Zero waste decluttering – week 5

Filed in Blog by on February 7, 2011 9 Comments
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Cutlery - should it stay or go

Cutlery - should it stay or go

Good morning declutter buddies; how is your mission to declutter without creating landfill waste coming along?

Once again, I’ve been following in the footsteps of Colleen from 365lessthings, who sets her readers a mini mission for each day of the week.

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past 7 days:

TV unit

On Monday I technically had a day off! Colleen asked what we had hiding behind the doors of our TV units. As I have neither a TV or a TV unit there was nothing to declare. However, not being one to sit idle I cleared off the space around the computer monitor, put things back where they belonged and chucked a few hair scrunchies in the charity box.


On Tuesday we had to riffle through our cutlery drawers and get rid of any pieces we no longer needed. A few weeks ago I did a big declutter on the kitchen and got rid of the baby cutlery, so again, there was nothing to declare. I do, however, have a canteen of cutlery which we don’t use and I need to decide how best to get rid of it – auction or charity shop?


Wednesday was all about the handbag. You know – the place where old tissues, receipts and a hundred pens seem to gather. There’s nothing quite so cathartic as going through all those pockets and disposing of rubbish. Old tissues were put on the compost heap, receipts were shredded and can be recycled with cardboard and pens were put back in the pen holder. Bliss; now there’s room to grab my credit card easier πŸ˜‰

Remember, that each person is given around 1 kg of receipts per year. See if you can go paperless where possible.


I think most of us have far too many books. I’ve listed 4 more on Amazon this week. Find out how to recycle books the zero waste way.

Stagnant items

Last week, Colleen posted about ‘stagnant’ items’.Β  These are the items in your home that are not being used to their full potential – they are lying around unused, unloved and unneeded. They are not always easy to spot, but perhaps there is something you would rather was not around. The easiest way is to walk around one area of your home really looking at the things on show. I did manage to find a painting that I really never look at and I figured someone else would love to have on their wall. I also have a pile of cds that I’m manfully working my way through – many will be taken to the charity shop or listed on Amazon. Find 4 ways to recycle cds and learn how to recycle cd jewel cases.


‘Under the bed’ is a long standing joke from my childhood. Apparently I stashed everything under my bed and funnily enough, history is repeating itself with Little Miss Green. Colleen challenged us to take a peek under our beds and see what we could discard. I have to say under MY bed isn’t too shabby. There are some surround sound speakers, some feather cushions oh, and lots of dirty tissues. Ewwwwww. Underneath my bed is now a haven of cleanliness and it’s even been vacuumed – thank you Colleen! While I was there I sorted out all the magazines and books next to my bed and recycled about, now let me see, 30 magazines! Find out how to reduce paper waste.

Household Cleaners

We were challenged to start using up any household cleaners we didn’t like and to consider where we could minimise in the future. I have to admit to already being minimalist in the cleaning department (no comments please!). Colleen suggests microfiber cloths, which we use all the time here. We also use compostable luffas and multi purpose cleaning products such as bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. I did find a couple of Ecover cleaners which are now out on the work surface waiting to be used up.

How about you? Have you been decluttering this week?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (9)

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  1. Yes, I did declutter this last week. I blogged about decluttering my side porch. It looks so much better. Since then, I have gathered many things for donations to thrift shop. A few items went to a home furnishings consignment shop.Magazines will go to my friend who is an accountant. She always needs something this time of year for folk waiting to get their taxes done.

  2. Julie Day says:

    Still need to do some Rae. Have an organiser here with lots of magazine details in. So might sort that out shortly. Am thinking of getting rid of a pair of trainers I haven’t worn in a few years.

  3. Mrs Green says:

    @Practical Parsimony: Great ideas; love the thought of passing along your magazines in that way and glad you are pleased with the way your porch is looking πŸ™‚

    @Julie Day: Well done Julie – you’re doing great!

  4. Chris says:

    In the last week we freecycled the bookcase which made us really sort out which book to keep. 4 large boxes of books, some costume jewellry and a laptop bag (we had 4 laptop bags and one laptop!) have all gone to charity. Our cheat is we have a friend who runs the shops for a hospice so he has agreed to take our ‘good stuff’ I gave my mum my spare tablecloths and a load of plastic tubs from the chinese. She is about to do the flowers for a wedding so they will be wekk used. Todays job is the hidden corners of the lounge.

  5. Hi Mrs Green,
    each week you make me proud and at times make me laugh. You did leave yourself wide open on the “already being minimalist in the cleaning department” line. But I will be good an leave that well enough alone. I was particularly happy with the effort you made cleaning under your bed it sounds like you could eat off the floor under there now.
    Keep up the good work and I will be checking up on you again next week.

  6. LJayne says:

    I’ve been having a good week decluttering-wise πŸ™‚ We had a charity bag from one which collects the goods itself – I refuse to use the ones where they only get paid a sum by the tonne (personal preference I know), and then a similar bag from my son’s music trust. So I’ve got rid of all the clothes in my wardrobe that I never wear and a whole load of the children’s outgrown clothing too.

    Decluttered my kitchen cupboards and drawers and parted with a few things there.

    Just need to make sure I now get these things OUT of the house! A big box in the hallway that I keep tripping over seems to do the trick πŸ˜‰

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Chris: Loving the lap book bag story Chris! I think having a friend like that is brilliant; any incentive to declutter gets my vote. Good luck with the lounge!

    @Colleen ( Thank you ma’am; my bedroom floor is indeed cleaner than my dining table πŸ˜€

    @LJayne: Seems like there must be something in the air – loads of you have had a great week. It feels great to declutter the wardrobe doesn’t it? I’m with you on actually getting things out of the house, but I’m feeling energise today, so perhaps today is the day …

  8. Poppy says:

    I’ve been trying to add something to the charity/recycle bag everyday this week. Failed a bit today, but I did add another unused wrapped McD toy and a spanner found on our regular litter pick! Still hoping to find that wodge of unwanted notes πŸ™

  9. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: Wow, unused toys; just goes to show how much our kids love them, eh? I hope you find the wodge of notes too – no one deserves it more πŸ™‚

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