When it comes to the mantra reduce, recycle, reuse, we could benefit by reordering the phrase to say reduce, reuse, recycle. In order to really benefit the planet and simplify our lives, we should first reduce our consumption and then reuse as many items as possible. Recycling comes last, once we’ve exhausted our options for reusing a material or product.
Some winter organizing can help us get rid of unwanted items, but it can also provide a way to repurpose some of the things we would otherwise add to the trash or recycling bin. Sometimes reusing items can even help you get organized. Here’s how it works:
Item headed for recycling: cardboard boxes.
You probably have plenty of these lying around after the holidays. Before taking them to the recycling bin, consider an area of your home that needs some organization. Perhaps it’s your entryway closet or child’s bedroom. Use your boxes to separate and categorize loose items so they’re easier to locate.
Image courtesy of Design Sponge at Home http://www.houzz.com/photos/274431/Design-Sponge-At-Home-eclectic-spaces-other-metro.
Rather than purchasing some chic bins from an organizing store, consider gift wrapping your boxes to make them more attractive. Reduce your consumption by reusing holiday gift wrap, or make your own using paper bags and art supplies from around the house. Even kids will have fun organizing once they get to create and decorate their own bins.
Item headed for the thrift store: hanging shoe organizer.
You know the one I’m talking about. They tend to come in handy in college dorm rooms and other smaller living spaces. But compartmentalized shoe organizers are useful for many other items besides shoes. If you’re tossing one out because it’s no longer useful for shoes, consider these other uses instead.
Image courtesy of Atypical Type A http://www.houzz.com/photos/96631/Shoe-hanger-as-medicine-cabinet-contemporary-closet-other-metro.
Add it to your entryway closet to hold and organize hats, gloves, and scarves for the winter. Hang it on the back of a bedroom or closet door to hold fashion accessories. In the bathroom, use it to organize an array of body products, first aid supplies, and bath toys. In the pantry they’re perfect for organizing winter food storage items: heads of garlic, onions, potatoes, winter squash, and apples.
Item headed for recycling: glass jars.
You’ll need to wash and save both the lids and jars to make this one work, but you can save some extra cash and significantly reduce your waste by reusing glass food jars around the home. The clear containers make it easy to organize and locate the items you’re looking for.
Image courtesy of Samantha Schoech http://www.houzz.com/photos/910037/organized-dry-goods-eclectic-kitchen-san-francisco.
Use glass jars in the kitchen to store bulk spices, dried goods, and leftovers. In the office they can turn a disorganized desk into a functional workspace by providing a home for the wayward desktop items. Declutter your garage by using them to compartmentalize nails, screws, bolts, and more. Use them to store and reuse kids’ poster paints and play-dough. Pass them out to co-workers at the office and watch your whole workplace become better organized.
The Maids of DC is a full-service professional home cleaning team, dedicated to keeping houses clean and organized with eco-friendly cleaning techniques and their unique tips and ideas.