Ever feel like you're drowning in too much stuff but still can't bring yourself to get rid of those boxes of stuff that you haven't opened since you moved in?! Fear not, help is at hand.
Writer and co-founder of blog The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn says that ""Once you clear the clutter, what you have remaining are the essential elements, which tend to be more beautiful, more elegant".
With that in mind, we take a look at the areas you can declutter in your life but also handy tips to guide you through the process, no matter how hard you might find it.
1. Make a list
As usual, it's important to start with a goal in mind and put a plan together. So write down all the rooms in your house, or areas you want to declutter, then pick the first one on your list. Once you've decided on that, then pick an area within that room and focus on getting rid of stuff. Dana Buyers recommends starting small and "celebrating the victories" once you've got rid of your things.
2. Ask yourself this: does everything have a function?
Seriously, do you really need that head massager your mum decided to get your at Christmas? Sure, you probably used it all day Boxing day, but after that did you use it? Be honest with yourself about what you use around the house. As The Minimalist blog asks it: "What unnecessary things are you holding on to just in case?"
And if you're really struggling to get rid of your stuff, just ask this simple question as approved by Oprah: "Remember the question of what you'd grab if your house were on fire; that's your baseline for determining an object's worth."
3. Sell stuff online
Yes, we all know about ebay but how about actually making some money from it? Over on MoneySavingExpert.com, there are some really great rules for being able to sell well online, such as making sure you list the brand, selling rare items and making sure you describe your item correctly. All sounds like simple stuff, but there is an art to it.
4. Declutter your wardrobe
This handy infographic is all you'll need
5. Use the rule of five
Every time you clean a room get rid of five things you don't use. Either donate them, bin them, or sell on ebay. That's all you have to do. It'll be amazing as you see all your clutter disappear.
6. Take photos of nostalgic items
There are of course items which don't fall into the category of being useful but to which we attach a lot of emotion to. However, if you really can't find a use for it, then it's probably time to say goodbye. But one way of getting around this tricky emotional situation is by taking photos of the items. Jim Davies, Ph.D, has done this with some old toys of his: "I take a picture, and save it in a folder called "nostalgia." Once I have this picture, I feel better about giving or throwing away the object, because part of why I wanted to save it was because I didn't want to forget. Now I save much fewer of these little things."
7. Organise your make up bag
Most women struggle with this one, purely because they/we don't want to chuck away make up we've spent our hard-earned cash on. But there are good rules to stick by which will help you declutter your make up and ensure you through out some of the older items. Not only will it give you more space while you're getting ready, it will also be much more hygienic!
8. Declutter your kitchen
Blogger A Slob Comes Clean puts it perfectly:
"The size of my coffee-cup shelf determines how many coffee cups I get to keep. If I have more coffee cups than will fit on that shelf, then I have too many coffee cups. I don’t need to build a new shelf, I need to get rid of coffee cups. The same goes for plates, glasses, pots and pans."
Use what you have available in the kitchen - don't just buy more things. And if you decide to have a lot of people round, then there's always disposable plates!
9. Tidy your desk space
The Lifehacker site offers a very easy way to start clearing space on your desk: "Take everything off your desk and out of your drawers, put them in a box, and go back to work. When you need an item, you can put it back on the desk. If there are things you don't use after a few days...you probably don't need them". Now you'll have to excuse us as we're off to do exactly this.
10. Finally, simplify your personal life
Obviously, you want to see friends and family, but decluttering your diary is also essential for simplifying your life and giving yourself a bit of headspace. So, how can you do this? For starters, you can reduce your committments and say no to non-essential things. In a similar way why not look at your digital space and check that each of your social media sites is necessary. Check out zenhabits.net on how to declutter your personal life.