Feb 10, 2023 • Annie Cao
Whether you’re doing an annual clean-out or spring cleaning your closets, decluttering your belongings is a process that not only refreshes your space, but also your mental health. It can be freeing to get rid of things that don’t serve you anymore, and a cleaner home can boost your mood and make you feel lighter.
However, once you’ve gathered your unwanted belongings into a pile of boxes and bags, you might be wondering what to do next. The most ideal goal would be to keep everything out of the landfill, but how do you achieve that? Thankfully, there are eco-friendly organizations, local and online, that are willing to take in many of the things you no longer need.
Wearable Collections – a program in New York that collects clothing through home pick-ups, clothing drives, and drop-off locations.
Retold Recycling – a one-time purchase or subscription program that sends biodegradable bags to fill with clothing and textiles and keeps them out of the landfill by sending them to charities and recycling/upcycling companies.
Soles4Souls – a nonprofit that collects used shoes and distributes them to people in need around the world.
Helpsy – a B Corp program in Northeast US that collects clothing, textiles, and more through home pick-ups and drop-off locations.
Knickey – an undergarment brand that accepts old undies, bras, socks, and tights from women, men, and kids to be repurposed into secondary textiles.
Dress for Success – a global nonprofit that holds donation drives and accepts unused or gently-worn business attire for women in need.
Freecycle – a grassroots nonprofit that lists items in your area for free pick-up
Buy Nothing Project – a social movement that assists with giving and receiving free items within your community
Other ideas include listing items for free on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, doing swaps with family and friends, or leaving out a box of free items in your neighborhood.
Bye Bye Mattress – a program operated by the Mattress Recycling Council offering ways to keep mattresses out of the landfill. Options include asking retailers to take back old mattresses, dropping them off at collection sites, or checking to see if your city provides bulky item pick-ups.
World Computer Exchange – a global organization that accepts used computers and refurbishes them to donate to youth around the world.
Computers with Causes – an organization that accepts used computers, laptops, and tablets and donates them to charities.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – if you’re looking to get rid of a variety of electronic devices and accessories, the EPA provides a comprehensive list of locations along with the types of programs and recycling they offer.
The Furniture Bank Network – a community of furniture banks that collects unwanted furniture and gives them to people in need.
Furniture and electronics are typically the most difficult to recycle, so it’s best to repair and reuse if possible before donating. Looking up your local regulations around city pick-ups and drop-offs will also help.
Here at Sabai, we offer sustainable furniture alongside two services: our Repair Don’t Replace program and Sabai Revive. You can buy replacement components, trade in your used Sabai furniture, or purchase one secondhand.
TerraCycle – TerraCycle helps recycle a large variety of items, from beauty products to baby gear. All you have to do is purchase a bag or box to fill up and send it back to them when it’s full. They also have partnerships with brands that allow you to send back empty products for free.
Hazardous waste recycling – batteries, oil, nail polish, appliances, and more are considered hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly or recycled. Check with your city to find local drop-off locations and take a look at this list for examples of hazardous products in your home.
Decluttering is great for cleaning up our spaces and our minds. However, we should also try our best to responsibly consume and declutter. Taking care of our planet is a big job — but we can tackle it one step at a time by making sustainable choices where we can.
Let us know in the comments which organizations you like to use for responsible decluttering!