DeclutterGreen is two women (friends and coworkers) who like to purge, dislike excess stuff, and really don’t like the thought of adding to the already overflowing landfills. We met at our day job where we both offer different types of technical support. We became friends over our shared love of a sport. Then we discovered that we both also loved to declutter and resell pretty much everything in our homes. And as it turns out, anything in anyone else’s home who will let us at their mess! Now we use our shared experience to help others declutter their homes with less impact on the environment.
The process of moving from a spacious 4 bedroom bungalow into a fairly small 3 bedroom condo was my first experience in downsizing. Then when I needed to fit another person and their stuff in that condo, I began the decluttering process again. I realized I was holding onto a house full of stuff that I never used, but I still had a hard time letting go of it all. There was a lot of justifying why I needed to keep things, but the more I got rid of, the more I realized I didn’t actually need any of that stuff. It was liberating!
While I was decluttering, the one thing I couldn’t find an easy solution for, was what to do with all that waste. I was horrified by the idea of all my stuff ending up in the trash. I care about the environment and would like to see our planet last a long, long time. So I did some research and took my excess items to recycling centres, charity stores and anyplace I could find that would keep it out of the landfill.
But it turns out some things are hard to recycle and donate. And now that so many people are downsizing and discovering minimalism, where is all their stuff going? I talked to other people who are overwhelmed by clutter, but avoid dealing with it because they don’t want to just throw all that stuff away. So I decided it was time to find a way to help others declutter with a conscience.
My decluttering journey began when I first moved to Ottawa. I lived with my boyfriend in a very tiny bachelor apartment with no storage space. Needless to say, it didn’t take us long to fill the space. I began to purge simply because I had nowhere to hide things. I started with duplicate items, selling them on online classified sites like Kijiji. This worked for a while, but eventually we began to lose the fight against all that stuff and moved into a 2 bedroom apartment. It was a temporary fix of course.
Moving can be great for purging. It really makes you think about what is worth keeping. And I actually like packing things up, organizing everything into neat boxes (odd I know). So off we went to our new place with a clean slate. All that extra space makes it easier to move into a larger place, but it certainly didn’t take us long to fill every corner. Soon it began to feel like the walls were closing in on me. This was the time I decided to embrace minimalism. My stuff was no longer bringing me joy, but instead was causing me anxiety. I struggled with the idea of throwing out perfectly good items. What I consider clutter, may just be what another person needs, so when I can, I try to find new homes for my excess things.
My latest move has been to a 3 bedroom house. Having even more extra space has been my greatest challenge in the fight against clutter! Especially since it’s our first home and well meaning friends and relatives always seem to want to give you stuff. And now it’s so easy to hide junk in a closet or room, and close the door and forget about it. Items find a way to spread throughout the house, and keeping on top of the clutter means organization and purging the excess. Purging became easy for me once I realized my happiness isn’t connected to items I own. By minimizing my life, I feel lighter and I enjoy all items in my home instead of them bringing me stress.
There has to be better ways to free people of this burden, while ensuring their stuff is being recycled and reused.
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