Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for organizing and clearing clutter around the house. For most of us, spring organization getting rid of things we no longer use and creating a better storage system for stuff we will keep that has fallen into disarray. Before you toss anything in the trash bin or make a trip to the container store, read up on these 3 eco-friendly spring organization tips to save yourself time, money, and unnecessary waste.

1. Reusing to Create Storage Space

The least organized, most junk-filled spaces in our homes tend to be home offices, bathrooms, and kitchen drawers. Somehow those nifty silverware organizers and desk drawer separators never seem to be big enough or the right size, and odds and ends like stationary and stamps seem to spread out everywhere. On the other hand, reusing old containers or recyclables instead of purchasing new, plastic, one-size-fits all drawer and desktop organizers gives us the ability to customize our storage. Here are a few household items that can be repurposed to store drawer and desktop items:

  • Egg cartons – These can be cut in half or quarters—whatever you need! They are great for storing push pins, loose change, and paperclips.
  • Mason jars, coffee cans, and unwanted vases– These can make great countertop or desktop containers for pens, rulers, and scissors.
  • Shoeboxes – A pretty shoebox makes a great container for loose stationary, postcards, or business cards and can be stored on a shelf or in a closet.
  • Fabric – Unused, old fabric scraps can be sewn into pockets and hung inside closet doors for shoes or hung on a craft room wall to hold scissors, yarn, and rulers.
  • Spice containers – Save empty spice containers! They can easily be reused for holding bulk spices or transformed into glitter shakers for kids.

I bet if you take a look around you’ll find tons of free storage options like the ones above already lying around your house! You can always embellish them, too—if you have kids I bet they’d love to help with that part. If shoeboxes and egg cartons just aren’t your thing, check your local thrift store for used office organization and storage containers before purchasing new ones.

2. Donate

Before you throw old clothing and household items in the trash bin, set aside what you don’t want in a big cardboard box by the front door. Leave it there for two or three weeks; if there’s anything you take out of the box to use within that time period, keep it! Everything else can be donated to a second hand store instead of going to the landfill.

3. Repurpose or Repair

Before tossing an out-of-service item or a piece of furniture or storage you don’t think you need any more, put your creative thinking cap on. Can broken items be repaired instead of being replaced with a new one and tossed in the trash? Can your unwanted spice rack serve a better purpose somewhere else in the house or yard? It can be helpful to write down a list of what organization and storage items you need and then see if any of your unwanted implements match those needs before tossing them.

There are so many ways to green your household organization this spring. What eco-friendly organization tips do you have?