We have lived in this house for over 5 years now - 5 years, count 'em. We've recently been discussing our stuff - and not the lack of it. Why is it when you finally land in one spot you feel the need to accumulate way more things than you could ever use? The knee jerk reaction of course is to start getting rid of it, but past experience has shown both of us that is not the way to handle it. Because it's like moving - when you first start packing up your stuff everything is carefully wrapped to prevent breakage, all your cardboard boxes are neatly taped and labeled, sorted by room or person. After about a week, it's a free for all, the moving van is here, you have no time left and you find yourself just stuffing and flinging things in what ever is empty and can hold stuff - laundry baskets, trash cans, trash bags. You pack it all and arrive at your new destination.....surrounded by all the crap you really didn't want which goes back into the attic, basement and garage. After you move a few times you shed all the crap and you move with efficiency, you have what you need, no more , no less.
But when you stop moving, you start collecting again - we are not even near making it to the Discovery Channel level of hoarding, we're not even hoarding. But we have stuff - I have a ton of Cd's that have been untouched since I now have YouTube and Bluetooth. I have an ereader which eliminated a lot of the books, those have been pared down already to ones I just love or knitting and cookbooks. I weeded through my clothes when I took out the summer stuff and got rid of a lot of that, shoes are not an issue as they are a favorite target for vengeance from the dog. But the other stuff - the basement, garage and attic stuff, it has to go.
But if you try to do it all at once you're pretty quickly reduced to just tossing it all out at once. I do it one section at a time, I've reduced my Cd's to 4 shoebox size bins and gotten rid of one large plastic bin. After I do this eventually I'll go through it again, I've found in the past if you go through it twice you can rid of what you really don't want anymore with out pitching the whole lot out, kit and caboodle. Because we've done that and six months later you're back down at the store re-buying it because you do use it once in awhile. The boys still have some stuff here, we will be donating some old clothes of theirs that they don't even remember having, the rest can stay til they collect it or we go to the nursing home. And there's things I will never get rid of , my collection of National Lampoon (and no, it's not worth a dime, my friends and I read them to shreds), my ceramic animal collection, a few odds and ends from childhood, but not much. But as I get older with the exception of knitting stuff and my cooking pots I am done with the decorations and stuff, I just can't be bothered.