7 Ways to Declutter Your Home in an Eco-Friendly Way

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Here are seven eco-friendly decluttering tips to help you get rid of your excess stuff. We also have a declutter checklist at the end of the post!

Clutter is the enemy of eco-friendly living. The more stuff we have, the harder it is to live a sustainable life. Not only do we have to worry about all of the resources that went into producing our belongings, but we also have to consider how much space they take up and what happens when we’re done with them.

green plant next to a green chair that is being used to stage eco-friendly decluttering

What Does Eco-Friendly Decluttering Mean?

Decluttering is the process of removing unnecessary, unused, or excess items from your living space to create a more organized, functional, and serene environment.

It involves intentionally sorting through belongings, making decisions about what to keep, donate, repurpose, or discard, and then organizing the remaining items in a thoughtful manner.

Eco-friendly decluttering means that instead of mindlessly throwing away all of the items you decide to part with, you instead search for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

We enjoy clutter-free areas. There’s something soothing about looking at a space and not thinking about any work you need to do. Not only does removing excess items from your living spaces creates more physical room, it also makes it easier to move around, find things, and maintain a clean and tidy home.

If you’re ready to tackle eco-friendly decluttering for your own sanity and mental well being, here are seven tips to help you get the job done with as little impact to the environment as possible.

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1. Clean One Area at A Time

Overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done? Take it one area at a time, and it’ll all get sorted eventually. There’s no time line for eco-friendly decluttering. Slow and steady wins the race.

Most people would never think to declutter their garage or yard, but it’s important to get rid of old, broken items that are just taking up space. You can start by sorting these items into those you can recycle or upcycle and those you need to store somewhere else. The rest of the things you might need to put in a dumpster.

By breaking down your decluttering project into smaller, bite-sized tasks, you prevent feeling overwhelmed. This approach makes it easier to get started and stay motivated.

decluttering clothes

2. Donate Some Items

The phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” exists for a reason. Just because an item has lost its usefulness to one person doesn’t mean it can’t be reused or recycled by someone else. When you’re decluttering your home, sustainable practices should be at the forefront of your mind in order to minimize waste as much as possible.

Many things may be donated, including clothing, tools, cookware, and other housewares. Building materials might also be repurposed. Bricks, sand, rocks, and other materials may be beneficial to someone else.

Donate items to homeless shelters, women’s and children’s centers, the local soup kitchen, or any other charity that could utilize them. Giving back to the community is one of the most effective methods to declutter your home while also helping others.

Common paces that take donations include:

  • Local schools
  • Goodwill
  • Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore
  • Local food pantries
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Humane Society
  • Local churches
  • Neighborhood swap pages on social media

Decluttering Reminder

There is a limit to what you can donate. If you come across broken, damaged, or heavily stained items, it’s best to dispose of them responsibly rather than donating. Donating unusable items can create an unnecessary burden on donation centers and waste their valuable resources such as time and effort in sorting.

natural cleaning products lemons, baking soda, and sponge on white wooden countertop

3. Make Cleaning Products at Home

Making cleaning products at home is a fantastic way to reduce your environmental footprint, save money, and ensure that your home is free from harsh chemicals. Buying all of those various bottles of cleaning products also creates a lot of clutter.

Luckily it’s very easy to create cleaners at home. They may even be healthier than store-bought alternatives. Natural ingredients are better are easier environment and better for grey water too.

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wheel barrow planters at Moss Mountain Farm

4. Upcycle Items for Use Elsewhere

One of the best things about eco-friendly decluttering, is finding new life for old items!

Instead of getting rid of them, you may use old buckets, wheelbarrows, shovels, and the like in your garden show. You can grow fresh flowers or herbs, repaint the containers, place them in a dull corner, or even create a water feature to soothe your nerves.

Upcycling is the process of transforming used or unwanted items into something new and often better. By upcycling, we can reduce the amount of waste in our environment or fill up fewer dumpsters.

Not only are recycled handmade gifts lovely, but they’re also eco-friendly! You can make new home decor items like oven mittens and tea towels from old scraps of fabric. And by making these things or selling them at a market, you’re helping to save our planet!

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5. Reuse Rather Than Replace

Now that stuff is so inexpensive, it’s often cheaper to replace something than restore it. However, before you go on another shopping spree, consider what you want to buy.

Can we mend or reuse this item instead? Not only will doing so save you money in the long run, but Mother Nature will also thank you for not adding to her decrease in population.

When it comes to declaring something garbage, think about whether there’s a way you can still do something with it. Quick fixes like mending loose hems or door handles are simple to perform and don’t need any experience. Plus, the idea of upcycling could be motivating enough for you to take on additional tasks—and help save the environment while you’re at it.

yard sale

6. Sell Items Instead of Discarding Them

As you declutter your home and gardens, you’ll probably find lots of items that would sell well.

Lawnmowers, artworks, garden furnishings, and other goods may all sell well on the internet or at a garage sale. Finding appreciative new owners is better than sending large items straight to a landfill.

Here are creative ways to sell your belongings to reduce the environmental impact even more.

  • Yard sale
  • Swap with neighbors
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Resale or consignment stores like Plato’s Closet
  • Community bulletin boards
  • Farmer’s market or flea markets

7. Find Digital Solutions

Many individuals have huge numbers of photo albums, outdated records, and books. Recycle these materials after finding a digital alternative.

By scanning and saving your photos to a digital format, you can use the physical space they formerly occupied for other decorative items. Additionally, digital photo frames make it easy to display multiple pictures without taking up too much space. The same is true for records- scan and save them so that you don’t have to keep bulky Albums around.

While some people would rather read a physical book, it’s more space-efficient to exchange or sell your old books instead of holding on to them. At second-hand bookstores or online, you can get new reads while decluttering your house. Everybody wins!

declutter and only own what you use or love

Eco-Friendly Declutter Checklist

Now that you have some tips for eco-friendly decluttering, here’s a quick checklist to get you started on your path to clutter-free living.

This checklist should help you tackle each area of your home systematically, making the decluttering process more manageable and efficient. Remember to adapt it to your specific needs and preferences as you go along. Happy decluttering!

General Tips:

  • Set aside dedicated time for decluttering each area.
  • Prepare boxes or bags for sorting items into categories: Keep, Donate, Sell, Repurpose, Discard.
  • Work methodically, focusing on one area at a time to prevent overwhelm.
  • Be honest with yourself about whether items are truly useful, loved, or needed.
  • Celebrate your progress as you go along!

Living Room:

  • Remove old magazines, newspapers, and catalogs.
  • Sort through DVDs, CDs, and video games, keeping only those you watch or listen to.
  • Declutter coffee tables and shelves of unnecessary items.
  • Assess throw pillows, blankets, and decor for items that no longer fit the space or style.


  • Clear countertops of appliances and gadgets you rarely use.
  • Check drawers for duplicates of utensils, tools, or dishware.
  • Dispose of expired food items and condiments.
  • Donate excess pots, pans, and cooking utensils.
  • Evaluate plastic containers for matching lids and eliminate extras.


  • Declutter clothing by donating items you no longer wear or love.
  • Sort through shoes, keeping pairs in good condition.
  • Clear nightstands and dressers of clutter, such as old receipts or jewelry.
  • Assess linens and towels, discarding worn or mismatched ones.
  • Check under the bed for forgotten items or storage containers.


  • Dispose of expired medications and skincare products.
  • Organize toiletries, keeping only what you use regularly.
  • Declutter towels, washcloths, and bath mats.
  • Check the medicine cabinet for items you no longer need.
  • Assess cleaning supplies, discarding old or unused products.

Home Office:

  • Sort through paperwork, shredding or filing as needed.
  • Organize office supplies, discarding dried-out pens and markers.
  • Clear the desk of clutter, keeping only essential items within reach.
  • Evaluate electronics and cords, recycling old devices or accessories.
  • Declutter bookshelves of books you won’t read again or no longer need.

Kids’ Rooms:

  • Involve children in decluttering toys, keeping favorites and donating unused items.
  • Sort through clothing, passing on outgrown clothes or items no longer worn.
  • Assess books and school supplies, keeping age-appropriate items.
  • Clear play areas of broken or unused toys.
  • Evaluate furniture for items they’ve outgrown or no longer need.

Closets and Storage Spaces:

  • Declutter seasonal clothing, donating items not worn in the past year.
  • Assess shoes and accessories. Keep only what’s worn or loved.
  • Sort through holiday decorations. Keep what’s used and loved.
  • Evaluate sports equipment and outdoor gear, passing on items no longer used.
  • Clear out miscellaneous items in storage bins or boxes, keeping only what’s essential.

Miscellaneous Areas:

  • Check the garage for tools, equipment, and items no longer needed.
  • Declutter the laundry room of old cleaning supplies or unused products.
  • Sort through pet supplies, donating items your pet no longer uses.
  • Assess outdoor spaces for broken or unused items, such as furniture or garden tools.
  • Clear out the car of unnecessary items, organizing essentials for easy access.

Final Steps:

  • Dispose of items in the “Discard” pile responsibly, recycling where possible.
  • Donate items in good condition to local charities or organizations.
  • Sell items of value through online platforms, garage sales, or consignment shops.
  • Repurpose items creatively or give them new life through DIY projects.
  • Enjoy your newly decluttered and organized spaces!

Now that you’re for some eco-friendly decluttering, what are you going to tackle first?

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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