For me, putting my house in order isn't just about making sure I only have the things I want and need, it's also about clearing my mind and changing how I live. Last year I helped a friend start to declutter his mother's bedroom as she had died in 2006 and he and his brother had put off the task because they were upset and overwhelmed. She had never, apparently, decluttered in her life but being of the war generation had hung onto everything, every hair pin, receipt, bank statement, greetings card and exercise book as well as all her clothes and those of her relatives. It was like an archaeological dig for me but the greatest thing I learned from the experience was something important about myself: I discovered my love of simplicity and order and my ability to make it happen. All I had to do was to trust myself to do the same thing in my own life. So far I am finding it takes courage and hard work but also a lot of determination.