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Clean Less, Live More: Effective Ways to Reduce Waste at Home

July 06, 2020

Do you ever think about the money you’ve spent on clothes you’re keeping but not wearing? What about the time you’ve wasted on sorting them every now and then?

Don’t wait before your closet runs out of space. Below are tricks that can help you manage those extra clothes and other forms of clutter in your home.

Clean Less, Live More


  1. Recognize hoarding tendencies
  2. Apply a one in, one out principle
  3. Sell or donate unneeded items
  4. Go for eco-friendly products
  5. Realize the value of empty spaces
  6. Simplify your daily life at home
  7. 11 simple tips on how to clear out the clutter


All of your family properties can now be accommodated in one and a half such rooms because it is currently there and waiting until we have renovated our new home and made it habitable. Let's have a look into it.

Recognize hoarding tendencies

You don’t really need multiple sets of kitchen and dining wares. It’s also unnecessary to keep several boxes of high school and college memorabilia. Those knickknacks in your drawers don’t have much use as well. You’re hoarding things and it’s best to toss them out.

Apply a one in, one out principle

Before you get new shoes, consider tossing out an old pair first. Do the same thing when you’re tempted to buy clothes, bags and gadgets. This principle is even more necessary when you’re shopping for new furniture or appliance. This principle won’t reduce your waste directly, but it will keep you from accumulating more clutter.

Sell or donate unneeded items

Those extra throw pillows have to go, but they don’t have to end up in landfills. Consider doing a garage sale. Online auctions and sales are great disposal options as well. After your annual general cleaning, you can also donate the things you no longer use. The money and/or satisfaction you’ll get from the said activities could serve as your motivation to declutter.

Go for eco-friendly products

Invest on a bidet instead of relying on toilet paper all the time. Bring your own washable shopping bags for your supermarket trips. For your baking needs, use a reusable baking mat. Get used to bamboo-made toothbrushes and razors as well.

And there comes a lot more with it. Once you dig deeper into shopping eco-friendly, there are countless opportunities to expand your green footprint.

Realize the value of empty spaces

Those urns and sculptures add a feeling of sophistication in your living room and hallways. It’s also delightful to look at your bloom-filled vase on top of your console table. However, think about how it’s more convenient to have more space on your floor or tables.

This doesn’t mean you have to remove all displays in your home. What you need to do is pick a few things to showcase, and let the empty spaces highlight them.

For example, if you want a painting to stand out in your living room, make sure it’s the only item hanging on a single wall. Don’t fill the other walls with clutter as well. By doing so, you help ensure that work of art gets the attention it deserves.

Simplify your daily life at home

Instead of staying organized, your organizers may be encouraging you to hoard more things. For example, you don’t need to get a condiment rack. In your kitchen, you can put the most used condiments on the counter and store the rest on a cupboard.

Aside from your organizing habits, pay attention to your skin and hair care routines, too. You can simplify them by reducing the products you’re using. This saves time and money. Furthermore, using fewer products is likely more beneficial to your skin and hair.

Keeping clutter at bay isn’t that hard. If you feel lazy to deal with them right now, think about the time you’ll waste on cleaning, organizing and disposing them in the future. More importantly, imagine the better things you can do with your time and money, and without the mess that’s holding you back.

11 simple tips on how to clear out the clutter

We opted for the latter, but that doesn't mean that we kept everything or threw nothing away. But we sorted and thought of a kind of tier system.

1.) The first thing we did was go through the stuff roughly and put things that we could recycle aside. There were two solid wood cupboards, a blue dress from the 1960s, one or the other enamel pot, a sauerkraut slicer, or books such as "War and Peace".

2.) Then we decided to sell and give away property that others could still use, be it friends, neighbors, or relatives. To do this, we let the people who offered to help us or just wanted to take a look roam the house. Always with the hint that they could take away if they discovered something useful.

3.) Then we collected everything in two rooms of the house. We cleared out the cupboards and bedside tables and sorted them out radically. For what? For a house flea market. A very, very common type of recycling in Sweden. There is a sign "Loppis" on every corner. These are neither sweets nor potatoes. Usually, a villager makes one of his barns or garages available, in which one or the other part or piece of furniture can be offered for sale by the surrounding neighbors. These Loppis are open all year round, but only for a certain period (e.g., a household liquidation). In Germany, this culture of re-entry into the cycle of use is only slowly arriving. We buy better and more modern consumer products much faster and quickly dispose of the old ones in the bin or keep it in the basement. Or in the attic. Or anywhere else in the apartment or house.
Therefore, we did not have high hopes for ringing registers. Overall, hardly anything came around, but we could hand over one or the other part.

4.) This sorting out resulted in 11 bags of rubbish, at least as many bags of old clothes, and three large boxes with clothing items donated to organizations that distribute clothes to people in need. The sacks are explained by the previous owner's unusually high consumption of plastic flowers of all kinds and every corner.

5.) For the furniture, we called a shop that is currently looking for well-preserved furniture for refugee aid. The 7.5-ton truck was standing in front of the door, was fully loaded in no time, and the house was a little emptier.

6.) Electronic or metal scrap is now also happily accepted by independent companies that call themselves recycling centers or similar. They collect and recycle the metals present in these items and sell them to the respective other companies that reprocess these raw materials. We even got a little money for our first 25 kilos. We each bought two milk rolls from them.

7.) (Expired) medication or medical aids have been taken from us by the pharmacy. Great thing, because they have a contact who, for example, passes on sippy cups that have not been used to other institutions.

8.) Then there is, of course, the option of eBay and rebuy to resell books, model trains, elegant original clothes from the 60s, or to get rid of old books. When it comes to books, I still find it difficult to throw them into the blue bin. But nobody here wants to read these books anymore. Not a single book has left the house with the aim of being reread. Therefore, rebuy and the like are a good alternative for me. (Since there is no busy bookcase here either.)

9.) Some items of clothing are too valuable to me to put in the used clothing collection. Since there is no purchase at our second-hand shop, only the donation base, I thought about calling the theater for the bride dress (around 40s). Since we also have incredibly long and wide curtains, I thought of offering them there too. However, I haven't gotten to it yet, and I'm just passing it on as food for thought.

10.) Everything else is photographed in classified ads for giving away and posted on the Internet. One of the other electrical devices, such as e.g., a centrifugal drum or an exercise bike, is still in others' possession. That makes us very satisfied because, after all, it means that we don't have to dispose of everything in bulky waste.

11.) Bulky waste is somehow the last instance of our clearing-out scheme. And we hope that we can use the specified cubic meter.

11.) Bulky waste is somehow the last instance of our clearing-out scheme. And I hope that we can get by with the specified amount of cubic meters. If we still have too many furniture pieces in the house, one or the other armchair may be put on the sidewalk two days in advance, and someone will take it away. Who knows.

So we clear out this house, and it is incredible how well and quickly this reduction can be made over time.

More tips and tricks for clearing out and reducing waste?

Have you ever had to clear out a whole house or break up a household? Is that easy or difficult for you? What tricks did you discover to separate yourself from old burdens and part of life memories?

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