We've been married for 11 years. When we moved into this house, we brought most of what we each had in our "before" houses. That included stuff from our parents, an aunt, a few things I was storing for my grown up children... I think you get the picture.
To make things worse, we are both voracious readers and have thousands of books between us. I have lots of sewing, knitting and other craft supplies. DH collects stamps, coins, icons, postcards and has a huge amount of model railway equipment. We have more "stuff" on our walls than some galleries. No real theme, just things we like. China cabinet, kitchen cupboards... all full... and boxes of dishes downstairs. Ditto for old linens... the kind that people lovingly embroidered or crocheted... but that can't just be thrown in the washer and dryer, and actually have to be ironed.
I don't want our kids to have to clean up this mess someday. I want us to sort through it, pick out specific things for our 4 children (after pinning them down to what they really WANT), then sell, donate or throw away the rest.
We started in a very small way yesterday, by cleaning under the basement steps and going through an old trunk, 6 boxes of DD#2's books, and several boxes of dishes. The books, mostly from university 20 years ago and mostly soft-covered, were easy... recycle. Saved the history books for DD#3 to check and the fiction for me. Trunk was mostly silver plate. Some from my first wedding, some picked up at auctions. Does anyone want silver plate any more? Will check with an antique consignment shop. Ditto for old dishes and ornaments.
It's a slow process, and sad at times. Found medals that a friend of the family got in WW1. He married but had no family. Will check whether the regiment has a museum... If not, maybe my son would like them. Two of my children will probably never have children... Who will get/want their things?
Now that we've started, I think this will be an all-winter project. WooHoo! I can see emptier spaces in our future.