I Installed a Clothesline!

I Installed a Clothesline!

The more I dive into the low-waste, environmentalism, and energy conscious worlds, the more I think about alternatives to basically everything I do. I also have dreams of being a homesteader and recluse. So, a project I did last fall was install an exterior clothesline!

Air drying clothes is a great way to save on energy when doing laundry and I’m the perfect candidate for air drying clothes in my sunny San Diego climate. Plus, sunshine is the nature’s bleach. So, why not?

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Clean With Me: Kitchen Edition - A Video and My Guide to Non-Toxic and Zero Waste Cleaning

Clean With Me: Kitchen Edition - A Video and My Guide to Non-Toxic and Zero Waste Cleaning

Among my top 10 hobbies is deep cleaning my house. Call me crazy, but it’s just my jam. I’ve spent ages perfecting my routine to be as efficient as possible, years finding my favorite non-toxic cleaners, and just a few months to learn how to do it all without any waste. I filmed a quick video of me doing a kitchen deep clean and wrote out my step-by-step cleaning process. Check it out!

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The Easiest Sustainable Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Things at Home

The Easiest Sustainable Way to Get Rid of Unwanted Things at Home

I wrote a blog post last year with a list of unique ways to donate a bunch of things when you’re decluttering. Things like dingy towels, toiletries, cleaning products, paint samples, light bulbs, eyeglasses, houseplants, and so so much more. Check it out even if you read it last year because I added a few more tips, and we can always use a refresher.

I mentioned the Buy Nothing Project in that post but I want to give it a big shout out and profess my love for this group. I mean LOVE. I’m in this group’s page literally every day and I’ve decluttered a bunch of hard-to-get rid of items (read my trash - I’ll explain later), plus I’ve saved oodles of money in the group, too. What is it, you ask? Well, I’ll tell ya.

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Taking a Really Close Look at Our Energy Usage

Taking a Really Close Look at Our Energy Usage

Energy consumption has been on my mind lately as we’ve been gearing up to add solar panels to our roof and as we continue to think about our footprint on this lil’ world of ours. We hear lots about how we should use LED bulbs instead of incandescent and we should get energy star appliances instead of energy guzzlers - both of which I firmly believe and included in my list of ways to make green energy improvements at home. But, I wanted to know exactly how much energy each of my lights, appliances, tools, and electronics around the house were actually consuming. Because I’m type-A like that.

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A Checklist for Making Green Home Improvements

A Checklist for Making Green Home Improvements

I’m super passionate about sustainability, low-waste practices, and making positive environmental impacts. You may have picked up on this subtly in previous posts, but I’m just getting started sharing all my tips and tricks for how I’m trying to help our planet. Home improvement can sometimes be super wasteful, but there’s also a lot that can be done to a home to make it efficient and low impact.

We recently went on the San Diego Green Home Tour and it was inspiring to see so many green initiatives in practice in a variety of different homes. We saw ultra-modern new constructions as well as modest homes with a bunch of DIY projects. It had us thinking about how much more we have to do, but also how many sustainable improvements we’ve done that we can be proud of. I’ve compiled a list of green home improvements with some info on implementing them yourself. I also put together a downloadable checklist so you can evaluate which improvements your home can benefit from. There are a few tips for renters, too!

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Where to Donate Items After Cleaning House

January is often when I get the bug to purge the house. Holiday decor starts to get claustrophobic towards the end of December, and winter travel to tidy hotels rooms (like Rivertown Lodge pictured below) gets me excited about minimal living.


There are more options than your local donation drop-off center to take your unwanted items, so I'm listing my favorite places that put things to the best use. Please share your favorite alternatives in the comments!


I give our unwanted sheets, blankets, and dingy towels to animal rescue centers. They use them to pad the beds for our critter friends during recovery or while they wait for forever homes. In San Diego, I donate to Project Wildlife or the Humane Society.

House Parts and Tools

Habitat for Humanity is my go-to for anything house related. Items from furniture to doors and paint to light fixtures are sold at their ReStore centers and the proceeds support affordable housing projects. Psst! It's also a great place to shop for house parts.


San Diego has the largest K-12 school for kids experiencing homelessness. They have an extensive wishlist including school supplies and kids' clothes. Since I don't have either of those at home to give away, I donate toiletries and unwanted makeup.

Cleaning Products

A reader recommended the Buy Nothing Project Facebook group where neighbors can post things to give away. I posted a collection of cleaning supplies that I no longer needed and someone that runs a local nonprofit picked them up to clean her community center. Consider joining a similar giveaway group, or think of a favorite nonprofit when cleaning out the cleaning cabinet.


When I upgraded computers last year, I donated my old iMac to a favorite local nonprofit, Include Autism, but many community centers, nonprofits, or schools would be more than happy to receive old computers, iPads, and electronic toys.


Local libraries will take your used books, but you can also take subject-specific ones to places that will read them more. Consider kids' books for a local YMCA and coffee table books for a retirement home. Also, your neighborhood may have a Little Free Library where you can drop off a book and pick up another one in exchange.


Glossy pages filled with colorful images are great for collage art projects. Consider taking a stack of catalogs, magazines, maps, and scrapbook paper to a children's museum, art center, after-school program, or school.

Art Supplies & Paint Samples

Schools, art museums, and youth programs can put unwanted paints, brushes, and craft paper to use. Before dropping it off, check to be sure they can use what you want to give - oil paints are toxic and won't be put to good use with young kids, so gift them to older artists.


Salvation Army will pick up big furniture items that you'd normally have to pay someone to move, so it's a win-win. Smaller furniture items can go to Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, or your local donation center. If it's too small to have Salvation Army pick up, but too big to fit in the car, I put it on the curb with a free sign and post it on Craigslist. It's often gone in an hour.

Light Bulbs

Do you have any of those pesky incandescent bulbs laying around but don’t have a need for them because you switched everything to LED? My local animal wildlife rehabilitation center, Project Wildlife, uses them in incubators for baby animals without their parents. Consider finding a similar organization near you!

Office Supplies

If you ended up with too many Sharpies (guilty) or you're changing out your office chair, consider giving to your favorite community organization. You may be used to donating dog food to the animal shelter, but the administrative staff that support the pups could benefit from your extra office accessories.


There are thousands of people without access to vision care so giving your old glasses can help someone have the ability to read for the first time. When I upgrade to new frames, I mail in my old ones to Lion's Club where they redistribute them.


Feeding America will accept unopened non-perishable food items at their distribution centers. It's a great place to give when you do a major pantry clean out, but when I have a couple of items we don't need, I keep them in my car and pass out to folks on the street that are hungry.

Clothes and Housewares

Goodwill centers are great for dropping off clothes and housewares, but your community likely has organizations that can give directly to folks in need. Refugee families can benefit from clothes and basic housewares as they settle into a new country. Women's shelters are in need of child and adult clothing in addition to basic home items as they transition housing. Consider donating old suits and business attire to an organization offering job training for underserved individuals. If your clothes are so worn that they can’t be reused (think a sock with a hole in the toe or very worn undergarments) take them to a textile recycler - H&M happens to be a drop-off center for textile recyling.


I haven't done this one myself, but I'm sure any retirement home would appreciate houseplants that no longer fit your space, or those you need to give up when you move.

Kids Toys and Clothes

If you receive kid toys or clothes for your little ones that you don't want, you can donate them to children's hospitals. Gently used toys and clothes can help kids at a shelter where they may be displaced due to housing, domestic violence, behavioral challenges, and more.

Camping Gear

That tent you never use can be put to great use for someone living on the street. You can walk up to someone that is struggling with housing and hand it to them directly or work with a local organization that serves folks that are displaced.

Gift Cards

I've received $5 gift cards to places I don't frequent then they end up in a pile, or clogging my wallet. Many nonprofits will use these to give to their volunteers as gifts. Local children's centers will use them when they go on outings with kids that are living on the center's campus.

Pet Food

When we changed Mabel's diet, we ended up with a bunch of open bags of treats and kibble. I found an organization that takes these snacks to animals in Tijuana. Unopened items can go to your local animal shelter.

Save the Wishlists of Your Community Organizations

Many nonprofits share wishlists on their website. Some are like Monarch School's list of needs and others are shop-able Amazon wishlists like the Humane Society where you can purchase items online to be mailed directly to the center. The wishlists can often inspire cleaning you didn't even think of (I now know to take the wrong-sized batteries I accidentally bought to the Humane Society). I also like to keep my local non-profits in mind when I see BOGO deals at the store. I can buy a tube of toothpaste for myself, and drop off the free one at Monarch School. Also, many organizations will take your recycling off your hands, too - our local children's museum is always looking for toilet paper tubes.

The list above is just what I do in my city with links to San Diego organizations, but here is a list of national organizations to support. Please share the ways you clean out your house for a good cause!

P.S. This Sunday, I'm diving into a major closet clean-out and I'm doing it with my friend Natasha on Instagram Stories LIVE. She's a Konmari expert and she's going to give tips on letting go of the garments that don't spark joy. Mark your calendars for the morning of Sunday the 21st - you can ask her questions, too!