Read This Before You KonMari Your House

So, you’ve finally decided to declutter your home. That’s great. But before you KonMari the place into a tidy stripe, you must first figure out what you’ll do with the items you no longer need. The last thing you want is to make your stuff someone else’s problem.

Responsible Decluttering Starts at the Store

responsible decluttering

Sometimes, the most responsible way to declutter your stuff is to not buy it in the first place. Impulse purchases rarely live up to their expectations. If you do have your heart set on something, ask yourself these questions before you hand over your credit card.

  • Do I really need it?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Is it good quality?
  • Does it spark joy?

Take the time to think about each question in detail. This is best done at home. Very often, putting some distance between yourself and the object you’re intent on buying will be enough to cure you of your desire to own it.

What Does Responsible Decluttering Entail?

At its most basic, responsible decluttering means disposing of your unwanted stuff in an environmentally-friendly way. Landfills are filling up at an alarming rate, with people tossing everything from food scraps and newspapers to batteries and clothes in the trash.

It’s easy to put everything on the sidewalk and forget about it, but at some point we’re going to pay the price for our laziness. Decluttering mindfully takes more effort, but the benefits make it worthwhile.

Along with doing your bit to protect the planet, you also have the opportunity to make a difference by donating your old stuff. You could even make a little extra cash by selling it or upcycle it as a gift for a friend.

Read This Before You KonMari Your House

Disposing of Electronic Waste

Instead of relying on mining companies for new gold, silver and bronze, Tokyo’s Olympic planning committee came up with an ingenious alternative. They mined the metal for the medals from 47 tons of recycled electronics.

Your old phone or laptop may seem harmless enough, but it’s actually full of toxic chemicals, like heavy metals. Depending on the age and condition, there are any number of things you can do to dispose of your electronic waste properly.

You could give it to a certified e-waste recycler, sell it, donate it to a civic institution (school, prison, etc.) or return it to the electronic company you bought it from.

However you end up disposing of your old electronics, make sure you format them first. The last thing you need is for your information to end up in the wrong hands.

Recycling Old Clothes

responsible decluttering

Figuring out what to do with old clothes begins at the point of purchase. Thanks to the advent of fast fashion, the average American dumps half their body weight in clothing into landfills each year.

The way around this is to buy well-made clothes that will last longer than a week, a month or even a season. They initial outlay is higher, but because they last so much longer they end up being more cost effective.

Nothing lasts forever, though. You’ll either wear your favorite t-shirt to rags or outgrow the style. It’s time to think outside the box when this happens.

Old long pants can become new summer shorts, for example. Zips can be mended or replaced and faded jeans can be dyed. If you’re over a shirt that’s still in good nick, donating it to your local Goodwill (or similar) is always the best solution.

Even ratty, unwearable clothes can be put to good use. Manufacturers are cottoning on to the importance of disposing old clothes in a sustainable manner. Some have even gone so far as to refurbish and resell second hand clothing. Others are turning old jeans into insulation, because, well, why not?

Whatever you decide to do, at least you know you have options beyond tossing your old clothes in the trash. They deserve a better end than that.

From Trash to Treasure

responsible decluttering

You’ll undoubtedly have more to declutter than old electronics and clothes. Whatever you’re planning to get rid of, it’s important to remember that one person’s trash is always someone else’s treasure.

The ugly chair with the wobbly leg, the slightly saggy mattress, the chipped mug, the bicycle with the rusty chain. Pretty much everything you no longer need or want can be recycled, upcycled, donated or sold.

We might not be able to turn the landfill tide completely, but by choosing to declutter responsibly we can at least stem that tide a little.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago


hELEN h3 months ago


Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago


Chad A
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you.

Anne F
Anne F4 months ago

I am VERY careful with batteries and electronics, so know that when I dispose of them, they will be kept out of the groundwater. Wish I were as confident about passing on clothes, sometimes I hang on until they are rags

Caitlin L
Past Member 4 months ago

Thank you for posting

Frances G
Past Member 4 months ago

thank you

Shae Lee
Shae Lee4 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

Marija M
Marija M4 months ago

Interesting, tks for sharing.

joan s
joan s4 months ago

People wake up! This is not rocket science, but good old fashion spring cleaning, and this woman is going to make millions on your stupidity!