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4 Simple, Sustainable, Earth-Happy Organizing Tips


financial paperwork organization

Happy Earth Month, KMA Crew!


The warming weather, budding flowers, and celebration of Earth Day make April the ideal time to talk about how we can sustainably organize our spaces.


Unfortunately, professional organizers don’t always have the best reputation when it comes to sustainability. Aesthetically-pleasing organizing trends encourage onlookers to purchase accessories that help them attain a certain “look”, despite these items being pretty unnecessary. This can lead to wasteful spending and copious amounts of non-bio-degradable items like plastic bins, trays, and vacuum bags being tossed out when they’re not in style anymore.


The truth is that, while these purchases are not inherently unethical or mal-intentioned, it is more responsible, realistic, and earth-conscious to encourage clients to work with what they have.


So in honor of Mother Earth, we at KMA Organizing want to share some simple, sustainably-minded habits that you can use to organize your spaces while doing minimal damage to the planet.


Repurpose and Re-envision

No, I don’t mean sew all of your clothes from loose scraps of fabric (unless you’re into that). This is more of a state of mind than a habit: instead of immediately throwing out items you don’t want or need, try and find new purposes they could serve.


The example I like give is of a simple cardboard box. Maybe you recently got a package from Amazon and you’re ready to toss it into the recycling bin. Let’s pause for a second and ask ourselves, What else could I use this for?


Right off the bat, a couple of ideas come to mind:

  • Rip off the tabs of the box and wedge them into a drawer you’ve been meaning to organize. Now you’ve got a free drawer divider! 

  • Use the box to store loose snacks in your pantry, cleaning supplies under your bathroom sink, or paint bottles near your easel— whatever you need to keep in one place!

  • Hand the box off to your kids for crafting and playtime. I loved getting boxes when I was little— I usually stacked them on top of each other to build fortresses. Help them get creative early!

When we choose to see the potential in a ripped pair of jeans or even a cardboard box, we realize that there is far more life in our possessions than we’re told to believe.


Dispose of Waste Responsibly

It’s genuinely unnerving how many people dodn’t know the rules for properly handling some trash items. There are a couple of things that cannot be thrown out in a traditional “trashbag-on-the-curb” sort of way. Some of these change depending on where you live, and your city should have a detailed list of guidelines somewhere on their website.


These items are widely discouraged from being tossed out with the typical garbage:

  • Batteries

  • Tires

  • Electronics and Appliances

  • Lightbulbs

  • Liquid Waste (I.e. oil, ati-freeze, paint)

  • Thermometers

Additionally, these items generally can’t be recycled:

  • Food Waste, or Items with Food Waste on Them

  • Ceramics and Kitchenware

  • Windows and Mirrors

  • Packing Peanuts and Bubble Wrap


It is our responsibility as decent citizens to adhere to these rules whenever we can. So as you declutter your home and decide to part ways with certain items, keep in mind how you prevent the deterioration of our environment.


Give Thrifting a Try

You’d be surprised at how many perfectly-good organizing accessories can be found at places like Goodwill and Savers. I’ve personally found shoe racks, specialized hangers, silverware organizers, and many more helpful tools for a fraction of their original price.


Just give everything a once-over with some disinfectant and voila— you have easily saved a few bucks without negatively contributing to the environment.


And if you don’t feel particularly enticed to shop from thrift stores, that’s okay— you can still donate to them! There are some shops that take more than you’d think, so read up on what they accept and donate what you can.


There are most likely donation boxes and shelters near you that would greatly appreciate any kitchenware, unused toiletries, outerwear, etc. that you have to spare. I’d encourage you to seek these local sources first, since they more directly benefit your community.


Host an Exchange

This is one of my personal favorites because it a) is a great excuse to have company over and b) benefits your guests just as much as you! All you need are some items you don’t want anymore and a group of friends who are up for a trade (and maybe a cheese plate).


Invite people to your home and tell them to bring a box filled with items that they don’t want anymore. (You could choose a theme, like kitchen accessories or clothes, or you can leave it open for whatever!) Set up “booths” or corners for each person to display their items. Take turns “auctioning off” different objects or just have people wander around and choose on their own. Free goodies, good laughs, and an environmentally-conscious shindig— what’s not to love??


Sustainability can be a daunting concept when we try to change too many of our habits too quickly. But these four simple steps alone can vastly minimize the harm done to our environment, even as we improve our own little environments. We hope that you take these ideas to heart as you enter Spring-cleaning season— go Green as you clean!


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