big, bulky, and cumbersome. However, as Houzz points out, the materials in your mattress set are desirable recyclables. Decorative braiding and springs can be incorporated into crafts, padding can be upcycled into pet beds, and the handyman in your life can turn wooden frames into a variety of projects.
If you aren’t a do-it-yourselfer and your bed still has some life left in it, consider rehoming it with a local shelter for homeless people or victims of domestic abuse. If it’s not usable, reach out to an area recycling center.
Appliances. Your used appliances are another item worthy of donation if they are still in good working order. Next time you upgrade your kitchen or your kids come home from college, consider offering those items to a local charity. For the old clunkers, some experts suggest sending them off with the delivery guys bringing your new appliances. Most big box stores offer pick up for a nominal fee.
Electronics. When your TV, cell phone, computer or other gadgets kick the bucket, avoid disposing of them in the trash. Electronics TakeBack Coalition explains the components contain toxic materials that aren’t safe for throwing away. Instead, take your old electronics to a major retailer for recycling or reach out to an area e-steward for proper disposal.
Digitize memories. We all love to look at photos of our loved ones, hence the success of so many image-oriented social media sites. But what do you do with old printed photos? ABC News suggests scanning them and saving them electronically. Not enough space on your hard drive? Instead of turning physical clutter into electronic clutter, save them to “the cloud.” You can even scan and save your children’s refrigerator art! Compile them into an album you can add to as time goes by.
Deep down dirt. Decluttering feels great, and once complete your home will be ready for a full refresher. Carpet holds tiny particles in the fibers, trapping dander, dirt, mold, chemicals and irritants. Invest in a high-quality vacuum to pull those little invaders out of your carpet.
Green cleansers. Did you know when you clean you may be adding unhealthy toxins to your home environment? Choose eco-friendly cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. Not only is it a conscientious, environmentally friendly choice, you’ll save money and disposal is simple. Chances are you even have some items in your pantry already:
Lemons. Lemons are a natural antiseptic and deodorizer. Combined with baking soda you create a terrific scouring cleanser and added to vinegar it will clean and deodorize kitchen countertops. For strong odors, put lemon slices in a small bowl of vinegar and set it out to refresh your air.
Baking soda. Besides being a scouring partner with lemon, you can put a little water with baking soda and use it to remove surface rust. It’s also effective on grease, cleaning ovens and deodorizing carpets.
White vinegar. Vinegar is naturally antibacterial and can be applied to most surfaces. Use a little with water to lift stains out of fabrics, add it to lemon juice to deodorize your home, and simmer with water to eliminate cooking smells and other strong odors.
Green decluttering is easier than you think! Dispose of items properly, record your memories, and clean in an eco-friendly manner. You can feel proud of your healthy home choices!
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