I am very pleased to bring you this guest blog written by Professional Eco Organiser® Tanya Lewis and founder of The 10R’s™ organising solution. In this blog, Tanya explains how easy it is to create more time and space in people’s lives through decluttering and reorganising their homes or workplaces in a simple and environmentally friendly way using The 10R’s™.
There is a common trend around the world where people have become overwhelmed with stuff to the point where they simply cannot function, or find things, so they go and buy more, thus starting a vicious clutter cycle.
A recent survey show that the average Australian family spends AUD1,226 per year on stuff they never use and one in eight people moved home to accommodate more stuff.
Source: Australian Institute -Stuff Happens
Britons have a shocking £5.7billion worth of unused household items stashed away, and one in three has enough to fill a bedroom.
Source: Daily Mail
Singapore generated 788 600 tonnes of food waste in 2014. That’s around 140kg of food per person or equivalent of everybody in Singapore throwing two bowls of rice in the trash every day.
Only 13% of food waste is recycled, mostly for compost, animal food, bio-energy and non-drinking water. Reducing food waste by 15% would have the same impact on CO2 emissions as taking 86,000 cars off the road.
Source: Zero Waste Singapore
The impact of over consumption on the environment, personal finances, and peace of mind are some of the many issues which overwhelm us and get in the way of living the life we want.
You don’t throw anything away, there is no away, this stuff has to go somewhere. Unknown
The Solution- The 10R’s™
We all know about the 3R’s- Reduce Reuse Recycle but what are The 10R’s™?
1 | Rethink
Before adding something to the shopping trolley, clicking on the mouse and adding something to the cart, accepting that 2 for 1 offer, or taking the goodies bag on offer, simply stop and pause:
- Do I need it, do I want it?
- How does it make me feel?
- Is there an equivalent with less packaging?
- Can I reuse the packaging?
- Do I have something similar already?
By taking a few moments to stop and rethink could make all the difference to your life and stop this vicious clutter cycle.
2 | Responsible
Everything we bring into our space comes with a carbon footprint. Somewhere in the world a tree has been cut down and/or minerals have been dug out of the ground then shipped somewhere to be manufactured into the things we need and want, for this reason we must take some responsibility for the disposal of our unwanted items.
Check Nathalie’s post on responsible disposal options in Singapore for your unwanted items.
3 | Refuse
It is ok to say “no thank you” to:
- Buy one get one free
- Give away’ s
- Gift bags and show bags
- Excess packaging
- Once use only products
4 | Repurpose
With 10 years’ experience as an expert Professional Organiser, we have observed most people have all the storage containers, cupboards, nooks and crannies to get organised. If this is not the case Eco Organiser® heads to the back of your cupboards to find things you don’t use and repurpose them as storage. We will turn baking dishes and shoe boxes into drawer dividers and drinks cabinets into office storage. It’s time to repurpose clutter before buying new.
5 | Reorganise
Our homes don’t come with elastic sides; let’s sort, declutter and reorganise to fit within our current footprint, before adding an extension or hiring a storage unit.
6 | Repair
In a world of disposable items we often forget that things can be repaired.
Can it be repaired or restyled before throwing it in the trash?
7 | Reduce
When our homes and offices are organised, we know what we have. We are less likely to go buy more of the same; this saves time, money and energy. Being clear about our needs reduces clutter in our homes, workspace and lives.
Why add things to my space that do not add value to my life?
8 | Reuse
Where possible, why not use reusable or refillable options in the home or workspace:
- Reusable ink cartridges
- Reusable coffee cups
- Reusable shopping bags
- Refillable pens and water bottles
9 | Recycle
Recycling is great, although at Eco Organiser® we do not rely on the recycle bin which sits on the street curb. It takes energy to recycle, it’s called embodied energy, and wherever possible we recycle at home and in our workspace:
- Food scraps to compost bin and worm farm
- Scrap paper shredded and composted
- Purchase pre-loved over new
10 | Reward
When we reduce clutter in our home and workspace, we are rewarded with more time, space, energy and money. When we reduce waste and reduce embodied energy we are rewarding our planet.
Source: Tanya Lewis Founder of Eco Organiser® Keynote Speaker, Personal Organiser, Workshop Facilitator, Organising Coach, Author, Interior Designer
The 10R’s™: Rethink – Responsible – Refuse – Repurpose – Reorganise – Repair – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Reward