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4 Ways Being Organized Helps the Environment

People often say to me, “I don’t want to donate or throw anything out because it’ll just go to a landfill!” Have you ever thought this to yourself? Is it keeping you from living the organized life you know you deserve?

I know you care desperately about the environment. I do, too. So much needs to be done on a global scale to help reverse global warming, reduce pollution and restore our natural resources. 

I often feel like, “Well, what can I do to help? I’m just one person.”

Enter: organizing. One BIG thing that we can all do to help the environment is get organized. There are so many ways that getting organized helps the environment. 

How Being Organized Helps the Environment

1. You buy less. 

First, and MOST importantly, make a commitment to stop buying stuff. Consuming less is critical. Just think of all the things we’ve bought over the years we never used or even really wanted. We just bought it, because it’s SO easy. It’s so easy to just hit “purchase” on amazon.com. And why not? Things aren’t that expensive and, you never know, it may come in handy.

But, the “why not” is the environment...and the clutter it creates in our home. Everything you buy will eventually go into a landfill. Yes, you can donate it first. But, it’ll still wear out and go into the garbage eventually. If you stop buying things just for the sake of it, you’re making the biggest contribution to the environment you can make. Period. Full Stop.

2. You know where everything lives. 

Being organized means you know where everything is. Have you ever purchased something, only to find that you already had one (or three?), and just didn’t know where it was? Before I got organized, I did this. I’m guessing we all have. Hello 7 spatulas or 3 bottles of soy sauce that expired in 2015, right?

If you get organized and maintain it (with my Sunday Reset!), you’ll know where everything is, and whether or not you actually need more (fill in the blank). Wouldn’t that feel amazing?

3. You can invest in high-quality products.

When you’re organized and not buying things just to buy them, you can save up a little money and invest in good quality products, instead of cheaper things that break and need to be thrown out. This is so often true for small household appliances (like handheld vacuums or coffee makers) and toys (all that plastic junk that breaks immediately!). Just think about how much less waste we’d all create if the products we purchased were good quality and lasted a lifetime!

4. You focus on experiences, not stuff. 

When buying gifts for others, focus on experiences and not stuff. This is especially true for our kids.  Our wonderful and loving family members want to buy our kids presents, and that’s great. (Whether or not you *keep* those gifts is another topic, one you can read about here.) But, that also means that you don’t need to buy as many physical presents for kids. You can also encourage your family members to focus on experiences. But, if (or when) that fails, at least YOU can do this. A trip to a favorite restaurant, a local zoo or museum, waterpark, etc. Whatever it is that your kids love to do, consider gifting that experience for their next birthday or holiday.

What about bins?

One last topic: Bins. People worry about buying bins to store their belongings in. Listen, friend, if you organize by using the jars and boxes that are already in your home, go for it! You can be perfectly organized without buying a single bin, basket or jar. 

However, it is easier to maintain a beautiful space, and sometimes creating a beautiful space takes the purchasing of pretty, matching bins. If that’s you, great! Buy the bins that you love, that make you feel good, that make your space beautiful. You do you when it comes to which bins you buy, or whether you buy any at all. 

The strongest message I can make about organizing and the environment is that if you buy less stuff you don’t need, you're helping the environment the most you can while still living your best life.

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