Having too much stuff is not good for your health. It causes stress, makes us feel overwhelmed and mentally foggy, and can be a fire hazard too! Below are my top four methods for decluttering:

• The Bin Bag: Pick up a bin bag and go round the house filling it with junk that can be binned. Look for toys that are broken or missing pieces, electrical leads that are no longer useful, junk mail, pens/pencils that no longer work, magazines that you still haven’t got round to reading.
• By type: Choose an item that is not confined to one room such as clothes, pictures, books and gadgets. Go around the whole house and get rid of those that no longer bring you joy.
• Timer: If you’re short of time, set a timer and completely empty one drawer or cupboard. Clean it if necessary and then put everything back in, getting rid of anything that is broken, incomplete or useless.
• The big one: set aside a time slot (it could be a whole day or weekend) to tackle an area. It could be a garage or attic. Get friends round to help if needs be (or a professional organiser).

Once you’ve done the hard work of sorting and decluttering, you then need to decide where it’s all going to go. I would recommend the following before landfill, which is always my last resort:

• Charity: pick a local charity that you support and give them your good quality items that can be treasured and loved by someone else. It will also raise funds for your chosen cause too! Here in Hereford I recommend St Michael’s Hospice who will pick your larger items up.
• Friends/Family: Think of the second life your possessions will get when they are used and loved by friends/family. But you must allow them the opportunity to decline and don’t be offended if they do.
• Sell: EBay is the most popular way to sell items but is very time consuming. I recommend doing your research to see what you are selling will be worth the hassle.
• Freecycle: this is my favourite site. Just advertise the things you want to get rid of and someone will come and collect it from your doorstep. Easy!
• Store: for valuable or precious items that you can’t easily or safely store at home, then consider storage as temporary solution. If you are storing papers or furniture, then I recommend using a heated storage company (like Woodlands here in Herefordshire) so that your precious items don’t deteriorate.

Ros at The Organised Company, based in Herefordshire, is a member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (UK). She can help you go through the process of sorting your things and advising on how best to deal with any issues you face. Call her now for advice and to book a consultation: 07585556421 or www.theorganisedcompany.co.uk.