Think about your kitchen cupboards.
Do you use every item in those cupboards? Or do you have a few go-to pieces that you use all the time?
Do you clean out your pantry, moving older items up to the front? Or do you put new things on the front of the shelf and use whatever you grab first?
What's in your basement? Or your closets? Do you know? Are there things that are broken? Things you don't use?
I never used to think much about these things until I had to clean out my dad's house this summer. He had four TVs in his house. Only two were plugged in and he only used one of those. Of the other two, one was the HUGE TV we had had in our family room 30 years ago when I was a kid - the sort with buttons and knobs and no remote. Why he still had it, I don't know.
In the basement, he also still had the hideous couch my parents owned in the early seventies (I think of it as the "straw couch" in that my coloring on it with a red crayon when I was around three was the "straw that broke the camel's back," sending me to day care and my mom back to work.)
While Dad's health declined, he stopped cooking, so there were many pots and pans that were in pretty sad shape when I found them. Half the food in the cabinets had expired. He had boxes of crystal wine glasses stashed in a hall closet. I'm guessing they were my mothers, so he saved them, but had replaced them long ago. After this summer, I no longer wondered where my pack rat tendencies came from!
In the weeks of cleaning things out, throwing away damaged and broken items, and stacking multiples of things, a sense of desperation grew. I started thinking about my own home - the things I don't use, the broken things that get set aside to fix later, the unfinished projects, the old toys and clothes stashed in a closet because no one wants to part with them, even though no one uses them.... Every time I called home, I told my husband we HAVE to clean out our house. We have to simplify to the essentials so someone doesn't have to go through our house this way, wondering why we have kept the things we have.
With the start of my new job, that cleaning project hasn't happened, yet. But I have my eye on Christmas vacation....