If you've ever watched the reality show " Hoarding, Buried Alive" you start to wonder how such huge amounts of Stuff came to be in one place.
At what point did people need to start stepping over Stuff to get from one side of the room to another, and why did that ever seem normal.
I figure it was one little thing at a time. No one just dumped a couple boxes of Stuff in the living room and left it there. One shirt, one book, one newspaper at a time. That's how people gain all this weight, one pound at a time.
If you've ever lifted a 20 pound rock and carried it up a hill, you can't wait until you can finally set it down. That's what 20 pounds of fat feels like.
Its little by little we de-junk, loose weight, change habits.
Lots of backpackers planning a long hike start out with a mass of gear they feel is necessary to get them down the trail. The longer they hike, the more they get rid of. Little by little they learn what they need to haul down the trail. One of my favorite Thoreau quote is "My greatest skill is to need but little".
Tuckerizing is a term Appalachian Trail hikers use to describe paring down the contents of their pack. Using an ultra lighter's gear list helps with this, even if they don't want to go that extreme. It gives you a starting point. Visit http://trailquest.net/ultralight.html, or my home page for gear list links http://trailquest.net/BRindex.html
As I watch these Hoarding Reality shows, I'm amazed at how difficult it is for owners to part with their goods in spite of the bad condition of most of the stuff. There's a lot of emotionalism. Therapists and family members reason with the owners, not always succeeding in bringing rational thought.
I remember loving a jean skirt and thinking it was so cool. A friend came over to my house and needed to borrow it. Seeing it on her made me realize how worn out it had become. I had been blinded with emotionalism. Needless to say, it hit the rag bag when she was done borrowing it.
If a person finds themselves in a cluttered condition, they can downsize by just working on one drawer or one closet each day. Really Tuckerize, put emotionalism aside and call a moratorium on shopping or spending until the house has been finished.