I love decluttering. First I watch an episode of Hoarders to freak my self out, then I go to town. Kitchens really are a great place to start. Chipped dishes, Tupperware without a lid, gimme cups, plates, etc. For some reason the dairy industry loves useless kitchen crap as giveaways. I like one appliance or utensil that can do many things.
One great closet trick is to put everything you think you want to keep inside out on a hanger. After 6 months, if it is still inside out, ditch it.
So think about your clutter. Toss and get it cleaned up and be consistent. Those little treasures to you may be somebody else's trash.
Seriously? Chuck out those little treasures that make you feel good, bring back memories, you like, or whatever just because they might be someone else's trash? That's not really what you meant, is it? Things like photos fall into that category - family, pets, travel photos are all junk to someone else. Things like horsehair pottery, scrapbooks, and home videos fall into that category.
The six month rule just doesn't work for clothing where I live. The climate here is totally different between winter and summer, so pretty much every item of winter or summer clothing and stuff would have to be tossed out and repurchased every year.
I watch Hoarders on occasion to scare myself. I could become one of those people so easily, but I'm nowhere near that bad. The horse stuff is much tidier than my home stuff. I saw a documentary called "My Messy Life" on tv one time. The guy went and talked to messy people all over and experts. It seems that messy people's brains work in a different way, and they can be creative in a different way because of it. The interesting thing about a lot of messy people (this may be where the brain differences came into play) is that they can lay their hands on something specific in the mess very quickly. The documentary maker challenged people to find something specific (to that person) and only one of them failed to find the item altogether. This struck a chord with me because I once boggled my manager's mind by pulling the piece of paper he wanted out of the piles on my desk in less than 30s. I do go on rampages of chucking things out and tidying up every so often (and subsequently can't find a darn thing) but I don't stress about it.
Maybe I'll leave some money in my will designated for 1-800-GOT-JUNK to come and haul everything away after I'm dead so no one will have to go through my stuff.
I live with my boyfriend and he is a keeper of crap. Not a hoarder. But a keeper of crap and a person who also struggles to find the garbage for stuff he even identifies as garbage. Take out containers, food wrappers, even bits and pieces from the stuff he cooks from scratch pile up if I'm not home for a few days.
He gets stressed out when I ask him to help clean crap out of the house- he makes vague references to something about growing up and not getting new things? Or not being allowed to keep many things? I'm not sure, sometimes he's oddly dramatic and gets super defensive.
We have BOXES of electronic pieces and doodads sitting around here. Cables, wires, parts, kits half assembled, etc. And lots of eBay tchotkes. They cost more to ship than they cost to purchase. And they cost even MORE sitting around my house collecting dust and cluttering shit.
It's hard to both advocate for my sanity and respect his emotional crap-keeping needs Sometimes I fantasize about throwing away the whole box when he isn't looking. I'm not sure he'd ever really notice. Until that one day, 5 years from now, when he's looking for some random cable to hook up to the random thing he bought off eBay and realizes what I've done... dun dun dunnnnn.
I'd probably feel less stressed about the crap if it was at least transferred out of the tattered cardboard box and into a nice plastic tote I can stack with our other totes. I think I just realized what I'm doing today!!