Backlogged recycling clutter is a problem for nearly all of us eco-conscious consumers. We really want to be responsible with our returnable bottles and cans, but these empty containers take up our counter space, kitchens, and garages.

Here in Oregon the bottle deposit increased to $0.10, so these “empties” start adding up fast. This has precipitated more people saving and returning their recyclables.

While returning cans and bottles can be a great way to recoup a little spending money, it’s bit of a chore to do. As a result, it’s a project that causes storage space clutter until we deal with it.


Our professional organizer had been working with a client and making great progress in her basement. However, bottles and cans were beginning to collect in the newly reclaimed space. These burgeoning bags were annoying her and she wanted to recoup the money from them, but was overwhelmed by the prospect of tackling her recycling clutter alone.

Tackling-Recycling-Clutter-BottleDrop-Card(One of the greatest benefits of hiring an Order Restorer is having an extra pair of hands to help you take on overdue projects!)

Our professional organizer did some research and discovered a service that would remove the inconvenience from this task.

BottleDrop is a bottle redemption company created with the goal of making it “fast, clean and convenient” to collect your refund.

By visiting the center and signing up for the premium service account, BottleDrop provides you with bags and labels to easily return your bottles.

Full bags are dropped off at the BottleDrop redemption center and they count the cans and bottles and add your refund to a plastic credit card.

Our organizer accompanied our client to the BottleDrop center near her house to sign up for the service.

They got bags and labels and headed back to the client’s home to tackle her recycling clutter!

  • First, they created an online account for our client.
  • Next, our organizer helped fill the BottleDrop bags and load the client’s car, and then the client dropped the full bags at the can drop center




This quick solution took a little more time to set up, but then reduced the time (and mess!) of recycling cans and bottles one by one.

Returnable cans and bottles are not the only types of recycling clutter we deal with. There’s also curbside recycling items like cardboard, plastics, and glass that cause backlog in our homes. For this type of recycling, most people need a “routing system,” which includes an initial collection point, and then a depository in the garage or some other “outgoing” location.

1. Add a recycle bin at key user points within the home (at every workstation, in the kitchen, in the bathrooms, and any other place where packaging is opened).


This is the initial capture point of recycled items, but not the final destination.

In my own farmhouse kitchen, I have a triad of same-sized bins for:


Curbside Recycle

Bottle Return

This system works great for the entire home. When packages are opened or emptied upstairs, we simply bring those collapsed cardboard items or plastics downstairs to this capture system.


2. Create a simple “outgoing” system in the garage/storage area.

In our garage, I have three large stacking bins for glass, plastics, and cardboard. You may or may not need to separate your recycling items, depending on your trash collector, and the level of separation needed will determine your system.

Tackling unruly recycling clutter clears both physical and mental space. Having good recycling systems will improve your daily household function.

Jump on board with this easy organizing project and send us your before and after pictures of your new systems!



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