Zero Waste Decluttering

by Katy on March 13, 2015 · 12 comments

used envelopes

However much I work on decluttering, there’s always more. So I had not a moment of surprise when I opened up the drawer I keep my shipping supplies in, and was met with a cornucopia of used padded envelopes. You see, I’m a good little non-consumer, and always re-use whenever possible. Unfortunately, I think that I send out one envelope for every five that I receive, so things were getting out of control.

But since my name and address was on every envelope, I couldn’t just rehome them without addressing (or un-addresssing) this issue.

Out came the Sharpie.

It took awhile to scribble over our personal info, but it was a perfect watching TV activity. I probably should have opened window to diffuse the toxic Sharpie stank, but I guess I wasn’t using those brain cells anyway.

In the end, the envelopes tightly filled a paper grocery bag. I wrote “Free” on the outside of the bag, set it on the curb and it was gone within an hour!

And look how organized my shipping supplies are now!

Shipping supplies

Decluttering while keeping a focus on zero waste, it’s entirely possible!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam E-P March 13, 2015 at 11:11 am

Does brie make a good adhesive? 😉


Katy March 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

I like the round box, and will Mod-Podge it using an old map as a gift box at some point. 😉


Stephanie March 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

I have 2 of these Brie in my fridge right now. I LOVE the gift box idea! I will be using that 🙂 Thanks!


Katy March 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm

You’re welcome!


Betty Winslow March 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

My NCA win today – a friend passed away a while ago, leaving medical and funeral bills to be paid off by her (broke) college-aged sons. Family members, to help out, are throwing an authentic Mexican meal benefit this Sunday, with a silent auction and a bake sale. I wanted to help and still have leftover baking ingredients from the Xmas baking I never got to, so I decided to use them up in an orgy of cooking and baking. So far I’ve used the last of the almond bark to coat pretzels, which I then bagged in snack bags, and some of the glut of marshmallows and chocolate chips to make a huge pan of rocky road fudge, which I cut up and bagged, 4 to a bag. Still to come: banana bread with the frozen puree I made for my dad before he died, pumpkin bread (11 cans to go… 😀 ), and 7 layer bars, which will use up the last of the graham cracker crumbs, three kinds of chocolate chips, and a can of condensed milk. And I may make a loaf of homemade bread in my bread machine, just because I can. 😀 My pantry is shaping up nicely, and best of all, I’ve kept up with the inventory list I started a few weeks ago, so I know what I have and won’t be buying anything I don’t need, like pumpkin. Or marxhmallows.


Anne March 13, 2015 at 6:06 pm

This is really great, both in a helping and a non consumer capacity.


Elizabeth B March 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm

You win the internet. Would you like it delivered or would you prefer to pass it on to the next person? 😉


Juhli Newkirk March 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

Great idea rolling up the packaging. I’m going to do that with ours with is expanding out of the box it is in now. Decluttering is such a perpetual issue much like other housework. I am currently pondering the value of just in time inventory vs saving money by stocking up during sales. I am so tired of storing, arranging, cleaning ‘stuff’ that I am thinking I will really try to just keep very little of anything in reserve. Then I see a sale and succumb LOL.


Sabrina | Frugal Italian Family March 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I focus myself on decluttering with zero waste too. I like how I feel when I manage to declutter and find a new useful destination to things I no more need.


Clare March 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Oh, I disposed of a large bag of used padded envelopes just last week to someone on my local Freecycle forum. But I didn’t bother to cover /delete my name & address on them (didn’t even think of it, to be honest). But perhaps Freecyclers are just that bit more trustworthy than a random person who picks up a bagfull left out on the street?


Jane F March 14, 2015 at 4:44 am

I wouldn’t worry too much. If someone really wanted your address they could probably get it on


Katy March 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm

True, but I can at least try to make it difficult.


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