Now, we’re entering into the second phase of the challenge. These changes are lifestyle changes like learning to make your own snacks and decluttering your life.
There’s a belief that decluttering and zero waste stand in opposition to one another, but I firmly believe both principles to be very complementary.
We are detached from the stuff we purchase and own.
When we go zero waste, plastic free, or go down the path of minimalism, we experience a re-awakening and a connection with our consumerism.
What we once used to consume blindly, we’re now hyper aware.
This not only applies to new things crossing our threshold, but all of the stuff that’s living in the basement, the attic, and in the far reaches under our bed.
Once we start experiencing this connection with our stuff and our consumerism, we begin to ask ourselves a lot of questions like… how did I consume SO much, and why did I waste so much money?
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We consume A LOT of stuff! Like we talked about on day one.
The self-storage industry is booming. It’s currently a $38 Billion industry. (source)
Our home size has tripled since the 1950s and we can’t help but accumulate and fill it with stuff. (source)
We wind up buying a lot of stuff that we don’t need, and don’t really use.
The reason it’s important to declutter is to redistribute your resources. It’s important that we start looking at our belongings as resources.
There are no wild blenders people pick from trees. Although, imagining a blender tree is pretty hilarious.
All of our stuff is created from different resources, and it takes a lot of energy to assemble and distribute.
If we have items in our possession that aren’t being used, then we should ask ourselves if we could distribute them to help new products from being created.
When you redistribute your resources, you’re actually saving new resources from being extracted.
Conserving resources is directly related to living a zero waste lifestyle, and I believe this to be the biggest correlation between decluttering and zero waste.
This is a two part solution.
Go through your belongings and see if there’s anything you don’t need. Ask yourself a series of questions.
Do I need this?
Have I used this within the last month?
Could someone else use this more than me?
Could I borrow this from a friend or family member – do I need to own it?
Be vigilant when shopping! Make sure to ask yourself a series of questions for the possessions that will be coming into your home in the future.
Wait 30 days before making a purchase to make sure the item will truly fit into your home and lifestyle.
Do I really need this?
Will this complement what I already have?
Is it multipurpose? i.e. will it go with more than one thing in my closet, can I use it for more than one purpose in the kitchen?
Do I have something similar?
As you’re decluttering, also keep in mind where you’re going to send your donations. You shouldn’t just drop them all off at the thrift store, but truly try and find better homes for them. For tips on finding the best place to donate your belonging see the video below.
take the challenge:
I challenge you to pick a room in your house and to declutter it. If you’re struggling on what to do with the item follow the series of prompts above.
And, for the next 23 days, if you’re tempted to buy something new ask yourself the series of questions above and place a waiting period before buying. Mine is 30 days, and it prevents SO many unnecessary purchases.
Are you taking the challenge?
Just starting out? Have 1,000 burning questions!? Get access to my private Facebook group, where I’ll be hosting weekly lives throughout the challenge and I answer all of your most pressing questions.
PLUS! I’ll be sending out a brand new e-book at the end of the challenge called the Game On Handbook which is all about individual ways to fight climate change.
You don’t want to miss it.
miss a day?
- Day 1: Buy Less
- Day 2: Say No to Straws
- Day 3: Bring Your Own Reusable Water Bottle
- Day 4: Zero Waste Coffee
- Day 5: How to Actually Remember to Bring Your Bags to the Grocery Store
- Day 6: Use Real Stuff
- Day 7: Zero Waste Snacks
- Day 8: Declutter Your Life the Zero Waste Way
- Day 9: The Ultimate Guide to Zero Waste Cleaning
- Day 10: How to Compost
- Day 11: Conserve Natural Resources
- Day 12: Pick Up Litter
- Day 13: Zero Waste Grocery Shopping
- Day 14: Fight Food Waste
- Day 15: Meal Prep
- Day 16: Repair Something
- Day 17: Pack a Zero Waste Lunch
- Day 18: Use Cloth Napkins
- Day 19: Bring Home Leftovers
- Day 20: Zero Waste Dishwashing
- Day 21: Recycle the RIGHT Way!
- Day 22: Zero Waste Toilet Paper
- Day 23: Reduce Waste in Your Beauty Routine
- Day 24: Vote with Your Dollars
- Day 25: Be Prepared
- Day 26: Stop Junk Mail
- Day 27: Shop Secondhand
- Day 28: Shop Local
- Day 29: Start a Local Zero Waste Group
- Day 30: Get Involved in Local Government
- Day 31: Do a Trash Audit