It's a new year and what better way to kick it off than to have a big clear out and get rid of the things in your life that you just don't need anymore. Over the next few weeks on thirteen:fourteen we are going to cover topics that will help you live a more simple life and today is all about decluttering.

But it can be hard to know where to begin? So we thought we would give you some help in the form of Gill Hasson.  Gill's new book 'Declutter Your Life' has been our go to lately. It's packed with amazing and extremely helpful advice that you can start using immediately.
So we are super exited that Gill has shared with us her top tips for beginning to declutter your world.

Declutter your life
By Gill Hasson
Do you have too much stuff?
Clutter can silently creep up on you and before you know it you’ve accumulated a lot of junk and jumble, all sorts of objects and ornaments, books and clothes, cutlery and crockery, furniture, bedding and household linens.
Most of our things started out as something useful or necessary, interesting or attractive. But in time - over the months and years - the things we’ve bought or acquired reach a point where they're no longer useful or enjoyable. They’re clutter.
If though, you can get a grip and start managing your clutter, you’ll discover how outer order leads to inner calm; you’ll feel less overwhelmed and stressed, there’ll be less to think about, less to organise and clean. You’ll feel more in control and have more time and energy for what’s actually important to you in terms of other people, your work and other interests in your life.
In fact, the principles and steps taken to declutter and simplify your living space can improve not just your home but also other aspects of your life; your commitments and your relationships, your work and the amount of information you consume.
So what can you do and where do you start?
Before you can start doing anything, you need to start thinking differently; to take on new, more helpful ways of thinking about things.
Change your thinking; be mindful
• Be aware that holding onto so many things just because they remind you of the past, encourages you to look back at what was, instead of living more fully in the present and looking forward to the future. You can always keep a few favourite things from the past, just be selective about what you keep to remind you of people, places and experiences.
• If you acquired something you’ve hardly used or never used, realise that at the time, you made the right choice; you sincerely thought you would wear it, read it, use it. That was then. Keeping it just ties you to the past. Live in the present!
• Rather than feeling assured by its presence, the things we keep as a result of our ‘what if I need it ’ and ‘just in case I need it’ thinking  - only serves keeps you stuck with  more and more stuff. Let go of  things with the knowledge that in most cases, you could borrow or buy another one if you really needed to.
• Hope based clutter - unused sports equipment, clothes no longer worn, books not read and so on - just serve to remind you of what you still haven’t got round to doing, reading wearing etc. Live in the present; free up space in your home for something you need, want or want to do now.
Clear the clutter
 There are two approaches you can take; ‘Keep or don’t keep’ or ‘ Keep. Maybe keep. Don’t keep.’ There are pros and cons to each approach - you just need to decide which approach is best for you.
Keep or don’t keep
Anything in your home that you look at and don’t need, love or like, if it makes you feel sad or guilty; let it go.
If you need it, like or love it, then keep it.
Pro’s: For each item, you only have one decision to make each time.
Con’s: You have to be prepared to be ruthless. You may spend too much time spent agonising over some items; whether to keep or not.
Top tip: for each thing - object, item, piece of clothing etc - you can’t decide on whether to keep or not, ask yourself if today was the first time you’d seen it - would you buy it now?
Keep. Maybe keep. Don’t keep.
With this approach, you declutter in two stages. First you go through things and decide what you definitely do want, don’t want and maybe want. Then you go back over the ‘maybe’ things that you’ve put aside and decide what to definitely keep and what to let go of.
Pro’s:  Rather than agonise over ‘shall I keep it or let it go,’ with every item, the ‘maybe’ can be gone through the next time. And the next time you go back to each item in the maybe pile, it’s often clearer whether or not to keep it.
Cons: Too much in the ‘maybe keep’ never gets cleared out.
Top tip: If you are still not sure whether you can definitely get rid of something, put it in a box. Then store the box somewhere out of the way. Put a note on your calendar six months from now to look in the box. Then pull it out, six months later, and see if it’s anything you really needed.
Thinking differently - in positive, mindful ways - also applies if you want to let go of commitments and friendships that no longer fit with your life. Who and what was right for you then is not necessarily right now. Don’t let the past dictate the present! What matters is what commitments and friends you choose to keep now.  Know that letting go of friendships that have become hard work - maybe you no longer have anything in common - and letting go of commitments - the things that no longer interest you - makes room for new friendships and activities.

Gill Hasson is a bestselling self-help author. She is a teacher, trainer and writer. She has 20 years’ experience in the area of personal development. Her expertise is in the areas of confidence and self-esteem, communication skills, assertiveness and resilience. Gill’s particular interest and motivation is in helping people to realise their potential, to live their best life.
Gill’s most recent title, Declutter Your Life: How Outer Order Leads to Inner Calm is published by Capstone. You can also follow Gill on twitter @gillhasson