We have been led to believe that acquiring “stuff” is essential to achieving happiness. Buy more and you will find contentment. Newsflash – this is not true.

Of course, purchasing something new is a rush of excitement and happiness – that brown box filled with Amazon goodies, those boots you had your eye on for weeks, the smell of that new car – the endorphins flood your body for all of about two days, and then you begin to focus on the next new item that you just have to buy.

And it’s not your fault – it really isn’t. Blame those advertising companies, that fashionista you follow on Instagram, the people around you – because they all influence you and send you the same subliminal message – buy it, it will make you feel good.

But like that maple-glazed doughnut, the high is soon replaced by the dip. That feel-good rush fades quickly and you seek another hit of retail therapy. You can’t win – you won’t win. So how about opting for the alternative?

How about downsizing your life by lightening the load and reducing the amount of physical “stuff” you have in your life? You will be amazed what it will also do for you mentally.

The next time you open the cupboards and drawers in your bedroom, take stock of the amount of shoes, jumpers, jeans and t-shirts you have amassed. Chances are you have 5-10 pairs of shoes that are very similar to each other, at least four black t-shirts, three pairs of blue jeans that no-one can tell apart except you, and so on. You will have so many duplicates that if you reduced your wardrobe down to just one or two of each item, you will have halved it already.

Then there’s the paperwork – all those receipts, takeaway menus from restaurants that no longer exist, notebooks and bank slips that are no longer useful. Scan or photograph the important documents and then shred, shred, shred. And voila – instant “weight” loss from your home, which is guaranteed to make you feel lighter.

Next stop is the kitchen. Now, as much as you like mugs and teaspoons, you probably don’t need 20 of each. And the same goes for plates –the most you use on a regular basis is probably between two and four, so play it safe and keep six.

Books – so many books, of which you probably only want to keep about ten. The rest are merely gathering dust and taking up space.

Charity and goodwill shops would love to receive the unwanted items from your home – and within a few days of donating, you won’t even notice their absence. In fact, you will wonder why you didn’t do this years ago.

Sure, the mere thought of this downsizing process may fill you with dread and anxiety, but once you start, you will find yourself actually looking forward to filling the next donation box. It’s strangely addictive, and as you rid yourself of the physical weight of unnecessary possessions, you will notice that your mental wellbeing also improves. Take the first step today – you won’t regret it.