An Irish psychologist is encouraging people to be a 'little bit ruthless' and work to declutter their home.
The last year has seen most people spending more and more time in their homes or apartments due to pandemic restrictions.
It means a big change in the way people are using their homes, and it means many will now be more familiar with the mess in their rooms.
Dublin-based psychologist Jason O’Callaghan - of the D4 Clinic - told Lunchtime Live there's often a lot of emotions around the 'stuff' people accumulate.
He explained: “We call it decluttering, and we call it hoarding, but there’s an awful lot of anxiety around this in general.
“Our home is so special, and it costs so much for us to live in our homes, whether we’re renting or owning. But how much of the stuff in your home is taking up space, and not paying its way?"
He said it's important to be honest with yourself, and look at whether things have been used in the past six months or so.
He observed: "The clothes, the boxes… everyone has these drawers, with batteries, elastic band, make-up and all this stuff.
“There may be technology you use now that you didn’t use years ago, or vice versa… obsolete cables, obsolete VHS or DVD players, clothes you may be too big or small for… everything has changed.
“Clearing out your house or home or room has a way of also decluttering your mind.
“Look around your room, look around your house - say it’s time to be a little bit ruthless."
Explaining his own family's decluttering efforts - inspired by a Netflix documentary called The Minimalists - he said it's absolutely fine to hold on to sentimental things such as photographs.
However, he said there are many things that aren't used and can easily be gotten rid of.
He said: “It’s really about you fitting your stuff to your current lifestyle, not your old lifestyle.
“It’s like we say to clients… we can’t make you lose weight or stop smoking. Equally, somebody can’t make you get rid of your stuff… you have to be in a frame of mind.
“It’s about doing what’s comfortable for you. I found I had maybe 10 winter coats, but I wear the same one nearly every day. I had a lot of suits… I don’t wear suits in work anymore, and the suits were ten years old."
He noted that while many people may have drawers or boxes full of old bills or documentation, much of that is now online so the paper records may not be needed any more.
For those with children, he suggested holding on to toys the kids use on a day-to-day basis - rather than just holding on to every neglected, broken or old toy.