Green Organizing Tips

In an era where ‘global warming’ is a buzz-word, and shopping malls and real estate are replacing tree-filled lots every day of our lives, shouldn’t we be thinking about how we can help the universe? How we can do our part to create a safer natural environment? One of the ways to do this is to live e ‘greener’, more eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are some tips on how your home and life can be more green, more functional, and save you money.


The next time you go shopping, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I ‘need’ it or do I ‘want it?
  • Would my life change drastically with or without it?
  • Do I have room in my home to store it?
  • Do I have time to maintain it?
  • Do I have the money to buy and maintain it?
  • Will this replace something in my home that I have discarded or will discard?

The next time you look at your closets or storage space, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it fit?
  • Does this item of clothing flatter me or flatten me?
  • Is this still in style?
  • When was the last time I wore this?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Will I use it again if I keep it?
  • Does this work? If not, can it be fixed?
  • Would someone else get better use of this than I do?
  • When was the last time the children played with this?
  • Can this be easily replaced if I needed it again after discarding it?
  • Is this mine? · Does this hold the same memory for me that it did ten, twenty, thirty years ago?


 Before anything heads for the trash—ask yourself if you can possibly still use it. For example:

  • Use old facial tissue boxes for storing plastic grocery bags
  • Use grocery bags to line your small trash cans
  • Use old, stained t-shirts and worn towels for rags
  • Use empty food jars for storing buttons, screws, nails, etc.
  • Use empty juice or egg cartons to start seedlings
  • Use empty egg cartons for a jewelry sorter
  • Use empty food containers for coin collections or banks
  • Cut up old holiday cards for next year’s gift tags
  • Place free address labels in books or on other items you loan to friends
  • Use an old tire for a swing
  • Make a note pad out of scrap paper


  • Hold a Swap party with neighborhood friends and family.
  • What do you have that someone else needs? What do they want to get rid of that you need?
  • Collect all you can for curbside recycling
  • Take other items, like computers, to community centers for recycling
  • Take aluminum cans and scrap metal to your local scrap metal dealer
  • Compost your waste
  • Take old towels and blankets to your local pet shelter


  • Use an old dresser for off-season storage in the basement
  • Use an old TV stand for a pet food center or to hold a small animal cage
  • Use an end table for a bedside table in the guest room
  • Put old bookcases in your garage or shed for storage
  • Use an old door for an extra table at parties—just prop on top of saw horses and cover with a tablecloth
  • Use old carpet scraps (still in fair condition) in high traffic areas to protect the new carpet
  • Use old carpet scraps in your car for mats in the winter
  • Use a mug as a pencil cup
  • Use a shot glass as a toothpick or cotton swab holder
  • Turn a wine glass upside down and use as a candle holder


  •  Buy items made from recycled materials
    • Chairs, tables, benches etc. from recycled plastics
    • Tote bags and backpacks from recycled tires
    • Clocks from computer or bike parts
    • Sundials from recycled aluminum
    • Rugs from recycled cotton
    • Potholders from recycled wool sweaters
    • Tableware from recycled glass
  • Buy Organic 
    • Natural fiber clothing and bedding
    • Organic fruits and vegetables
    • Organic teas and coffees
    • Organic vitamins and supplements
    • Vegetable wax and beeswax candles
  • Buy Smart
    • Buy furniture made from sustainable wood products
    • Buy an air-purifying system for your home
    • Buy a water-purifying system for your home
    • Use chemical-free detergents and cleaners
  • Teach your children the importance of a clean environment ·
  • Air-dry your clothes and dishes
  • Make a pact not to buy anything NEW for a year (except food and toiletries)
  • Shop auction sites and thrift stores instead
  • Use canvas totes for your grocery shopping
  • Use no-kill traps for squirrels, etc.
  • Investigate earth-friendly products when remodeling

By making a conscious effort toward a ‘greener’ home, you will begin to save the environment. And by passing along your efforts to others, and sharing your experiences, you will begin to not only see the difference, but make a difference.

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