TOPICS: Farewell to Harry step in the right direction

DECLUTTER: Herald photographer Simone De Peak, left. One Direction’s Harry Styles was last seen at Waikiki, and right, letting go of a unique opener. Picture: Simone De PeakNEWCASTLE Herald photographer extraordinaire Simone De Peak has been decluttering her life.
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Today she ends her year-long odyssey.

Simone has been documenting her experiences of discarding personal possessions at theherald南京夜网.au and her @simonedepeak Instagram account.

‘‘I’ve been a collector all my life,’’ she told Topics.

‘‘There’s generations in my family where we’ve all collected something – I’ve inherited that gene, I guess.’’

Simone’s journey, called ‘‘365 days of decluttering’’, involved taking a photograph of an item each day, before discarding it.

‘‘If I went on holidays, I took items with me,’’ she said.

She folded a life-size Harry Styles (of boy band One Direction) cardboard cutout in her suitcase on a trip to Hawaii and left it on a deckchair on Waikiki Beach.

She purchased the cutout while covering a story of a One Direction merchandise caravan in Newcastle.

Another highlight was leaving behind a kangaroo scrotum wine-bottle opener on a roadtrip to Byron Bay.

‘‘I decluttered it next to a kangaroo roadkill,’’ Simone said.

‘‘Boy did I get some looks taking a photo of that.’’

As well as discarding items in interesting places, friends and colleagues claimed some, others were sold at markets and some went to op-shops.

So how does she feel now her journey is at an end?

‘‘It’s been quite a cleansing experience – almost like a weight lifted off me,’’ she said.

‘‘Sometimes I think possessions can bog you down.’’

Topics agrees.

WHEN Topics columnist Tim Connell visited the forementioned One Direction merchandise truck in Newcastle last January, he was informed he resembled band member Niall. Actually, I think Tim is much better looking than Niall. And I’m not just being nice to Tim to make him think I’m doing a good job in his absence.

KAREN PHILLIP: The family therapist has offered tips for the new year.

AT the risk of this Topics column heading in only one direction (a dad joke, if I’ve ever heard one), we’ll move on to discuss New Year’s resolutions.

Caves Beach family therapist Karen Phillip told Topics: ‘‘The new year is the time we reassess our position and make a committed effort to change or improve ourselves or life.

‘‘We can look at past issues and decide we will no longer tolerate the same behaviours of others or even ourselves.’’

The problem is, most resolutions are discarded by February, she says.

So what can people do to make their resolution stick?

Dr Phillip says we should: analyse what we want to change and set a time frame to achieve it; write down a resolution and put it on the fridge or somewhere where it will be seen; determine steps to fulfil the goal; involve others to keep us accountable; focus on the end result.

Doesn’t sound too hard, does it?