Sustainability in Organizing

Organization and sustainability are rooted in similar ideals – Thoughtfulness, intentionality, and renewable benefits. Thoughtfulness in the consideration of what we truly need,  intentionality with what items we introduce into our lives, and sustaining our efforts by building systems and supporting new habits that improve our lives, and the lives of those around us.

The organization process is an opportunity to re-engineer your space to efficiently fit your needs.  It’s also a great time to incorporate new environmentally-friendly habits into your lifestyle. Here are four ways we like to incorporate reducing, reusing, and recycling into our organization process:

Navigate Recycling & Donation

Properly recycling or donating an item can be a great first step to introducing sustainability into your organizational process. Check with your local government’s website for guidelines on what items are recyclable and where they can be properly discarded. Electronics and clothing can also be dropped off at designated donation sites or returned to retailers for recycling. Creating systems at home to properly divide trash, recyclable materials, and donatable items can be a great way to maintain efficient recycling and donation habits into the future.

*Live in New York City? Check out these guides for information on NYC’s waste disposal and electronic donation sites.*

Build a Sustainable Wardrobe 

Our closets are a great place to consider how we can reuse what is already available instead of continuing to purchase items we may not need.  Examine opportunities to purchase gently used clothing from retailers like Thread Up, The Real Real, and Posmark. Utilize subscription services like Rent the Runway that showcases “new” items into your wardrobe without contributing to landfills or overproduction in the fashion industry. If you are looking to make a more permanent addition to your wardrobe, look for items you’ll want to keep in your closet long term from brands that prioritize the environment, sustainability, and embrace “slow fashion” ideals.

*Interested in learning more about slow fashion or how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Check out this helpful resource*

Choose Multi-use Items 

Getting organized not only gives us the momentum to take stock of what we have, but it is also an opportunity to introduce new items that can support environmentally friendly habits. Opting for multi-use versions of common household products keeps the number of things in your home down to a minimum,  and it’s kinder to the planet and your wallet. A great place to start is investing in items like reusable water bottles, grocery bags, travel flatware sets, reusable ziplock bags, and washable straws.

Strategize a Sustainable Home

As we take a broader approach to sustainability throughout our home, there are plenty of areas to create lasting systems that combat the unnecessary consumption of resources and utilize the principles of pre-cycling. For example, if there is an area of your home with a high concentration of electronic devices, like a media console or home office, plug all non-essential devices into the same power strip so that they can be turned off overnight or when you travel to conserve energy. Consider buying food and supplies in bulk to limit the amount of single-use packaging you bring into your home, and decant items into a system of reusable containers for everyday use.  If you are moving, look into renting reusable moving bins to prevent the unnecessary use and cost of cardboard boxes.

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