I collect cookbooks, but I make up recipes off the top of my head. Something there doesn't compute. So two big boxes out the door, handed off to friends who gleefully cracked them open and got to work.
This week my kids were roped into the struggle. (There was weeping about this NOT being a vacation for them...) Pulled all their books off their bookcase and asked which they wanted to keep...the others becoming a third grade library for a friend who'll return to the classroom in the fall. The kids had outgrown the majority of these books, and we hadn't really noticed. Hadn't taken the time.
Yesterday I finally gave in and emptied the large closet in our spare room. That's when it hit me - I was unpacking old versions of myself. Or scarier, old versions of my expectations of myself. Quilts I had started but not quite finished. Dried flowers--really? Was there ever a real plan, or just some idea that a suburban housewife would know to do SOMETHING with such things? Once I made that realization, it was much much easier to cull. I kept my sewing machine, four pieces of fabric (each with a specific project in mind), enough fiberfill to restuff some flattened pillows, and my mending box. Oh, and the glue gun, for the kids' class projects. One small box of stuff we might use for Sunday school, and all the rest we took to a center for artists. And now we have a mostly empty closet--welcoming for our guests, and a bit more breathing room for all of us.