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Greening up the Urge to Purge

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

With sunny days and gorgeous weather, the urge to purge is among us! The thought of de-cluttering, cleaning your home, or sorting through your things may be lingering in your mind. In this blog we'll dive into the benefits of purging and help you do it a little more sustainably.

Purging your home can be stress relieving as it offers a feeling of control, and you often experience a sense of rewarding accomplishment when you are finished. It can be a great way to organize your home, minimize mess, and it also opens the opportunity for your pre-loved items to be re-homed and reused. The first step to greening up your urge to purge is by re-thinking the way you see your belongings.

Step 1: Changing Your Mindset

Start by considering the belongings in your home: the items, the decorations, the "stuff". It is more than likely that there is a fair amount of things you no longer need, have a purpose for, or get joy from. On the other hand, sometimes we gain a new-found appreciation for things that have otherwise been forgotten. To find a balance between using old items for a new purpose and minimizing belongings, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need this item?

  • Does it serve a useful purpose?

  • Could it be used by someone else, or could I use it in a different way?

  • Is its condition appropriate to be re-homed or donated? If not, can it be repaired?

Step 2: Appropriate Discarding

Next, you must establish how you are going to rid yourself of these items. Sell, donate, dispose - so many options! Typically opting for a combination of these techniques is the best and most sustainable method. Designating piles or boxes for different options is a great way to organize whilst purging.

  • SELL: What better way to discard than to re-home your items and make a little bit of money at the same time? Consider selling your items on Facebook's Marketplace, at consignment shops, or even by hosting a garage sale!

  • DONATE: For items that are in well-kept conditions, consider donating them to a thrift shop to give them a second life. To find a local option nearest you, see our Shop Local Directory.

  • DISPOSE: After considering whether an item is in condition for selling, donating, or repairing, there are times where items have met the end of their life. Be sure to check with your local waste program as there are many options for disposal: recycling, composting, specialty dumps, or the landfill if necessary. As much as we want to minimize items going to landfill, we must also be respectful of what is appropriate to donate and re-home.

Step 3: Minimize in your Daily Life

Once all is said and done, try your best to continue to minimize in your daily life. Minimize your consumption, minimize your waste, and minimize your worries!

Having the urge to purge can be a great thing, but we also want to remember to donate or dispose of our unwanted items in a way that is responsible and sustainable.

If you're purging because you are moving to a new home, be sure to check out these tips from moveBuddha for ways you can make your move more sustainable.


Want to learn more? See our breakdown of the Zero Waste Hierarchy to dive into the 5 R's of low-waste living.

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