Green Decluttering: How Can I Be Green When Decluttering? Julie’s 7 R’s of Eco Organizing & Decluttering
Green decluttering and organizing!
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Certified life coach, author & award-winning professional life organizer Julie Coraccio shares steps and tips to support you in creating the life you choose, deserve and desire through decluttering your life, mindfulness and how to organize your life.
Julie Coraccio 0:01
Today on clear your clutter inside and out. We’re talking about Julie’s seven R’s of eco organizing. Do you wonder if you really can be green when organizing? Would you like to save some green in addition to being green? Are you someone who’d like to be more environmentally aware, but just don’t know how to learn about ways to be green and you’re organizing and decluttering as we begin the month focusing on being eco friendly? Do you control your clutter? Or does your clutter control you? unclear your clutter inside and out. We’ll teach you awareness as well as action steps to create change in your life. Come on, let’s get started. This entire month is inspired by a few things, and first I’m trying out a new headset. I was actually gifted this. I’ve been thinking about and talking about the universe stepping up and this woman had me on her podcast, Angela Brown, and she’s on YouTube and it’s all about cleaning. And I was like, wow, So, so far so good. But this is a first I tried some new things in March, beginning April. This is the new headset. I’m hoping that it is groovy. Hopefully this is better. I’m a little nervous because she said it’s super sensitive. So I hopefully have the microphone away far enough from me. Anyway, this entire month of April is inspired by a couple things. First, I was asked to give a presentation to the Neko Michigan group. And they wanted me to talk about eco organizing and last year with downsizing and getting the books out i i really kind of didn’t do a little It was just focusing on those two things. So I kind of not quite hibernated, but really was working on those projects and didn’t do a lot of speaking. And I’m looking forward to changing that. For this year. I was excited because I really think the industry of organizers need to step up in general, I think we should all be green. And normally, I wouldn’t say that, because I don’t believe in forcing anyone to do anything. I’ve never been that way. Part of the reason I’m also doing this month was quite frankly, inspired by the solar when that got rejected because it wasn’t rejected based on facts. And I find that frustrating, and so it wasn’t rejected, it just they were so short sighted. I mean, when you say things like the solar panels have to match your roof color. Well, that tells me you don’t know anything about solar panels because it’s not like paint color or wall color. And so there’s I think a lot of misinformation or lack of understanding. This month was also inspired by Greta Thornburg. She was times Person of the Year. Because she’s just awesome. Becoming so passionate about something, I believe that she is truly indeed, a little angel and eco warrior sent to help wake us up. We’re not all listening. I mean, that’s apparent and it broke my heart to see all these old grumpy men attacking her. I mean, I just don’t even know how you you attack a child. I just I don’t support that. I had an incident where a woman attacked a child because they didn’t agree with them politically and I’m like kids are off limits. Okay, what you did is is not okay. So anyway in her passionate plea, which was mocked about her crying upset, but I get why she’s angry. You know, gret is going to be on the earth. Probably 70 more years, and we have not been a good steward of it. And so this whole month is dedicated to hopefully inspiring you to make changes. And again, you don’t have to be like me, you don’t have to want solar panels, you don’t have to get an electric car. You know, one of the other things that was so frustrating that the soldiers that was for our retirement, we considered that just as if we were investing in a IRA in stocks or bonds, because property or
power companies are only going to continue to increase. I don’t think we are fully aware or have an understanding of how that’s only going to continue to increase and as population increases water scarcity, I lived in Los Angeles for 10 years. I’m waiting for Colorado, and the other western states to be like we’re done. We’re cutting off your supply from our river because you’ve lowered it so much. We have challenges that are going to come and we need to come up with solutions. So I personally see gretta as being awesome. And again, every little step you take, makes a huge difference. And that’s what the point of the podcast is. But I’m all about awareness. Right? So this is about awareness. I encourage you, what are the issues in your area? What is going on in your community that you need to be aware of, you know, here, where we are in Raleigh there and we’re just south now like building and growth. There’s a meeting coming up on that, but that is an issue in my hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia love my hometown, but they’re allowing fracking and they have all these concerns about this since I was there as a child, the high river is just been polluted. It has never been cleaned up. It’s not being taken care of. That’s the drinking and bathing water for people in our community. So educate yourself and learn what’s going on in your community. Again, not about judgment. It’s about awareness. But I feel we as humans need to step up our game. Every single one of you watching or listening can make a difference. I first did an episode on that’s kind of the overall month. Focus. Specifically for today I did an episode, I want to say five or six years ago when I first started podcasts. So I’ve tweaked it a bit. My seminars have been tweaked and I kind of slipped in an eighth one. And I changed it because as you grow and evolve and learn, but I like seven, I like the number seven. So I want to keep seminars, eco organizing. And also reminder that April 22 a second, and I believe it’s a Wednesday this year is the 50th anniversary of birthday. So Earth Day was created before, just after almost a year after I was born. So consider doing something in honor of your mama If you go to Earth day.org, you can have lots of great ideas to support you again, there are many steps and many actions you can take. We’re going to talk about that for the entire month. And I’m excited that you’re here watching and listening. Julie seven R’s of eco organizing. First one reduce simply by less. Now you have to make a conscious effort, especially if you are someone that you shop when you’re sad, or you’re angry. So becoming aware of that. What’s your clutter kryptonite? I did an entire episode on that and encourage you to listen to that because I’d go into a lot more detail than I’m going to go into today. What is it you just can’t say no to even if you have 10 of them at home? Or is it the 10 for 10 Kroger’s and you have canned goods for 50 years. You Never gonna eat. Where can you consume less? Food? clothes? Your electricity or water? Can you borrow or rent instead of buy? You know you’re having a fun party and you’re having 50 people and I don’t have plates and all of that for 50 people so can you borrow from friends? And they say if I can bring something Yeah, you can bring a set a plate. re train your brain on sales and bargains. Always think of the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons, right? And if you have some sitting around and you’re not using them encourage you to recycle them. I saved them when I knew we’re going to move. Because we downsize. I knew we’re going to need like for instance, we have a small laundry room and so I needed something and put a little thing to help drive the clothes. So I have that Kind of cool, you can flip it out and flip it back. So I kept those because I knew I was going to use them. But retrain your bearings. Because if it’s not a sale and it’s not a bargain if it creates clutter, where can you reduce in something like straws? And take out containers? You know, it’s, I live in the south,
and where I am, I mean, I know there are other places that are really groovy and into the environment. The Raleigh areas, in my opinion is not one of them. And when I bring my reusable straws, I’m a little container. Always a conversation starter. Oh, wow, what are those really you take those around, and I share a statistic that I’m going to share later in this month, but the amount of plastic straws use is crazy. So that’s one way you can have a small impact. Bring takeout containers. I have got to get healthy. I have done better. I’m starting intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing that for a while. And that has really helped me cut down on snacking, what I decided is I need to slowly make changes because that’s just the only way it’s going to work for me. And so I know when I go out, I’m gonna take half a meal. So having a container to put that half of the meal in. My second our reuse, also known as upcycling, and you probably hear the upcycling term more than reuse but you doesn’t fit with my our theme. And you know me I like to use music or something like this. So where can you reuse something and get another use before you recycle? So for example, if you get a magazine subscription, awesome if you’re recycling but could you perhaps take it to a senior center? Maybe the scouts need it for a project they’re doing or classrooms. I don’t know if any teachers out there would use them but that’s an example. moving boxes We ended up selling our moving boxes which I thought was a win win they did got a lot and didn’t pay much for Can you give them away just put them on Craigslist. We also here in the area have a place where you can sell back although you don’t make as much money but you can still sell your bit boxes and packing materials back and get something that’s where we got went and got a few things we didn’t have to buy brand new. Can you turn old clothes into something new? I saw something really cool where they turned someone creative turned adult socks in the toddler leggings. So they had like very cute had the little sock on one side little sock on one side and then had sewn in like kind of for the butt area. Another color was absolutely adorable. But how smart is that? Do hand me downs i mean i don’t i feel somehow it’s fascinating to me is we as a society. God away from things, because I remember I mean, I had an older brother but there were some things that can be worn by me like jeans and I was a tomboy and out to play. And somehow I feel like we’ve gotten away from that. So what can you do with hami downs and there are all these options if you’re a parent, you can trade you can put them to a consignment store. There are lots of options if you want to make back some money or not just want to clear clutter, but get another use out of the clothes. refill your laundry, detergent, your spices, one of the things I miss most. When I lived in Vermont, this was ages ago, I belong an awesome Co Op. I haven’t found that here. I don’t know maybe that could have a cop but it’s probably like an hour or so away. So that’s again, weighing the benefit. Do I want to drive I mean, it’s not realistic. Some days for me to take half a day driving and buying groceries. I wish that we had a co op here and maybe Move, I will find up that on my to do list to Google. But if you refill, you can use containers and buy in bulk. Costco I know has an eye drop for a drop off for eyeglasses. So when we were downsizing last year I put kind of one of my habits to do is I’m doing the cat toys right now. I know Okay, within a month, I’m going to do this. Let me set aside and put everything here. So I was able to drop off old glasses that are going to be recycled and reused for people who really need them. And I just that makes me so happy. And then finally check out Pinterest and YouTube because they’re awesome. There are so many creative people out there and you get lots of ideas to do. Number three, refused and this was something that I added that was not an original Julie seminars, single use items I’ve been thinking again A child of the 70s and I don’t remember a lot of single use stuff. makeup I see that a lot like these use it once and throw it away or like a disposable razor, for example, who get in the habit of refusing single item then becoming aware of it.
We were at the store the other day. And I’m, as I talk about this, so anyway, Tony loves fudge. I’ll eat fudge maybe once or twice a year and so I was looking at it. And I was like, How annoying is this that they include in a little fudge package and it wasn’t a lot. Let him buy it because I didn’t want the little knife so they had a little knife. I’m like that’s such a waste. That’s such a waste, break it off with your hands or wait until you’re home if you need to use a knife. So all these things little plastic knife that are just so wasteful and that’s we have to switch our thinking in that so be aware of single use items and refuse them. Use real plates for example or rent instead of disposable when You’re just going to chuck that. And I get that you don’t want to clean up but maybe you consider hiring someone like a teenager or college kid to wash dishes for you, then you have a lot less that you need to worry about. I remember growing up my mother and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else do this, but I’m betting if you’re my age or your mother, your grandmother did this. My mom turns old t shirts in a rag she still does. Just people don’t do that. It’s again, that’s like what can I use in one go and then discard it. Be aware of things that are overpackaged or that can’t be recycled. You know? That’s another thing Do you remember when CDs first came out? You have CD and then you have these long packages with all this empty space. I mean talk about a waste and finally they got their act together and stop that but they did that for years. Be aware that and then don’t buy refuse paper plastic bags. I know in Europe. If you want a bag, they charge you for it. And I think that I read, Oregon is did that in 2020. But I’m not sure don’t quote me on that. I think though, that people don’t want to say that other states have done that I want to say California has but I haven’t googled that. It’s coming. I think that it is coming. Get reusable bags, keep them in the car, and use them. Refuse harmful items such as cleaning products. I’m going to talk about that in a later episode. But really be aware of what’s under your counter sink because that affects you indoor pollution is just as much of a concern as outdoor pollution these days, and then refuse the freebie. So if you’re in an event, you know, there’s little tchotchkes or things that collect us. I was laughing. I were watching The Good Place and so we finished season three and I think this is the last year we are binge watchers, so we don’t watch anything. Regularly like it took us Was 10 years after the sopranos ended? We watched it. So we’re very behind the time, but we eventually get to stuff. And they were talking about I want to give anything away. So Ted Danson his character, they had made him a little box of human stuff. And I laugh because they’re like, yeah, the little corporate squeezy ball that you’ll get, and you don’t want to throw it away because you might use it and all these other like things that you’re never going to use and I kind of cracked up because I was like, Oh, that’s pretty accurate. So refuse the freebies. No, I did giveaways. I gave away reusable bags, because that’s something that hopefully the people that receive them used and I didn’t look at as a single use item I looked at it is use it till it falls apart. You have all the answers you need within got clutter. 365 journal prompts books, support you in figuring out how to clear your clutter. Get control Have your clutter so your clutter doesn’t control you. reclaim time, money, sanity and resources. Choose from physical, mental, emotional, spiritual holidays or compilation volumes one two and three. Free mp3 meditation with purchase. Learn more at reawaken your brilliance calm or purchase on Amazon. You number four, repurpose. This is something you have a ton of fun with. Again, check out YouTube and Pinterest for some ideas. But this is basically repurposing something and into another use. So you could use a bulletin board to hang jewelry. I’ve also seen someone who did a took the top of a rake and we’re using it which is pretty cool. I’ve seen recycled shelters is like a command center. So to put messages and keys and your invitations and keeping that organized thought ladder turned into bookshelf, which is really cool.
You can use ice cube trays to put craft supplies, your earrings, maybe office supplies like paper clips. Use wooden crates to store books. You can use a vintage letterpress and what that is is I’ve had one of those since I was a kid so it’s where they used to keep all of the when they were printing like the B’s all the letters and stuff and then you know they lay it out and print. So you could use that to hold something more maybe I saw actually someone use it. I would use it for essential oils. That’s something that’s kind of different because I would like to be able when we move and get settled that is again Oh, I know that I want to use for essential oils. You can use luggage tags, label your basket. It’s help keep you organized. I did a whole little thing. This is not on my current channels on my eco organizer channel about drink wine, get organized. Use your wine boxes, like if you get a case of wine and many times the stores will say if you’d like Hey, can I get some free boxes, I’ll use that use the line box for ornaments. They stack you can color coordinate it and if they keep those glass bottles of wine, they’re gonna keep ornaments safe, I promise. I also like to repurpose bedding, or shower containers for storage. Those packages tend to be clear. You can write with a sharpie so for instance, I have some extra cords in the little shower, plastic container. Some to other clever ideas I want to share or I saw someone turn an old TV into an aquarium again, I wouldn’t I don’t have the I’m not that creative in that way. And then I love this if you are so you can keep threads or buttons and a binder or an old photo album and use it that way. Number five repair. Now my first suggestion is to buy quality to begin with and again, I don’t know maybe Is this what happens as we age, I just feel like some things. You just don’t have quality. They just don’t make things like they used to. I have my grandmother’s childhood bedroom set that is in our guest room she had two twin beds we have a bed in each of the guest rooms. And that stuff is quality. It is wood this solid. As I look around when in my office and where the house is set up. This is my office but I think the other thing hap because it has doors that close like little French doors is I think it was maybe intended to be also a dining room and so because we had to kind of switch things and downsize so I have are not a curio it’s a cabinet so where I keep dishes And so that was my brother’s. Someone gave us a built like 100 years ago, someone gave it to my parents and they painted it an awful blue when Justin, my baby brother was born and they used it. It looks like kind of like a pie safe, the top half of the pie safe. And so they painted it, but that’s where my mom held Justin’s clothes, you know, different that’s thinking outside the box, because it’s, you know, got a big glass plate in the middle, and you wouldn’t typically think of that as close. And so now we have it refinished. And so it’s back to its natural wood, but it is solid. It is awesome. And so it’s not going to fall apart, and it’s gonna last another 300 years, so I’ll give it to one of my nieces or nephews, but by quality where you can’t, don’t buy a new one. Right? That’s what they want us to do. They say, oh, let’s keep the economy going. We’ll make it cheap and then break and buy a new one. See if you can get it repaired. Fix what you’re able to instead of throwing it away Now, I’m not very handy. Tony is super handy. But before I met him, what I would do is I would resell and let’s be honest, I wasn’t good at that. I just gave it away. It was not worth the time and effort for me to research what could I possibly it’s missing this part if needed and they were able to fix it and use it for themselves or they were able to sell it make a profit. I’m okay with that because it didn’t end up in the landfill. And then also with repair look for take back programs, for example, Patagonia, you can return their stuff and if I’m remembering correctly, you can they’ll take your old pullovers or whatever and recycle those but they take it back and they’re going to do something with that and there’s a lot more of that going on. So check that out. Number six, recycle. Just know the laws in your town. If you don’t recycle now, see if you can recycle the basics such as paper glass And I know plastic it might be some of them.
Things are changing, you know, China is starting to refuse or has refused American recycling and some other countries are starting to refuse that. So that’s another issue that we’re going to have to deal with. We are going to have to come up with some program here to deal with all our recyclable materials by what you can recycle. So for example, if you can find something in a glass jar, purchase that instead. Can you recycle food by composting? You know, there are lots of things you get a little air raid or you get a compost bin. There are lots of things you can do. I believe it’s San Francisco and I want to say this started a few years ago, they are now required to compost food, but you know what? People are like, Oh, what a pain. But that’s a crowded city. We are going to have to start thinking more about this. And again, like I’m in a more rural area now, well the town dumps a couple miles away, like at some point, people are gonna have to say and especially if other people I’m done, I don’t want a dump in my backyard. So all these issues, this is why I’m passionate about it and supporting you. So just see if you can take that next step and composting or at least do the basics. By stuff made from recycled products. You can check labels, do your research and ask, say, hey, do you know if any of this is recycled material and most time people are going to share with you what that is and that they do use your cycle products. And then finally avoid what it’s difficult to recycle. If you get into that awareness, you get into the habit. Oh, you know, this is plastic number 202. I think the only place that recycles that is new york city that has a big setup for that weird plastic. But be aware that and avoid that what isn’t going to be easy recycle that you’d probably would have to throw away and then finally number seven rethink instead of gifts Can you give experiences this winter for the kids I gave them I went and found a bunch of German food. We the German, my sister in law’s German we’re mainly German, and I wanted them as a family to experience making. I got special I got sauerkraut, I got pork I got cheese everything they were products from Germany so they as a family could experience that instead of something that you know might be they might love it’s this year’s in thing and then three years later it’s out. Give consumables I love to make things if I can I’m give stuff like memberships gym membership. Your services pay for cat sitter pay for bets babysitter. offer that no rethink that we have to have something that is not consumable, not an experience. Try to rethink their rethink what you use. You take, you buy and give that’s about the awareness, this whole rethinking thing. How are my daily actions impacting the environment? Really gift now I have to laugh because I once spoke at a country club. And there was a reporter in the audience who wrote about my talk. The only thing that she had, she mentioned I had said, you know, you can give batteries to fire stations. I don’t know if that’s true everywhere. Recycling there, but her main thing was she, um, in the south. She was not amused that I had suggested There we go. I mean, her sensibilities were just just not happy and you know, sorry, I’m going to share it here. free gift and if it makes you nervous gift that I have another solution for you so many charities are doing online auctions these days or physical auctions but you know I have yet I think everyone I’ve seen has given you the option they do if they do a physical event, if you aren’t able to be there, you can sign up and bid on items. So you can give that new item you don’t want to a charity, especially if it’s brand new, never been used and they can raise money. So if you’re not in a re gifting, that’s your option. rethink your shopping and your use happen. You know, this whole fashion thing is fast fashion thing I’ve been learning about because I just don’t I’m not fashionable, I don’t know that much. And you know, are all these clothes that people give and they end up in these countries that they’re like, can’t use or they’re just not very practical or you know, they you were in one season and they fall apart because they’re not well made. I was at my hairdressers and a woman who worked in the fashion industry showed her on clothes and she talked about that too. She said, you know the quality,
and she was a woman in her 70s. She’s like, it’s completely changed. It used to, you know, used to have the nice clothes, you didn’t have as many, but they were well made. So just again, become aware. And then I encourage you to think of sustainability as a way of being. Again, I’m not saying go out and get solar panels, although I do encourage you look at that as an investment. I know that the rebates continue for 2020. After that they’re not guaranteed. I think if we get a new president, then they will hopefully reverse all the environmental damage that’s been done in the over the past four years. If we continue to have the same White House, then I think after that, we’ll hopefully get a president that’s more environmentally friendly. That’s a big concern of mine. You can do something like a solar Co Op. My hometown has a solar cop and I hope when we move back That we get are able to get a part of that. So again, it doesn’t have to be the electric card and the huge thing but taking your reusable straws, getting into that habit that’s sustainable living and that’s a manageable change one, it’s affordable for just about everyone and to that’s something that has a huge impact to rethink all of it. take actions from today’s podcast, reduce, reuse, refuse, repurpose, repair, recycle, rethink. On our next episode, we’re talking about cleaning green. Go out. Clear your clutter to create the life you choose. deserve and desire. When you clear your clutter, you can share your gifts with the world. Sign up for our free newsletter at reawaken your brilliance calm. If you’ve enjoyed clear your clutter inside now, please rate review and share us
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About Clear Your Clutter Inside & Out
Clutter is stuck stagnant energy and prevents you from creating the life you choose, desire and deserve. We discuss clutter in all its forms: energetic, spiritual, emotional, mental & physical, relationships, health, finances and more. We share tips and take action steps for clutter free living and how to organize your life and death with end of life planning. We’re thinking outside the box on areas where people might not realize where clutter is blocking them. When we remove clutter from our lives we can discover our passions, lead the extraordinary lives we are all meant to live and share our gifts with the world.
DIY Options to Clear Clutter
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