An Eco-Friendly Approach to Spring Cleaning

Spring is the perfect time for organizing and cleaning. When the first warm rays of sun hit our faces, our first instinct is to pack up our winter coats and pull out the spring cleaning essentials.

When cleaning for spring, it’s easy to forget about being eco-minded. So we decided to call in an expert for this one. Hildy Neumann of Organizing Strategies dishes all of her secret tips and tricks for Green Organization.

How can we incorporate Green Organizing into our spring cleaning this season?

Reduce:
Limit new things. If your goal is to slim down your belongings, ask yourself if you really need to buy replacements. If you must purchase, invest in fewer items of better quality.

Reuse:
Everything and anything! Storage containers are especially great to use in a different space. Or you can always give unwanted items new life by donating them.

Recycle:
Challenge yourself to recycle more. Return wire hangers to the dry cleaner, rubber bands to the post office, eyeglasses to your optometrist, and wine corks to your local Whole Foods.


What are some of the lesser-known benefits of Green Organization?

There’s a psychological lift and a sense of satisfaction that comes with living in a less toxic space. The fewer things you own, the less time and energy you need to spend caring for them.


What helpful tips would you give to someone who is new to Green Organizing?

People often start an organizing project by rushing out and buying new containers. This can result in more unnecessary stuff! A better way is to weed out items you don’t need to keep and then find containers to store those you really want – possibly by reusing or repurposing something you already own.

Another tip: set up permanent places in your home to collect items for donation or recycling. I have a bin in my closet for clothing and shoes, and another in my garage for things to go to the recycling depot.


What sparked your interest in Green Organizing?

My mom was a child during the Depression and my dad was an immigrant from wartime Europe. Avoiding waste in my childhood home was a practical necessity. As an adult, I was surprised to discover that not everyone thinks environmentally. It’s now part of my organizing approach to gently educate my clients on ways to be eco-friendly.


Do you have an eco-friendly fragrance that you recommend to clients?

The eco-friendliest fragrance is no added fragrance! Nothing smells as good to me as sheets that have been dried outside in the sun.


What are some quick and dirty tips that we can incorporate now to lessen next year’s organizing?

Organizing is easiest if you do it regularly rather than save it up for an all-out attack.
One trick: when you switch your closet for the season, hang items with the hangers facing backward. As you use them, rehang with the hangers facing forward. At the end of the season, you will immediately identify which ones haven’t been worn.


When organizing, what are the first things to tackle in order to prevent getting overwhelmed?

Start small. Something as small as getting one drawer under control provides immediate satisfaction and will motivate you to tackle something else. Another tip is to set a timer for 20 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what you can get organized in just a short burst of focused time.

For more information, reach out to Hildy on LinkedIn.