The easy way to jumpstart your year of living with less clutter

March 01, 2017

We have all tried to reduce clutter and often getting started is one of the hardest parts which is why we created the 20% less equation for decluttering. Less "stuff" in important not only for the health of our environment, but also the happiness and health of your home. This is why we created a free monthly decluttering calendar. But how much clutter should you focus on removing? How do you jumpstart your decluttering project? The 20% less equation is a simple way to reduce clutter and see an immediate impact. Here is how it works. 

the easy way to declutter your home with the declutter equation for 20 percent less stuff

How it works

Step 1: Total your items and decided on categories

Lets use a closet for an easy example. Take a look at your closet and do a total. You can total up every item or even break it out into categories. A category could be shirts, shoes, sweaters, dresses, etc. 

Step 2: Calculate 20%, this is the amount you will reduce by 

For example, if you have 100 items total in your closet, 20% would be 20 items to be removed. If you pick categories, it would look more like the list below:

  • Shoes total 10 and 20% are 2 pairs to reduce by 
  • Shirts total 35 and 20% are 7 shirts to reduce by 

It's up to you on choosing categories or just focusing on reducing the total number of items. What is important is having that goal in mind to know you have been successful! 

Step 3: Donate or recycle 

It's very important to not just toss all of the the times you have removed from your closet as they take up space in our landfills. We like to do a donate, toss or recycle pile for all items we are removing and decluttering. 

how to recycle and donate your clothing

According to the Story of Stuff, "The U.S. generates an average of 25 billion pounds of textiles per year, or 82 pounds per person (just THINK of what the rest of the world generates!)." We put together this list to help making your donating and recycling easy! 

  •  80% of donations made in the US end up sold overseas. You can keep your giving local with organizations like Donii who will connect your stuff to who needs it locally. Why does this matter? That 8 dollar shirt ends up back in the developed country it was made taking even more local jobs and it's also not a great impact for the environment. 
  • Have a few high quality items that could be re-sold? Put a little money back in your pocket with ThreadUp.
  • Support a starup making an impact like Evrnu who is taking your old cotton clothing and turning it into high quality fabrics. They are doing a pilot program with Levi Strauss and we loved founder Stacy Flynn's Ted talk so much, we had to share it below. 

  • Planet Aid has yellow bins located in communities across the country where you can drop off clothing items to be recycles. Use this tool to find a bin locally. 
  • Get your school or community involved and host a clothing drive. You can contact your local organizer from Planet Aid here and turn your decluttering project into a local movement. 

monthly decluttering calendar


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