We often acquire items quicker than we can process. Whether it's the appeal of fast fashion, quick tech upgrades, hand-me-downs or impulse purchases, many of us find ourselves with an excess of belongings. to see a list of potential possibilities and why you may be holding onto too much stuff, see this blog post: How to Declutter Your Space: A Step-by-Step Guide
When it comes time to declutter, our services include proper disposal or donation of all your unwanted items.
If you find it too overwhelming to start organizing your space, we'll guide you in sorting through each room, each space and any corner that needs attention. We will meticulously organizing the chosen items into cohesive and functional systems, properly allocate your unwanted items and leave you with a clean and beautiful space that you love. Learn more about how you can get organized with Simplify Home!
Already have a bunch of things to get rid of and don't know where to do it? How can we ensure that we're disposing of our unwanted items in a way that's responsible and environmentally friendly?
Understanding the Impact of Waste
Before diving into sustainable disposal methods, it's crucial to recognize the implications of our waste:
Many discarded items can leach toxins into the soil and waterways. Landfills are filling up rapidly, emitting harmful greenhouse gases.
The best place to start is to reduce the amount of plastics we purchase in the first place.
Opt for items wrapped in less plastic or no plastic, shop at thrift stores, shop within your community at garage sales or online groups exchanging or selling good. Don't have a grocery store that you can bring your own containers too and omit plastic? Research online for a place that may exist or join communities that are trying to change the way big consumers sell their produce and products.
Now, what can we do with our existing stuff that we don't want in order to help the environment?
We should try to reuse items and give them longer lives, keeping them our of landfills for longer. Simply recycling plastics isn't enough. If you have a lot of Tupperware or recyclable items and don't have a use for them, you can allocate them to a place that other's can use them! Maybe you can repurpose them for something else in your home....
- Can old t-shirts become rags or quilts?
- Could containers be reused for storage?
- Repurpose furniture or decor items with a fresh coat of paint or minor repairs.
- Does your local school or community centre need paper towel rolls for crafting?
- Can you repurpose any plastic containers for garden supplies? Storing items, watering cans etc...
For more ideas on upcycling, reusing, reducing and sustainable living, follow our Sustainable Living Pinterest Board full of helpful ways to get started with simple living for the environment.
When repurposing is not an option, read on for disposing items sustainably.
How do we dispose unwanted items sustainably?
Donating can give items a second life. The saying goes "one person's trash is another's treasure":
- Give to local thrift shops, shelters, or community centers.
- Some organizations specialize in specific items, like business attire for job seekers or toys for underprivileged children.
- Ensure items are in decent condition before donating.
Host a Swap Event
Organize or participate in community swap events:
- Such events promote the exchange of items, ensuring they find a new home instead of ending up in the trash.
- They're also great opportunities to socialize and promote sustainable living.
Repair Before Replacing
Instead of discarding broken items, see if they can be fixed:
- Repairing extends the lifespan of items and reduces the need for replacements.
- Local repair cafes or workshops can assist with fixing items.
Not all items can be thrown into your blue bin:
- Familiarize yourself with local recycling guidelines.
- Many municipalities have separate programs for electronics, batteries, and hazardous materials. (Did you know Ikea takes used batteries and lightbulbs? Did you know Staples takes old ink cartridges?)
- Upcycle items whenever possible, transforming them into something new. Many schools, libraries and daycares take boxes for children to play with or papers for arts and crafts...
Eco-friendly Disposal Services
Consider using disposal services that emphasize eco-friendly methods. These companies prioritize recycling and repurposing over sending items to the landfill. They can help dispose of large items like furniture or appliances and tech gear sustainably.
Here are some companies in the GTA you can start with:
City of Toronto Waste Management: The city itself provides blue bin recycling, green bin organics, and yard waste programs. The city also runs Environment Days where residents can drop off items like electronics, household hazardous waste, and more for proper disposal: Toronto's Waste Management Services
JUSTJUNK: They offer junk removal services and emphasize donating and recycling items before resorting to disposal: JUSTJUNK Toronto
1-800-GOT-JUNK?: A popular junk removal service that focuses on recycling and donating items as much as possible: 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Toronto
Rid of It Toronto: A junk removal service that emphasizes recycling and donating items: Rid of It Toronto Junk Removal
Green Junk Fellas: As their name suggests, they focus on eco-friendly disposal and try to recycle or donate as much as possible: Green Junk Fellas
Habitat for Humanity ReStore: While not a disposal service per se, they accept donations of gently-used home improvement items, furniture, and appliances, which are then sold to the public. This keeps usable items out of landfills: Habitat for Humanity GTA ReStore
Free Geek Toronto: They accept electronic waste and ensure it is either responsibly recycled or refurbished and reused: Free Geek Toronto
Recycle Your Electronics: A program in Ontario that offers drop-off locations throughout the GTA for electronic waste: Recycle Your Electronics
Battery recycling programs: Various retailers in the GTA, like Best Buy and Staples, offer battery recycling drop-off bins:
Terracycle: They offer specialized recycling solutions for hard-to-recycle waste streams: TerraCycle's Recycling Programs
When considering eco-friendly disposal, it's essential to be aware of what can be recycled in your municipal program and seek out specialized services for items that aren't typically accepted (like e-waste, certain plastics, or hazardous materials).
Educate and Advocate
Promote sustainable disposal within your community:
- Share information, resources, and events related to eco-friendly disposal.
- Advocate for better recycling and disposal practices at the local government level.
- Join online groups and share your findings on local companies that care for the earth.
Sustainable disposal is more than just an eco-friendly trend; it's a responsibility we owe to our planet and future generations. By adopting sustainable practices, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also pave the way for a more conscious and resourceful society. Whether you're decluttering a drawer or an entire home, remember that every item has the potential for a second life—it's just about finding the right approach.
Did you know we practice sustainability with everything we do?
With all our services, we try our best to keep the earth in mind and first. What do we do? Our services include:
- decluttering any space you want or need
- organizing with practical systems, solutions and functional storage
- we provide all materials and procure all necessary items to complete the transformation
- complete any handy work including patching that hole you made 2 years ago, installing shelving units, hanging painting etc...
- provide optional design and decor suggestions and solutions
- finish off with an optional deep clean to leave your home sparkling and new so you can enjoy the newly organized and relaxing space
If you need help getting started and want to declutter with our support,contact us today for a FREE consultation.
We guarantee that the organizational systems we teach you, and put in place, will stay! Now is the time to get organized and start living in a home that you love and take care of the earth at the same time.