01 Oct Get organized for the planet
Last weekend, I participated for the first time in Geneva’s Alternatiba Leman festival. Myself and some of the best organizers in Romandie had a stand during the 6th edition of this event at the Parc des Bastion to share our passion on behalf of the Swiss-APO (Swiss Association of Professional Organizers).
Alternatiba is a civil movement working on climate change issues. Every year in September, the festival proposes conferences, workshops and movies on sustainability topics as well as a huge fair during the week-end. It attracts a lot of people from all kind of backgrounds which makes the discussions incredibly broad and interesting. And all the participants have one thing in common: they believe that each one of us can contribute to a more sustainable way of living.
It goes without saying that the visitors and participants are open-minded, eager to learn about new solutions, keen to engage with other people, willing to help and happy to exchange. In other words, the ambiance is just amazing.
Now, the question you might ask yourself is: what are a bunch of home organizers doing in that kind of festival? What is the link between being organized and being sustainable? No clue? Then let me try to enlighten you:
- First of all, decluttering your space is the very first step to living a zero waste life. If you haven’t read Bea Johnson’s “Zero waste home” yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. Bea Johnson does to your garbage what Marie Kondo does to your stuff. And both start by decluttering. You have to first get rid of what you don’t need, what doesn’t spark any joy, what is not absolutely functional…in order to organize your space, and to be able to start thinking about zero waste. Free up your space and get back to the basics, fill it only with what is really important for you, and understand what you need to live in harmony with your environment.
- Having less items and possessing only what you really cherish and are grateful for adds yet another perspective: it entails that you will value what you have and take more care of it. Which means that your objects will have a longer lifetime. You will put more effort in repairing your objects, too. Because you have less to repair. And because it makes you happy.
- Reducing clutter in your home can also push you into renting objects you do not need on a regular basis, e.g. at la Manivelle in Geneva, or sharing the objects with your neighbors, friends or even unknown people. This is better for your space, better for your wallet and better for the planet. Win win win!
- Well, and while you are at it, knowing what you actually own will make you consume less. All of a sudden, you will notice that you already had a back stock of 2 years of black socks, that you didn’t actually need a 5th stapler and that you consume only one toilet paper roll per week.
- Not only that, once you understand what sparks joy for you (huge positive side effect of conducting the KonMari method), you will also start consuming better. As you will know what to buy instead of wildly buying clothes that just look pretty in the store.
- I am not done yet! Everything you declutter, you can inject in the circular economy and donate to associations and people who would be incredibly happy to use it.
- Last but not least, if you start getting organized now, you will be able to educate your kids, friends and family on this topic. You can lead by example and show them how getting organized is actually fun, sustainable, money and time saving and not as complicated to maintain as others might think. And you will leave a positive legacy by making organization and sustainability a no brainer in their future way of living!
So, did I manage to convince you? Do you see the parallel, do you feel why we just had to be present at the Alternatiba festival? If not, please feel free to contact me 😊
Happy sustainable organizing to all of you!
Photo by Photo by Greg Nunes on Unsplash