• Get ahead with decluttering and storage for 2018

    The New Year is the perfect time for a good clear out as, if you’re lucky, you’ll have been given lots of new things at Christmas that you’ll need to find a home for. It’s also a spell when we might be at home more due to inclement weather, so we have time on our hands at home to tackle this task.

    Ultimately a decluttered and organised space is nice to look at, easier to keep clean and gives you a sense of achievement and purpose. Disarray can be draining psychologically and, also, can cost you, as you tend to buy products and clothing you think you need, when in fact they are there but lost in a heap!

    At this time of year, I like to go through all of my paperwork and notes and I throw out anything that is out of date or no longer useful. I find pinboards come in really handy for pinning up any notes I need to keep and to do lists fresh in my mind. I always have loads of lists on the go and they keep me focused.

    It’s important to be ruthless when decluttering, if it’s not come in handy in the past six months then there is probably no reason to keep it. Decluttering can be a time-consuming job, so it’s a good idea to dedicate an entire day or weekend to it and make sure you have plenty of tea or coffee breaks.

    Fabrics that can no longer be used for crafting projects and any old household items such as DVDs, CDs, printer toners and old mobile phones can be donated to charity. This is a good way of reducing landfill and ensuring your unwanted items are put to good use.

    Storing items can be easy if you’re organised. Don’t just throw items into a drawer and be done with it, make sure they’re arranged neatly and even use drawer organisers. You can label the drawer to remind yourself what’s in it and use desk tidies and wallets to keep important paperwork safe.

    With the January sales I’m drawn to buying new clothes so to beat the clutter and the bulging wardrobes this season, make a list on your phone or in a handy pad and keep it in your handbag. On your list write down all the items you really need this spring.

    Go through your wardrobe and create outfits to suit various occasions, such as for work or weekend pursuits, as this will also help focus you on the items of clothing or shoes you need to buy and help prevent you from buying more of a particular type of clothing in a particular colour. Anything you haven’t worn for the past two springs or is in poor condition needs to be donated to charity or stored for use when gardening or painting.

    Summer clothes you wish to keep can be stored away in suitcases, sealed boxes or vacuum-packed bags. Watch out for moths – use lavender sachets or similar moth repellent products to help prevent the moth larvae from nibbling holes in your clothing during the winter months.

    Remember before you pack it all away for next year remove any clothes that no longer fit or have fallen into disrepair.