Loving this thread! It caught my eye as I have been on a mission to get rid of stuff this year, and I ended up reading it end to end. Lots of motivation and useful tips, thank you.
I read online somewhere about a challenge to get rid of 2015 in 2015. I'm up to over 400 already, and the crazy thing is, I haven't missed any of it! My husband thought I was nuts, but watched on, and the strange thing is... after years of asking him to clear out drawers full of old useless crap, since watching me clear things, he has started doing it.
I really agree with someone upthread that if you mention the stuff, they become very attached, and it can feel like an attack. But just watching me do it seems to have motivated him, amazing!
I'm a, 'But what if I need it!' keeper of things. I've realised that a lot of the stuff I was keeping was easy to come by (eg, cardboard. Um, I can go in the kitchen and get some anytime I need it, there is no reason to keep an entire magazine holder filled with random sheets of it). I am allowing myself to keep things that cannot easily be replaced though, because we do fix up a lot of stuff around the house, and when you need something, you really need it.
So instead of whether I want to keep something, I ask myself, if I needed this, would I be able to procure it (from a shop, or online)? If the answer is yes, I let the shop store it for me. If I wouldn't be able to just buy it, then I can keep it.
An example, because I know this sounds vague, is that I make my own handbags. Finding something to make the base rigid is hard. The pro stuff is really expensive, for something that will never be seen. You can't use anything that will disintegrate over time or with damp (so cardboard is out). So when I was throwing away broken folders, keeping the plastic sides was allowed, because it will be absolutely perfect for that job, it is free, and I DO make bags.
Accepting that there are plenty of hobbies that I would like to do, but won't, has been freeing. I've got rid of so much jewellery making stuff. I have the time for hobbies, because I've got plenty. If I've never yet actually made any jewellery, I clearly don't want to do it that badly - it's the IDEA I like, not the actual craft.
I've also been using up toiletries I don't like and not buying any more. Most things I can do without, I just (again) like the idea of being the kind of person to use cleanser, when, in fact, I always reach for a face wipe (it's the perfectionist in me. I feel guilty using face-wipes because they are disposable and wasteful, but, you know what? It's more wasteful to buy products to replace them that I won't use!).
Keep the tips coming!