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Hildy NeumannGreen Organizing

Wondering about how to bring an earth-friendly approach to organized living? Here are some ideas.

Reduce – This starts with consumption: the everyday decisions you make about which items you bring into your home or workplace. Think about purchases in terms of quality – buying things that will last vs. “disposable” items that may appear cheaper initially but will need to be replaced sooner. Discontinue catalogs you don’t want and those newspapers you never get around to reading. Remember: the less stuff you bring into your home or workplace, the less distracting, annoying clutter there will be to deal with later.

Reuse – When starting an organizing project, many clients can’t wait to run out and buy new storage containers. Resist that urge! There may be containers in your home or workplace that can be repurposed. Similarly, you can reuse manila file folders by turning them inside out and labeling the reverse side of the tab. Starting a scrap paper bin and printing on the reverse side can cut down on your paper usage and help save a few trees.

Recycle – Many people already make a habit of recycling everyday trash items including paper, glass and plastic. Many go further, responsibly disposing of hazardous waste (batteries, chemicals and compact fluorescent bulbs) and e-waste (computers, televisions and other devices). But recycling applies to usable goods too. Clothing, books and household items can be “recycled” by donating them to charitable organizations through their local collection points, special pickup arrangements or online methods such as Freecycle. For higher value items, consignment through local stores or online options like CraigsList and eBay is a way to recycle unneeded stuff and generate some cash.

Rethink – As you move toward a more organized home or workplace, I encourage you to challenge yourself by asking: “Is there a greener way to do this?” And if you have some great green ideas, please share them with me! I’m always learning from my clients and passing along what I’ve learned to others.

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