A Healthy Purge
Decluttering your home can feel like a fresh start. There’s truly nothing like a closet or cabinet purge; evicting all the items that you haven’t found a purpose for in months and admiring the newly empty space, thinking, “who knew there was so much room in here?”
It’s good for the mind and soul, and of course, for your home. Starting with a small space and deciding the fate of each individual item might be tedious, but the satisfaction you feel once you’re finished is entirely worth it.
While your home benefits from having more room, the purge will also leave you with a bag of, well, junk. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do with these items instead of just throwing them away.
The easiest way to dispose of this unwanted bag of miscellaneous items is of course to toss it in the garbage. Yes, it’s convenient for you (out of sight out of mind), but not for the environment which now has no choice but to deal with your junk.
If you can bear to spend just a few more moments with your collection of junk before tossing it in the bin, you’ll realize there’s a plethora of other options for miscellaneous item disposal.
In this article, we have outlined some second-life opportunities for some common junk items.
Declutter the Things in Your Junk Drawer
Those old keys to a door you can’t think of, rubber bands and loose staples, playing cards missing half the deck, a broken pair of sunglasses, and the remains of a numbered birthday candle, etc., – we’ll be honest and admit there are many things in here that require lots of outside the box thinking and creative energy to repurpose.
But as it turns out, some of these, like keys and staples, can be recycled – and so can rubber bands, paper cards, and your likely plastic sunglasses. And if that’s not exciting enough, these items can also be reused for an entirely new purpose.
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Keys, for instance, make a great imprint on clay or when dipped in paint. If you’re looking to spruce up your home décor, consider adding a custom key detail. And that previously lit birthday candle? It could be melted into a small jar and reused again and again. While it wouldn’t be scented, the bright confetti colors will add a fun pop of color to your side table.
Declutter the Things in Your Kitchen
Extra take-out containers, broken drink koozies, single packets of soy sauce, a blueberry jam jar with only one serving left, and so many bread ties. All useless and worthy of the trash if we’re feeling impatient.
But take-out containers are also tidy, little storage bins that can be perfect to enclose small toiletries or nick-nacks. Koozies made of neoprene could always be turned into a shoulder pad to bolden any blazer with a bit of cutting and sewing. Glass jars also have countless opportunities for second life; containing makeup, cotton balls, and decorative substances like colorful sand, or housing a rooting plant. The possibilities are endless.
Declutter the Things in Your Closet
A hallway closet can soon overflow with old cleaning supplies, extension cords, packets of batteries, and plastic or paper grocery bags – all of which can be reused or recycled.
The remaining household chemicals can be donated to a charity or homeless shelter. Avoid pouring leftover chemicals down the drain or throwing them in the trash. The best way to dispose of them is to use them up or give them away. Afterwards, an empty cleaning bottle can be recycled.
E-waste facilities that specialize in recycling and disposing of electronic waste will gladly take unwanted extension cords or batteries. Best Buy initiated an e-waste program in 2009 and has since recycled more than two billion pounds of electronics. When it comes to electronic waste, make sure to also check in with your local landfill because they may likewise accept these products.
Those paper bags, do we even need to say it? Recycle, recycle, recycle! As for the plastic ones, you unfortunately cannot do the same. What you can do instead is contain them in eco-friendly totes like the Jute Tote Bag from Banbu, available on the Impakter Eco Marketplace.
Made entirely from jute, a natural and biodegradable vegetable fiber, this bag is durable, supportive, and strong. With perfect capacity, it’s 38cm wide and 42cm high, making it small enough to fit in your closet but large enough to hold all of those excess bags. Its unique design reminds you to use the plastic bags sparingly and is even bold enough to be hung on display.
If you’re feeling extra creative, you may be interested in repurposing your plastic bags entirely. This video from ABC Me teaches viewers how to crochet with folded and cut plastic bags:
Declutter the Things in Your Basement or Attic
The basement and attic are two hot spots for junk accumulation. The best way to get rid of it all is to sell or donate it. Plan a yard sale and post signs around your neighborhood. Set everything up early in the morning and watch as eager patrons waltz in searching through your trash that soon will be their treasure.
At the same time, a yard sale will help you to make some money, spend time outside, socialize with your community, and clear out space in your home.
Decluttering Without Disregard
The worst thing we can do for the planet is to throw everything we no longer want in the garbage. Landfills across the globe are already overflowing, so anything with the potential for a second life should be granted the opportunity. Ultimately, keeping an eye out for the environment isn’t just a choice – it’s also a responsibility.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Junk Drawer. Featured Photo Credit: Liz West