What it finally took...
There's nothing like going through another person's accumulated stuff to get you to get rid of some of your own.
For about 6 years, ever since I last moved, I have been telling myself I really need to clean out some of the stuff in my storage room. After weeks of sorting through the effects of my great aunt who has moved to a nursing home, leaving behind most of her things in her apartment, I finally got going with my own junk.
She hoarded stuff. Never threw out food, even if it expired years ago, never threw out clothes even when they didn't fit her any more. Some of this was no doubt due to her having rheumatism and not being able to lift things, and Alsheimer's that made her forget she had bought something. My aunt, grandmother and cousins have been sorting through her things and everyone has kept something they know she loved and would have hated to see thrown out, but most of her useful stuff is going to a charity shop. Of course, in between we have thanked her for her hoarding. We found telegrams my great grandparents got when they were married, old letters, photographs and birthday cards belonging to family members long gone, things that are part of our family history and we wouldn't get rid of for anything.
I washed 6 loads of clothes to take to the Red Cross clothing collection container, and soon I will be taking a number of boxes full of books and ornaments to the charity shop.
All of this got me thinking that I don't want my relatives to go through this when I am either dead, or too weak or too out of it to sort my own things. I made a start this weekend: I emptied 5 boxes of broken toys, old school notes, books I no longer have use for and other stuff, threw away half of it and took the useful stuff to the charity shop. I still have a number of boxes to look through, but it's a start.