We all horde household items we don’t need, from the bookcase of dog-eared children’s books to the second clothes dryer we’re holding on to in case our current one bites the dust.

But whether we are moving house, preparing to sell our home, or simply making room for the arrival of a new family member, there comes a time in all our lives when we simply need to cull these excess items – not only to ensure a tidy and orderly living space, but also in the name of safety.

Sure, sorting through your possessions can be tough – and parting with them even tougher. So with this in mind, we’ve put together the following handy guide to help you find new homes for those special things that no longer enjoy pride-of-place in your daily lives.

Step 1: Is it trash or treasure?

Begin by sorting through your belongings and separating what you want to keep, what you no longer need but is still useable, and what should simply be thrown away. Make sure you put in the latter pile anything that doesn’t work anymore, and what can’t (or simply won’t) be fixed – there’s no use holding on to these items if they’re just going to continue gathering dust in the corner. Then, take a visit to the local tip.

Step 2: Spruik and sell online

Post anything you don’t need but is still valuable on a sales or auction website like Ebay or Gumtree – you won’t believe what some people are prepared to pay for your hand-me-downs. Note: it’s worth doing a little research first to see what’s in demand – obviously no-one’s going to buy a three-legged chair (or are they?).

Step 3: Give the gift

Give useable items away to your friends and family (just make sure they didn’t give it to you as a birthday or Christmas gift in the first place!).

Step 4: Donate to charity

An organisation like the Salvation Army can distribute your excess belongings to those who really need them. Just make sure to call them first to see if they want what you’re offering, otherwise you might end up having to tow it all back home.

Step 5: Sell it from your backyard

Garage sales can be very time-consuming, but they can also be fruitful. If time is an issue, recruit your nearest and dearest to help you man the counter. The best garage sales are those that are well-advertised, so make sure you pop posters up not only around your own neighbourhood, but also your neighbouring neighbourhoods, and also online.

Step 6: Self storage

Remember Step 1 when you separated all the things you want to keep? Now it’s time to sort through these things and work out what you need on a day-to-day basis, and what can be kept in a secure, off-site storage area.

Grace Self Storage offers on-demand mobile self storage that can house a range of belongings, from furniture right through to office documents. Our handy self storage module comes directly to you, where you pack it (or we can help you pack it), before locking it with your own key. We then take it back to our secure warehouse until you need to access it.

So don’t let all those excess belongings sit around and gather dust: with a little organisation, you can free-up a spare room – or an entire household – and help those in need at the same time.