I have a really nice 3 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor of a three family house. We moved there in July of 2003 when my parents bought the house and subsequently moved into the middle apartment.
There were 3 of us then, now there are 2. Me and a sassy, smart, sensitive and fashion conscious 9 year old. Sidenote - The Kid is starting a club with her little gang of girlfriends that promote the honor of friendship and for fashion styling. Heaven help me. Ok, back to topic: Even though there are only 2 of us, we have accumulated a LOT of stuff. The 3rd bedroom has really never served as anything but a room for all the extra crap that I can't get rid of but don't use. Some examples: the portable heater to be used while The Kid is bathing in winter, about 5 blankets (to be used in case of a Day After Tomorrow type deep freeze), an antique dresser filled with my sweaters and on top, my jewelry and perfume, boxes & boxes of books (I admit there are 2 boxes that are my college textbooks, I graduated in 1994) and a clothes drying rack.
When Ex moved out, I was merciless at erasing him from MY apartment. I discarded 5 contractor sized garbage bags of junk that he left behind. He would notoriously open a bill, save all the moronic advertisements that were enclosed for me to look at, "in case I need to buy something," When I opened a bill, all I saved at were the bill and the envelope. Everything else was trash. I found a pile of these advertisement that was 3 years in the making and 6 or 7 inches high. I wanted to have a ceremonial burning of his collection, but I got a good enough amount of satisfaction of tearing every one of them in half and throwing them out. Another thing, He always had an extra 3 or 4 bottles of dish soap under the sink, but never managed to ever purchase a sponge.
Needless to say, over the years since he moved out, I got lazy. There are now cracks and crevices in my apartment brimming with junk. I'm good at cleaning off flat surfaces, but the clothes are where I'm weak. The whole if-you-haven't-worn-it-on-a-year rule is broken in my closet. The Kid's closet/dresser are up-to-date, but I really, REALLY need to clean out my clothing. I need to part with a few sweaters, but most of them were hand-knit by either my mother or her friend, Natalie. There's one sweater in my dresser that my mom made for my grandmother. When Grandma died, I took the sweater. I've never worn it since since i took possession of it in 2003. But...how can I get rid of a sweater that my mom made and that belonged to Grandma. See how I trip myself up all the time? I focus on one article of clothing.
I'm embarrassed that I have a 6 room apartment and I only use 5 rooms. I harbor fantasies of making that 3rd bedroom a reading/relaxation room. Or making it a tv room. Or making it an exercise room. If only I could fantasize about cleaning the damn room out!!
I'm good at getting rid of shoes that are worn out, because then I have an excuse to buy new prettier ones.
My friend, Lisa, says that when things get difficult or when she's in a period of emotional turmoil, she cleans out a closet. She says it gives her perspective and a sense of balance. I think I need to try it.