Inspiring thread! I come from a family of hoarders and keepers, and I always fight that compulsion. I live in a really tiny apartment which is pretty packed with stuff--sometimes people suggest I move to someplace bigger and I'm always like, "No, I just need to get rid of some stuff I already have."
But, I don't really do purges. Too scary!
Instead I'll go through 100 things and throw out 10. Then next time I'll go through the remaining 90 things and throw out another 10... I'll gradually start to forget why I hadn't thrown out some of the things last time, and eventually I'll get down to maybe 10 items that passed "inspection" every time, that I really want to keep.
Also, I'm trying to use
stuff up, too. In 2005 and 2006 I subscribed to a couple of magazines that I really liked, but I kept not getting around to reading them, and they piled up. Finally THIS YEAR I said, I need to do something about these--either throw them away, or read them. I really wanted to try reading them, so I set a goal of how many I would read each week. When I find an article I really like, I fold the corners down, and then I make a pile of the magazines I've read. When the pile gets "high," I go through and rip out the articles I've marked, and I save those, and throw the rest of the magazine away.
I know my mom would've just tossed out the entire pile of old magazines and not looked back. But for me, that would've made me feel like a failure, and I don't think I would've learned
anything from it. I feel really good seeing the stack of magazines get lower and lower, knowing I've gone through each one and saved what I was interested in. And, the effort I'm going through now is a strong reminder that I need to not be complacent--either I read the (new) magazines I receive right away, or I should stop subscribing to them because I obviously don't have time for them. And I think that's working--I still get a few magazines, and now I really make an effort to read them within a week or two, instead of chucking them into a pile.