I agree about getting rid of things a little at a time, DLR. That's why I feel it's all a big process.
I feel similar to almost everything you expressed, Josantoro. Especially about saving everything. I keep thinking about my mom complaining about how her one bedroom apartment isn't big enough for her and how she can't get it organized because there's not room for all her stuff, and then seeing the two-foot high stack of plastic deli containers cluttering up her kitchen counter, among many other similar things, stuff she will never, ever use that prevents her from using the counters for anything but holding junk. It will sit there for years until she moves out of that place, and then someone else will have to deal with it all. I don't want to be like you said, having people wonder what we were thinking to keep all that stuff. And I don't want to force someone else, even if it's someone hired to come in and hold an estate sale after we're gone, to have to sort through a ton of excess junk to get to the things that actually have value. I'll never forget Husby having to give up an entire day of his life breaking down cardboard boxes in Mom's old basement because she kept them all for the fifteen years she lived in that house. Even when it was time to leave that house, she was upset for days because 'someone could use those' and couldn't understand why we didn't have the time or energy or willingness to find that mythical someone who wanted a basement full of old boxes. We still have a ways to go purging our own place but we're getting there. I still want a smaller house if/when we move out of this place and I don't want to wait till it's time to move and then be forced to make choices without time to think things through.
I think the biggest thing that helped us get rid of so much stuff is to give ourselves permission to make mistakes. It's inevitable, and if we discover we got rid of something we should have kept, we replace it without any guilt. We can only do the best we can do, and also circumstances change and what we didn't need sometimes we need when something does change. There haven't been many things we've regretted letting go of. Most things, it's been a relief to have it gone.
The flip side of getting rid of things is not acquiring them in the first place. I'm getting better at that and most times I do okay. But with my latest large project, I've come close to falling off the wagon. I'm getting back under control now though. The original plan was to buy two new kitchen base cabinets to build a new craft table, which I really do need. But after some thought I realized I really hated having the two base cabinets we have in our back porch. The things that need to be in them don't fit. I'm making them into the new base now. They need some modification and repair, and they'll have to be painted too. But I won't have to spend hundreds of dollars on them, plus I get the space back they were taking up in the back porch. I've already moved a different storage cabinet into that space, another repurpose that cost nothing, and we'll give that a try before buying or building something new. I already like that better, which is a good sign. I have most of what I'll need to get the craft table the way I want it, which will use up some lumber in the garage and save money. If I don't have what I need, the plan is to change the plans a little to be able to use what we do have rather than buy new stuff. For a while I was thinking I need a bar stool to use with the craft table, but I have a step stool in the kitchen just steps away, so I'm going to see how it goes to just use that. Less stuff in the house.
I was also thinking about buying an antique sewing machine and cabinet, but decided to move one I already have and which is already rehabbed into the house from my office instead. Less stuff, and I'm not acquiring another project I don't have time for.
I'm happy to have thought about the things I can repurpose rather than buying more things. I'm fairly confident it's all going to work out well.