How to get rid of your household clutter sustainably

After Marie Kondo's Netflix series we thought a refresher on disposing of your waste sustainably was in order
Hamptons style interior design ideas in this home transformationSimon Whitbread

Maire Kondo’s latest Netflix series, Tidying Up, is taking Australia by storm and paired with the start of the year, we’re with you and ready to declutter and start the year fresh. But one major thing we think is missing from Kondo’s hit show is how to dispose of your pre-loved items sustainably.

Already one of the busiest times of year for householders to declutter and donate, charity bins and stores are already reportedly overflowing with donations of unwanted goods.

We’re all for turning over a new leaf and parting with items that no longer “spark joy” in your home but, with many stores now stopping the collections of donations due to restricted space, take some time to look at alternatives for reuse or recycling your belongings and, before you put it all on the kerb or worse in the bin, read on.

(Credit: Anna Robinson)


One of the five core pillars of the KonMari method and arguably the easiest place to start. There are numerous charities that accept clothing donations (click here to find your local) or if your pieces are expensive, you could sell your unwanted clothing and donate a percentage to your favourite charity using Charitizer.

For worn and un-saleable clothing look to companies like H&M who have a garment collection program for textiles which they recycle for industrial rags and other textile by-products.

Most animal shelters and vets will open their arms to old towels and bedding.

(Credit: Shania Shegedyn)


It’s time to part with that book that you will never ever read again, but remember what they say, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.” Donate your old books to thrift shops, schools or your local library.

If you are having trouble letting go of “stuff” read our guide from Marie Kondo here.


For those non-confidential items, it is straight to the recycling bin for excess paper. For those top-secret documents? Look for a service like Shred-X who will shred and dispose of your files for a small fee.

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When it comes to e-waste it is difficult to know where to even start! Organisations like Mobile Munster will dispose of your old mobile phone for free. Old computers can be collected by organisations like TechCollect and batteries should be disposed of at your local Aldi, Battery World or Office Works.

Komono – Miscellaneous items

For all of those leftover odd bits and bobs (called ‘Komono’ in Japanese), why not partner with a couple of your neighbours and throw a garage sale or offer to take one big load to your local charity store.

Once you have decluttered, Kondo recommends giving every item in your house a place so you know exactly where it goes every time. Here is how she recommends folding all of your clothes.

This article was originally published on Better, Homes and Gardens.

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