Spring isn’t the only time we’re cleaning our closets. In my neighborhood, fall is the perfect time for a community swap, where neighbors share gear, equipment, or clothing they’re no longer using.
Decluttering our home provides so many more benefits than meets the eye. A “home detox” – cleaning out your closets, cabinets, and storage areas – can also help you declutter your mind and feel refreshed. Like a nutritional detox, a home detox also lets you get rid of things that may not be the best for your health or safety.
But don’t just toss – swap! By hosting a community swap in your neighborhood, you (and your pals) can also save tons of cash – if you find items you love at a swap, you don’t have to buy new! After all, one person’s trash is another’s treasure. You’ll also be saving another kind of green, helping the environment by reducing waste and recycling.
Ready to detox your closet? Here’s how:
1) Do a “clothing/appliances” swap. I like to attend these a couple times a year with my friends. They have such great taste in clothing, and I have found some of my favorite style staples without ever stepping foot into a store. My friends can also enjoy things I’ve offered, and I open up space in my closet.
2) Donate items to charity. Look for charitable organizations in your neighborhood, like Salvation Army, where you can donate gently-used clothing to someone in need.
3) Recycle. Don’t simply throw away your socks with holes or old ratty t-shirts – recycle them! Many cities have textile recycling drops, which repurposes old clothing into home insulation or carpet padding. Do a google search to find the textile recycler nearest you.
4) Be on the lookout for neighborhood e-waste collections. Set aside things like used batteries, burnt out light bulbs, and broken electronics in a bag for e-waste collection events in your neighborhood. Many waste collection agencies schedule these annually to ensure proper disposal of electronics, but if you have access to a car, you can seek to find a facility. You’ll feel great knowing you’ve gotten rid of these items safely and effectively.
5) Replace and Replenish your Cleaning/Bathroom/Beauty supplies. I love the Environmental Working Group’s website and app to search for products that have the best quality ratings. When I realized I was using things that could be disruptive to my health, I threw all my old “toxic” supplies in a bag and took it to drop off at a community “hazardous material” collection. By doing so, these products could be disposed of without affecting the environment. Visit your waste management organization’s website to learn when the next neighborhood hazardous material collection will be.