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With the festive season behind us and good intentions fresh in our minds for the new year, January is the perfect time to get organised.

In a world where rising stress levels and growing concerns about the environment mean less is more, decluttering has become a popular New Year’s resolution. Gifts have been accumulated that may not yet have found a place, and more of us are working from home than ever before, meaning the documents and equipment that once lived in the office have now found their way into our homes.

With research showing that an untidy home can lead to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, our six-step guide to clearing your clutter will help set up your home for a happy, healthy year.

  1. Clear flat surfaces first: kitchen worktops, coffee tables, desks and dressing tables are all prime breeding grounds for clutter. Clearing these areas first will create a visible improvement quickly.
  2. Organise and categorise: group similar items together to create a sense of ordered calm. For example, in the kitchen, consider assigning separate cupboards for food preparation, cooking, serving, storing and cleaning.
  3. Don’t be a hoarder: you don’t need five tubes of toothpaste or 12 tins of chopped tomatoes. Use up what you’ve got and keep smaller amounts in stock for a clearer home.
  4. Be ruthless: think about what you really need and want to be surrounded by. The vase you’ve never really liked, the coat you thought looked great in the shop but have never worn, or the book you bought on holiday and will never read again could still bring joy to others if given away to a charity shop.
  5. Embrace clever storage: beds with concealed drawers underneath, corner sofas with hidden storage compartments, stools and side tables that double-up as storage baskets all offer places to stow things out of sight, leaving your home feeling calm and serene.
  6. Go paperless: most banks now offer digital statements and communications, and most insurance firms and utility companies offer the option to manage your account online. Avoid piles of paperwork and do your bit for the environment by going paperless.

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