Monday, May 10, 2010

Go "Green" by Getting Organized

One of my favorite sites, My Craft Corner, started a contest which is designed to help everyone get organized. As I read through all the posts it occurred to me that getting organized is a very green activity.

When a space is disorganized, it's hard to know what's there. For example, think about a "junk" drawer ... all manner of odds and ends get thrown into this space ... things which we don't want to toss out because we know we'll eventually need them. Typically, that drawer becomes a "black hole" ... what goes in is never seen again. We forget what's in there and the next time we need that battery or paper clip, etc., we head off to the store to make a purchase. The result is that we use unnecessary time and resources to accumulate more stuff ... stuff which is probably in that drawer.

For many people, it's not just a junk drawer ... it's a closet, a room, or a garage. It can even be a refrigerator. It's any place where stuff gets stashed and disorganized. It's a place which makes us feel overwhelmed and like we'd rather just look the other way. Unfortunately, these repositories continue to use resources (heating, cooling, lights, etc.). Frankly, when one thinks about the use of a space versus the cost to maintain it, a disorganized space isn't a good value.

Consider this ... the average size of homes in America is twice as large as it was 30 years ago. However, the average number of occupants in those homes has decreased. Could it be that we are buying larger homes to accommodate the amount of stuff we buy? And could getting organized help us reduce the amount of stuff we have? I believe so!

There are other ways in which being organized is Eco-friendly. For example:

  • Organizing our errands and planning our travel route will optimize vehicle use and help us to minimize fuel consumption.

  • Planning a week's menu helps us reduce energy. Perhaps we use the oven once to cook more than one dish (example, cook a casserole, desert and a loaf of bread at the same time). We can prepare a double batch of a food, using the same amount of energy it takes to cook one batch (example - cook double the amount of pasta which can be used in tonight's dinner and in tomorrow's salad).

  • Organizing the way laundry is done helps to minimize water consumption when we wash only full loads and reduces energy use when we don't allow the dryer to cool between loads.

  • Arranging our daily routine to open windows when the air is cool and close the curtains when the sun shines through helps us minimize our summer cooling expense.

Getting organized is just one more easy way to walk a little gentler on the earth!

As always, I would love to hear from you!


  1. i'm with you there, sister. for me it's a junk 'bin' i've allowed myself to have. folders of this and that (i'm a magazine clipping junkie), lots of lists, coupons, etc. but at the same time i love to just go through it all every couple of months and audit what i've got and get rid of what's just not interesting or necessary anymore. just like the awful task of cleaning the fridge (next weekend's to-do), it may stink at the time but afterwards you feel great :) plus YES organizing's eco - recycling all that STUFF :)

  2. I need to get organized too! My house has way too much stuff in it and I really need to go through it all and donate most of it! Then I will be able to live a better life. Planning my meals is a major priority for me. Ii need to do this for my health, my budget, and just to get my life in order! This isn't even taking into account more of the eco-friendly reasons to get organized. The biggest thing I need to do is think about what i ma buying before I do so that I don't take in stuff that i don't need!

  3. What a fantastic and inspired post - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. 2010 is the year of delucttering and organisation for me. I can't tell you how good it feels. Your thoughts on this were excellent, really made me stop and take stock of things...

  4. This weekend I did a massive spring clean! I had no idea how much broken jewellery I was housing. I decided to dismantle the pieces and showcase them in an empty 360 Vodka Bottle I was going to put into the recycling. It looks super cute and feels great that I found a new use for something that would have been thrown out otherwise.

  5. Oh no, the end of the junk drawer. It's the first place I go went I am looking for something. I file eveything under "J". I never rush out an buy before consulting the "J" draw.


  6. Oh let's see if my comment works this time! LOL! I left a comment the other day on this but it wouldn't go through and I just wanted to say how incredible this post is! It fits me perfectly right now...we just had our garage sale and I am seriously trying so hard to declutter. I think one of our biggest challenges is getting our kids to participate in what we do get organized. It's a daily (hourly) challenge it seems :) But it just so so worth it! Thanks for the encouragement...perfect timing! {{Hugs}}

  7. It worked, SGM ... Yay! :) Thanks for stopping by!