Tuesday, January 13, 2015


A year ago I embarked on my Project EcoClutterBuster, with high hopes & great intentions of reducing the vast stores of junk in my house. (read the original post here, complete with before photo) Over the past year, I have spent quite a bit of time on this project, both sorting & disposing of said clutter, but also researching where & how to get rid of it sustainably.

January saw my first burst of decluttering, when I biked a donation of textiles over to the awesome non-profit Our Social Fabric.

D for donated clothing!
In March I edited a few garbage bags of clothes out of my closet. I also wrote some tips for how you can downsize your wardrobe without sending anything to the landfill too, in Goodbye Clothes.

In June, there was our Disappointing Donation of household goods to the nearby Salvation Army Thrift Store.

In September, our old microfibre cloth diaper inserts started a second career in our kitchen. I didn't actually get rid of anything, but I took a pile of heretofore useless stuff & made it useful again... does that count as busting clutter? You decide--read Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Repurpose for the details.

In November, I tamed the kids' closet in a big way, bringing a large quantity of clothing Bronte & Linnaeus have grown out of to a kids clothing swap. Visit that post for photographic evidence of just how much stuff our Yuba Mundo cargo bike can carry.

In & around these big bursts of decluttering energy that I blogged about, I also took a few more bags here & there to the nearest clothing donation bin, winnowing down my closet even further. The Moms 30 for 30 Closet Remix Challenge that I joined in November was helpful to show myself that I really don't need as many clothes as I have. I've also passed on or returned quite a few bulky baby items, like a swing, a bassinet, an exersaucer, an infant car seat, & a double breast pump.

Speaking of kids' stuff, I also started toy rotation, which doesn't mean that we have fewer toys overall, as I only edited out a handful, but it means there are only about a third of what the kids have out on the shelves at any given time. The rest are in storage bins & get rotated in every few weeks. Definitely less mess to pick up & what's there gets played with more.

I'm not going to say I am finished--I still have a few piles of things set aside, waiting for the right place to be recycled, or donated. A bag of unused shampoos & other toiletries ready to go to the Downtown Eastside Women's Shelter, a collection of broken small appliances, a number of defunct fluorescent tubes. I barely made a dent in my sewing room of doom, so there will be no after photo for you here. Sorry.

Overall, however, I'm pleased with my progress & I think I did get better at following through with downsizing things, especially my wardrobe. In future, I plan to follow a loose "one in, one out" rule when I buy new clothes so I don't end up with a massive collection of clothing again. I will also continue the struggle to get the unecessary junk out of our lives. I'm going to try to spend time at least once a week on decluttering. Project #EcoClutterBuster lives on!

You can follow along with #EcoClutterBuster in 2015 here on the blog, on Twitter or on Instagram too. If you're decluttering your closet, snap a pic & tag it #EcoClutterBuster to play along! Pics or it didn't happen, right? ;)

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