Did you know that the habit of piling up unused items can have a negative impact on the environment? Yes, this habit not only affects mental health, but also environmental health.
Currently, environmental issues and sustainability are very important concerns for everyone worldwide. One way to support environmental sustainability is by decluttering, which is the activity of organizing and reducing unnecessary items at home or in the workplace.
Decluttering is not only beneficial for creating a neater and more organized space, but also for improving mental well-being and supporting environmental sustainability.
Decluttering is a process that involves sorting, reducing, and managing items around us, whether at home or in the workplace. This process not only involves removing unnecessary or no longer used items, but also organizing the still needed items to be easily accessible and not cause clutter.
In this era of consumerism, it is very easy to accumulate many items over time. From clothes, books, electronics, to furniture, all can easily pile up and fill our living space without us realizing it. However, most of these items are not really used, and only take up space and cause clutter.
Decluttering helps us identify items that are really important and needed, while other items that are no longer useful or needed can be sold, donated, or disposed of responsibly. Decluttering also involves managing important documents, both physical and digital.
Organizing these documents well and disposing of unnecessary ones will help us find the needed documents anytime. Moreover, digital decluttering, such as deleting unnecessary files, organizing emails, and cleaning the desktop, is also important to increase our efficiency and productivity.
The decluttering process is actually part of a minimalist lifestyle, which encourages us to live more simply and only with items that are really needed. This lifestyle teaches us not to be too dependent on material things and to appreciate the things that are really important in life, such as relationships with others, health, and happiness.
Decluttering is also related to the "zero waste" concept, which encourages us to reduce waste production as much as possible by reducing the use of disposable items, recycling, and composting. By decluttering, we can identify items that can be recycled or composted, and reduce waste that ends up in the landfill.
Decluttering has various benefits, not only for personal well-being but also for the environment. Here are the reasons why you should implement decluttering.
1. Improve Mental Health
A clean and organized room can improve mood, concentration, and reduce stress and anxiety. Research shows that clutter can increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body. By decluttering, you can create a calmer and more soothing space, which will ultimately help improve mental health.
2. Save Energy
Unneeded and piled-up items can cause dust and dirt to accumulate, which can interfere with the efficiency of electronic devices and household appliances. For example, dust accumulating on the refrigerator can cause the refrigerator to work harder to maintain a cold temperature, which will eventually increase energy consumption. Therefore, by decluttering, you can help save energy and reduce electricity bills.
3. Reduce Environmental Impact
Unused items often end up in the trash, which can have a negative impact on the environment. For example, unused electronics disposed of in the trash can release harmful chemicals into the soil and water. By reducing unnecessary items, you can help reduce the negative impact on the environment.
4. Increase Productivity
A clean and organized room helps increase focus and productivity. A study shows that clutter can disrupt focus and reduce the brain's capacity to process information. By decluttering, you can create a more efficient and productive workspace.
5. Make It Easier to Find Items
When items are stored in an organized manner, it will be easier to find the needed items. This will save time and energy that could be used for other more productive activities.
6. Support a Sustainable Lifestyle
By reducing clutter, you will have more space to move and exercise at home. This is very important, especially during the pandemic when most people prefer to exercise at home.
Implementing decluttering can be a very challenging task, especially if you have never done it before or have many items that need to be organized. Here are some tips that can help you apply decluttering effectively:
1. Start from the Most Frequently Used Room
Start from the room you use the most, such as the bedroom or workspace. By starting from the most frequently used room, you will feel the benefits faster, which will give motivation to continue to other rooms.
2. Set a Specific Time
Set a specific time for decluttering, for example one hour each day or a few hours every weekend. By doing this, you can make it a habit and it will be easier to do it regularly.
3. Use the 4-Box Method
The 4-box method is a very popular method for decluttering. Prepare four boxes or plastic bags and label them 'Keep', 'Dispose', 'Donate', and 'Sell'. Then, one by one, take the items in the room and put them in one of the boxes. This will help you make decisions faster about what to do with each item.
4. Ask Yourself
When deciding whether an item should be kept, disposed of, donated, or sold, ask yourself: "Do I really need this?" "Will I really use it again?" "Does it have great sentimental value to me?" If the answer is no, then the item should not be kept.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Dispose of Items
One of the hardest things when decluttering is deciding to dispose of items. However, remember that if an item is no longer useful or needed, there is no point in keeping it. Don't be afraid to let go of items, especially if they no longer function or have no sentimental value.
6. Sell or Donate Usable Items
If you have items that are still in good condition but are no longer needed, consider selling them or donating them. There are many people who may need those items and will be very grateful for your donation.
7. Organize Stored Items
After you finish decluttering, make sure to organize the items you decide to keep properly. Use storage boxes, shelves, or cabinets to store these items so they are easily accessible and do not cause clutter again.
8. Do It Regularly
Decluttering is not a one-time activity, but should be done regularly. Adjust to your needs, it can be done every month, every three months, or every six months. By decluttering regularly, you will be able to keep the room tidy and comfortable.
In order to support environmental sustainability, it is crucial to implement the 5R principle (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot) in daily activities, including in the decluttering process. Here is how to apply the 5R principle in decluttering:
The 'Refuse' principle is the principle of rejecting unnecessary or useless items. When decluttering, determine the items that are really needed and those that are not. If an item is no longer useful or necessary, it is better not to keep it. Do not hesitate to refuse items offered to you if you feel you do not need them. For example, when buying new items, ask yourself whether you really need that item or whether you already have a similar item that can still be used.
'Reduce' means to decrease the number of items you have. When decluttering, strive to reduce the number of items you keep as much as possible. Ask yourself whether you really need that item, whether the item is still functioning well, and whether you will use it again in the future.
If the answer is no, then consider not keeping that item. By reducing the number of items you have, you can create a more spacious and organized space.
'Reuse' means to use again the items you already have. Before deciding to dispose of an item, consider whether the item can be used again or used for other purposes.
For example, used plastic food containers can be reused as storage for small items at home. By reusing the items you already have, you can reduce the amount of waste and support environmental sustainability.
'Recycle' means to reprocess unusable items into new ones. When decluttering, consider recycling items that are no longer in use. For example, used paper can be turned into recycled paper, and plastic bottles can be processed into new items. Some areas have recycling facilities that you can use to recycle those items.
'Rot' means to let organic material decay and turn into compost. When decluttering, do not forget to separate organic and non-organic waste. Organic waste, such as food scraps and leaves, can be turned into compost that can be used as fertilizer for plants. By turning organic waste into compost, you can reduce the amount of waste thrown into the landfill.
Doing decluttering is a small step that can be done by everyone to support environmental sustainability. By applying the 5R principle in the decluttering process, we can create a more organized space, reduce the amount of waste, and support environmental sustainability.
Therefore, let's start decluttering regularly and make it a part of our routine to support environmental sustainability and improve our quality of life.