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This time of year – after the extravagance of Christmas, the frenzy of the Boxing Day sales and spending more time at home – always makes us feel indulgent. It’s hard not to notice just how much stuff there is around us, and how much we seem to accumulate.

Wardrobes overflowing, drawers full to the brim, pantry shelves crammed. The abundance can be suffocating – as guilty as it makes you feel to admit it.

See, having too much stuff is the perfect example of a ‘first world problem’. Many Australian homes could house multiple families for a week with ease, and still have clothes, toys and food left over.

But the thing is, clutter isn’t necessarily a good thing – in fact, it’s usually the opposite. Studies have shown that clutter has a significant impact on our mental health, affecting everything from our social lives to our anxiety levels and our ability to enjoy our home.

At a time of year that’s all about fresh new starts, now is the perfect time to ask yourself: could you live without so much stuff?

Start with the wardrobe

A jam-packed wardrobe is the source of a lot of stress. Whether you’re avoiding opening a drawer or door for fear of a clothes explosion or sick of wasting time staring at all of your clothes and still lamenting that you have ‘nothing to wear’, you’re probably due for a wardrobe declutter. It can be a daunting task, but these tips will help. Click here for your ultimate guide to clearing out (and then organising) your wardrobe.

Then, hit the pantry

A full pantry is a sign of wealth, but it can get to a point where too much food is actually a bad thing. Make it your mission to clear out your pantry (which means, yes, parting ways with that spice jar that expired 2004) and do a total revamp. Toss out anything that is past its use-by date, make note of the corners ingrdients seem to get lost in and work out your most frequently-used staples to better curate your shopping lists moving forward. These tips are a great place to start.

Organise high-traffic areas

Some rooms are simply more prone to mess than others – your child’s playroom/space/bedroom and your home office are two great examples. They’re just out of sight enough that mess can quickly accummulate there (not like, say, a kitchen) and are primarily used for creativity and productivity. Read this guide for tips on how to organise your home office, and this one for your kids’ spaces.

Handy helpers

Keen to get started on your decluttering journey? It’s a good idea to work out which products you’ll need to help you not only clear out your home, but keep it clear. Here are three handy helpers we love:

  1. Howards flexible drawer organiser, $22.95, www.hsw.com.au 
  2. ‘Beautifully Organised’ by Nikki Boyd, $39.52, www.thenile.com.au 
  3. Little Label Co. fridge organiser, $54.95, www.littlelabelco.com 
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haven  

haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.