Guide to declutter your home for a minimalist home

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declutter your home for a minimalist home

A zero waste sustainable living encourages individuals to look at their overall habits and surroundings and to make changes with the aim of reducing waste and being kind to their health by using eco-friendly products. The best place to start is one’s home. Here are some guidelines for those considering pushing for a more eco-friendly living.

Living room

  1. VHS tapes: don’t just chuck old VHS tapes, the casings for tapes are made from polypropylene and the tape itself is polyethylene terephthalate. Look for recognised eco centers in your locality that recycle VHS tapes. Make sure to get any personal memories converted to digital media before recycling.

  2. CDs/DVDs:

    1. Donate music albums to thrift stores or music sellers
    2. Check if someone with your friends or family enjoys collecting these
    3. Check with your local senior center or nursing homes if they would want them
    4. Some art clubs/groups might use this for their artwork
    5. Create dream catchers and mandalas
    6. Christmas ornaments
    7. Hang CDs in your vegetable garden to make your custom scarecrow. Read the guide to find out how.
    8. Suncatchers that can be hung against the window, in your balcony, conversatory
    9. Drink coasters
    10. Hang old cd cases on the wall and put photos in them
    11. Make your own CD case greenhouse.
    12. Cases can be spray painted and used as colorful slabs in garden flower beds or colorful garden wall plaques
    13. Use the cases to hold invitation to wedding or baby shower
    14. Donate to school for projects that kids can do
    15. 10 incredible use of old CDs :
    16. DIY wall hangers with old CDs
    1. DIY moon and star wall hanger from old CDS
  3. Outdated magazines:

    1. The glossy paper may be made out of clay (recyclable) or plastic (non-recyclable). Tear a page out of the magazine, if the page rips then it is likely to be made of clay if not it’s likely plastic
    2. Take these to your nearest recycling centre
    3. Schools might be able to use old magazines for craft projects
    4. Check with the library or community center if they would like old magazines.
    5. Make coasters
    6. Make a gift bag
    7. Make wall art with your kids.
  4. Board games that you never play:

    1. Donate it to a charity where it can be distributed to kids in needs

    2. Donate it to a community center or nursing home

    3. Create wall arts

    4. Frame games that you are quite attached to make wall decorations.

    5. Make jewelry from scrabble pieces

    6. Make necklace rack from jenga blocks.

    7. Domino wall clocks

  5. Home decor that has no meaning to you:

    1. Donate to charity
    2. Donate it to nursing home or community center
    3. Donate it to school or hobby club
  6. Extra furniture:

    1. Donate or sell it through thrift shop/ charity shop
    2. Reuse it for materials for other requirements
  7. Used-up candles:

    1. Make new candle with candle scraps
    1. Put left over candle wax into a wax warmer and add some essential oil
  8. Books that you’ll never read or read again:

    1. Give it your friend/family/co-workers
    2. Start a book club at work or a mini library
    3. Donate it to your local library or community center
    4. Sell it
  9. Textbooks from college/school:

    1. Donate it back to the college/school library
    2. Put up on a college/school notice board
    3. Donate it to charities near colleges/schools
    4. Advertise of free sites


  1. Expired food:

    1. Used as compost and fertilizer
    2. Coffee grounds to make a face and body scrubs
    3. Greek yogurt is full of lactic acids and can help with exfoliation. Mix two tbsp of Greek yogurt with 1 tbsp honey. Apply to your face and let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it off with warm water
    4. Mayonnaise can be used to bring bright shine to steel kitchenware and also to remove sticky adhesive residue.
    5. Use banana peel to shine metal goods especially silverware. Blend banana peel with some water until it reaches a pasty consistency. Use it as a polish and wipe it off.
    6. Use stale beer to remove wine and coffee stains. Pour flat beer over the stain and rub it in. For stubborn stains repeat until the stain goes away. Wipe the area clean with a dry cloth
    7. Re-use gone of avocados in various ways such as avocado tea, baking, body scrubs ,smoothies. Read our guide on managing Avocado waste to know more.
  2. Food that you don’t like and won’t eat:

    1. Compost
    2. Give it to friends/family
    3. Donate to local charity
    4. Put it as side material for soups and sauces to get a richer taste.
  3. Old spices:

    1. Make potpourri : Boil a pot of water and add ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, or cloves, Add is citrus peel and once cooled some essential oils for added fragrance
    2. Use spices like ginger, cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean to add as fragrance to candles
    3. Natural dyes
    4. Create your own soap
    5. Make spice sachets using spices like sage, thyme and oregano and hang them in areas of home as natural deodorizer
    6. Keep insects away.
  4. Tupperware containers with no lid:

    1. Use as dividers in drawers
    2. Plant ports or herb planters
  5. Chipped mugs or plates:

    1. Candle/incense holders
    2. Personal herb/indoor plant holder
    3. Mini flower pots
    4. Mini shovel for your garden
    5. Learn easy ways to make mosaic.
    6. Hold Pen or Cutlery
    7. Mug lamps
    8. Use as a bird feeder but remember to smoothen up the edges
    9. Bake mini cakes
  6. Broken appliances

    1. Check with local repair service to see if it is a quick fix.
    2. Check if the appliance is covered under the ‘Right to Repair’ law.
    3. Search for online resources to help fix the appliance such as iFixit website or find a repair cafe.
  7. Recipe books you never use

    1. Donate it to charities.
    2. Donate it to local library or community center.
    3. Advertise of free sites.
  8. Extra table cloths

    1. Use it as kitchen towel.
    2. Use it for rags and cleaning cloth.
  9. Aprons you never wear

    1. Donate.
    2. Party decorations.
    3. Chair cover for children.


  1. Flat pillows that hurt your neck
  2. Excessive decorative pillows
  3. Extra linens
  4. Television
  5. Things in your nightstand drawer
  6. Chairs you only use to put your clothes on
  7. Word signs
  8. Dead plants
  9. Old and uncomfortable slippers
  10. Spare picture frames


  1. Excess towel
  2. Expired toiletries
  3. Old perfumes
  4. Expired medication
  5. Old make-up
  6. Samples you’ll never use
  7. Broken hair styling accessories
  8. Old toothbrushes
  9. Dried-out nail polish
  10. Stretched-out hair ties


  1. Itchy sweaters
  2. Worn-out clothing
  3. Clothing that doesn’t fit
  4. Clothing that you don’t like anymore or that is not your style
  5. Special occasion clothing
  6. Old underwear
  7. Socks with holes in them or single sock
  8. Tights with runs
  9. Shoes that hurt your feet
  10. Worn-out shoes
  11. Tarnished jewelry
  12. Wire hangers

Miscellaneous items

  1. Empty products
  2. Manuals for appliances
  3. Seasonal decorations that you never take out
  4. Electronic cords you don’t know where they go to
  5. Toys your kids never play with
  6. Broken toys
  7. Junk mail
  8. Planners from several years ago
  9. Knick-knacks in your junk drawer
  10. Old cell phones
  11. Sports equipment for sports you never play
  12. Old receipts
  13. Wrapping paper scraps
  14. Cardboard boxes from online shopping
  15. Store rewards cards for stores you never go to
  16. Things you don’t know the purpose of
  17. Pens that don’t work
  18. Look for websites and services that will get you of mailing lists, help cut down on paper junk mail.
  19. Recycle Christmas tree. Some companies such as Good Elf, offer hire a christmas tree services
  20. Understanding plastic recycling symbols,learn about safe and unsafe plastics (page 7).
  21. Unplug electronics when not in use


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Note: please check the ingredients list of any products that you may wish to try and check for allergies or consult a medical professional for any existing conditions being impacted by switching to new products.

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