How to declutter your home with the 4R method

Ever heard of 4R?

It's the principle of waste minimization and management. When you live by the 4R method, you show your commitment to making this world a better place for us and the next generation. It is also an excellent method of decluttering your home and could make it easier for you to take the first step into a plastic-free lifestyle!

#1 - Refuse

If you want to control the chaos in your home, learn to say no.

Yes! Learn to say NO! Refuse all single-use plastic items that you don't absolutely need. You use them for a few minutes, and the decomposition takes up to several hundred years.

So, consider if you really need to buy another bottle of shampoo, use a plastic straw in your smoothie, or buy your veggies in a plastic packaging. Instead, buy a solid shampoo bar that comes in plastic-free packaging and lasts 2-3 times as long, take your own bamboo or steel straw to the coffee shop, or bring a canvas bag to the supermarket and buy loose vegetables. There are enough alternatives and refusing disposable plastic items will bring way less clutter to your home.

A bathroom without plastic looks much tidierA bathroom without plastic looks much tidier

#2 - Reduce

Less is more when you want to declutter your home. I don't know about you, but I feel overwhelmed if there is too much stuff around me. In springtime, everything seems to me so fresh, light, and new, and I feel the urge to reduce the stuff I own. Less clutter helps me to think clearly and creatively, especially in my office. Don't know where to start? You can try to reduce the amount of plastic by following these 3 steps:

  1. Always take your reusable shopping bag and start buying your essentials on the local market.
  2. Avoid single-use plastic water bottles and coffee cups by bringing your own reusable ones.
  3. Quality over quantity. Choose products with as little plastic content as possible and focus on a few high-quality, durable products. Give away your old ones to someone who might be in need. It feels great!
Buy loose fruit and vegetables from the local farmer's marketBuy loose fruit and vegetables from the local farmer's market

#3 - Reuse

Throwing out is an integral part of decluttering your home. During the spring cleaning, you might fall into a kind of madness, and you want to throw everything away. But you already know that, when it comes to plastic, there is no such thing as away; it doesn't just disappear. Instead, be creative and repurpose old plastic things. Create, for example, a cool flower pot, cheeky pencil cup, or a bird feeder. Alternatively, you can sell quite a lot of things that you don't use anymore. Your favorite stuff will surely find a new home - and you make some money on the side.

Repurpose used jam or honey jars to store everything from nuts, grains, rice, sugar, to handmade facial cream or toothpasteRepurpose used jam or honey jars to store everything from nuts, grains, rice, sugar, to handmade facial cream or toothpaste

#4 - Recycle and upcycle

It might not look like it at first, but if you want to know how to declutter your home, you need to learn to  recycle and upcycle. Did you know that only 9% of your recyclable plastic waste actually gets recycled? The rest ends up in landfills, in the environment or is incinerated. If you don't live a plastic-free lifestyle yet, learn to read recycling codes at the bottom of each item. Try to buy products made from recycled materials and that are easy to recycle, and rinse your waste before throwing it into the bin to avoid contamination. Only clean waste can be recycled.

On the other hand, try to upcycle as much of your plastic waste as you can. get a little creative, there are hundreds of ideas out there. 

Recycle and upcycle as much as you canRecycle and upcycle as much as you can

Want to make your home toxin-free, healthy and sustainable, too, but not sure where to start?

If you want to make your home toxic-free, healthy and safe for your children as well but aren't sure where to start, I'd love to help you! Email me on or click here. In the meantime, check out my blog post about my Zero-Waste Coaching, here!

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