I never think of myself as a big shopper or a packrat, but apparently I am both, because this place just fills up. I think part of the problem is that when cleaning up one area, I tend to drop the items onto another, with the plan of putting them away later, thus simply moving the piles rather than making them disappear, making me a realtor for my stuff rather than a cleaner. (The other, perhaps larger problem is that I'd rather knit than clean, but really, who wouldn't?)
When we lived in a 2 bedroom house, in 3 years we managed to fill up a large portion of both the attic and the basement, and that was before children. Granted, our living area was always neat and tidy, but that's what happens when you have extra rooms to throw all your miscellaneous junk into. You know, those things that you pick up and think, "Oh, this Vegetable-Peeler-Head-Lamp could come in handy, maybe, someday, if I ever need to peel potatoes in the dark, like if there's a power outage right before dinner." Said item is then placed in the extra space, never to be looked at again. As we knew we were moving to an apartment, we had a moving sale, the stuff became someone else's problem, and we ended up with some cash.
We now have NO extra space, and while it really helps to keep our accumulation of stuff down, any clutter ends up taking up living space. So, the grand project began yesterday; I attacked the bedroom, The Professor worked on the computer area, and the kids were given the assignment to go through their toys, throwing the broken things away, and putting anything that they no longer wanted but that could be given away into a pile.
I'm pleased to say the bedroom and computer area are looking good; however, when I went into the kids' room after several hours of "work," I discovered a garbage bag with a single piece of paper in it, and a tiny pile of toys no one would ever be interested in, which is why my children were willing to part with them. Hmmm....this may take a bit more overseeing on my part.