We all struggle to let go of clutter with sentimental baggage attached - we might not need, want or use it any more but we still struggle to let it go. That's totally normal, and in fact I am feeling as though with some items it's only a matter of giving myself time to build up to it, or even better, finding a better 'tribute' to that person or experience.
However, a huge proportion of the clutter in my life is not sentimental baggage, but practical things. Stationery, for example - half-used pads of paper, slowly drying pens, battered ring binders, dividers with the ghost of previous uses and crumpled document wallets. The leftovers of various packs of notepaper and cards, usually intended for thank you letters and now collecting dust.
This kind of thing just takes space. HUGE amounts of space. But I struggle to let go of it because it seems wasteful - surely the frugal thing is to hang on to these, and use them? The very rare occasions when I need something and dig it out of my pile rather than go out and buy something seem to reinforce this, even though the frequency pales in comparison to the way my heart sinks every time I open the cupboard door and see this:
And then what do I do with it if I can let it go? Chuck it in the bin and consign it to landfill? Most of this isn't recyclable, but also isn't any where near good enough condition to be sold. I could donate if I knew anyone who would use it, but how on earth to I identify a charity in need of basic stationery?
I think this is probably a fairly typical dilemma faced with decluttering. In an ideal world, I just wouldn't have accumulated this stuff, but I have and I need to face up to that and work out how to move forward.
The most ridiculous thing about all this is that I'm wasting so much time and energy worrying about something so unimportant. Maybe the easiest thing is to just chuck the whole pile out and be careful what I keep or buy in future - but that just feels so wasteful!