Sustainable living

Eco-friendly house clearing

2020 a fresh new start

For many of us January is the month for new fresh starts. Some have made new year resolutions, some started veganuary and others are getting ready for a big house clearing.

While all the Christmas decorations have to be cleared and packed away, we often end up at the back end of our cupboards or far corners on our lofts. This might just trigger our motivations for a big house clear up.

A good house clearing can be so liberating.

Less is more, is a great slogan for many things. But it definitely is the greatest slogan for clutter!

Tips for eco-friendly house clearing

It is so renewing and refreshing to organise a good house clear up. But how to do this in the most eco-friendly way? how to limit the amount of unnecessary waste tossed into landfills?

In this post you will find some tips and tricks to help a ‘green’ clearing. And how to consider an environmental friendlier option.


One of my friends once said; Every year I go through my wardrobe, and if I haven’t worn something that whole year, it has to go. I think that is a great way to declutter your wardrobe. Of course not counting certain sport goods, or special event ware. But where to go with your (un)used clothes, and shoes?

  • Donate to charity, only if clothes are still good and wearable
  • Resell on Ebay or through the vinted app
  • Swap your clothes with others
  • Upcycle them yourself or contact a local artist who can help you
  • If too bad to be re-used as clothes; ask in your local area if an upholstery worker can use them (padding old chair or car seats), or use them as cleaning cloths.

Future considerations; Think before you buy. Do you really need it? Try and go for sustainable fashion over fast fashion. Spending a bit more on high quality material for longer lasting clothes. And if you like to shine in many different outfits, check with your friends for clothes swapping options.


Do you have one of those cupboards that has become the place to drop all your old electronics and gadgets because you might need them one day… Be honest with yourself, will you really use them again?

What to do with electronics?

  • If still in working order donate to charity.
  • If not in working order, find your local electronic recycle depot and leave them there.

Future considerations; First think if your electronic gadgets really need to be changed for new ones, maybe they are still repairable by local ‘geeks’. If they do need replacing, think about using sustainable electronics, like;

  • Fairphone, for a fairer phone
  • Nimble, for ethical electronic accessories
  • LSTN, for audio accessories while helping giving hearing aids to people in need


Many people listen to their music, new and old, using digital music providers. The music is often of better quality, and doesn’t use up any of your space. Great! But what to do with all these old cd’s, which we will never use any more.

Unfortunately this great storage device from the 80’s doesn’t recycle at our recycling depots. So what to do?

  • Use as a Bird repellent on your terrace or in the garden
  • Make beautiful mosaic objects with cut pieces of cd’s. If you are not creative yourself, donate to a local artist or schools who can use them in a creative way.
  • Upcycle them as coasters
  • They can be used as reflectors in badly lid driveways.

Future considerations; Cd’s are still produced nowadays. Because of the simple reason of … demand. People still like to buy cd’s. Even though they will eventually probably all end-up in landfills. You might think that streaming would be the most environmental friendly way of enjoying high quality music. But digital streaming does take its toll as well on the environment because of the gigantic power hungry network we use while streaming. The most environmental way to listen to your favourite music is probably storing your digital music on a local device, so every time when you re-listen to music, it doesn’t need to be streamed long distance any more.


Books are still very popular, and many stories are timeless.

  • Donate your books to charity or your local library.
  • Guest-houses and b&b’s are often interested in multi language books for their travellers to enjoy
  • Let your book wander around the world, by passing them on to readers. There are some networks that can help with that, like; Bookcrossing.
  • If they are really out of date or non-readable any more, be creative; Make envelops, gift tags or decorate with your books.

Future considerations; If you want to become more environmentally conscious about your literary carbon footprint; You could buy used books instead of new books, or join the local library. E-book vs printed book? It is a difficult debate. An E-reader has a higher carbon footprint than a book. But if you would read about 20-25 books on your E-reader than you have made up for this higher carbon footprint. So it depends on your personal reading habits if E-reading is more eco-friendly than book reading. You can opt to share your E-reader with someone. And to use up your E-reader, instead of upgrading to newer versions.


I guess in general clearing your house in an eco-friendly way can be very do-able and should be easy possible with the help of local resources. Just use common sense to decide if a product is still usable or not. If it is, do some local research to find the best way to donate your goods. If it is not usable any more, think creative! Can it be recycled or upcycled in any creative way? If you are not creative yourself, or you don’t have the time, find some local artists. They are often very grateful to receive goods to use in their workshops.

In the end, I guess it is more about what we will do with our future purchases. Can we make a difference? By buying less, buying sustainable and buying second-hand.

I think we can!

Cheers Nicole

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