Get organized by going green

Get organized by going green

As a professional organizer, I use the word “simplify” in my daily vocabulary. We have all heard the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle.” “Simplify” is just a more palatable synonym for “reduce.” The goal is to acquire less, creatively reuse what makes sense and recycle what you can.

The good news is there are so many great resources locally and nationally to get rid of what you no longer want. Be green and stay organized by reducing, reusing and recycling. Here is how:


Do you know what enough is? When you know what enough is, your inventory of “stuff” stays in check. Whether it’s in your pantry or your closet, keeping a consistent inventory is a big key to staying organized. Here are three questions that can change the way things flow into your life: 

• Do I really need this? 
• Where will I put it? 
• How will I pay for it? 

Take this mindset with you to the grocery store and the mall and watch how decision-making changes. Thinking outside the box is made easy with great new ways to rent and share instead of buying. 


It has never been easier to resell, repurpose and reuse items. With eBay, Craigslist and Freecycle at your disposal, and even services that sell your items for you, cashing in on clutter is a snap. The Vets, Salvation Army and Goodwill make arranging pickups and getting info as easy as a few clicks. 

That is just the tip of the iceberg. There are sites like Earth911 and that pull together resources, creating a one-stop-shop to get rid of what you don’t want. These outlets coupled with popular sites like Pinterest and Etsy, put the power repurposing right at your fingertips.


“Green” organizers not only help you decide what to get rid of responsibly, they also set up systems that make continuing the process easier. Systems that are good get used and better systems build better habits. 

A green organizer knows the rules and helps you check with your local municipality to see what can be recycled at the dump or curbside for your regular recycling needs. They have resources for special collection events and resources for batteries, appliances, furniture, light bulbs, medicine, paint and more. 

Clients get stuck when they don’t know what to do. Sometimes their homes start to look like the recycling centers because they are paralyzed with all the complicated rules. A professional organizer can simplify systems and take care of the backlog of items that they could not process and then take baby steps toward finding better solutions.

So when you are looking to get organized, think green. If you are looking for help, reach out to an expert that has the resources to help you make good decisions about yourself, your space and our planet.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Leslie McKee is the owner of McKee Organizing Services, providing home organization in Pittsburgh. Since 2000, McKee Organizing Services has specialized in personal organization, relocations, unpacking and more. You can follow this #ALExperts contributor on Twitter @SimplifyLife.

As of December 18, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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