1. We have rituals built into our lives to acquire things, but not to get rid of them.
Birthdays, Christmas, Mother's/Fathers Day, new school year, new seasons, new interests... All bring things into our lives, but aside from a vague notion of Spring Cleaning or if you happen to be moving, we don't impose decluttering in any sort of regular way. I almost always have a bin in my home - a purge pile of sorts. My preference is that I wait until it is overflowing (a month or so) and then put it into the trunk of my car, where it can sit for another couple months and I can change my mind about the things I thought I wanted to get rid of (Purgatory, you may call it). Finally, it can go to a donation center. Porter, for better or worse, sees any open bin and it is out in his car and to the drop-off in a day. Sometimes he just takes things from the home he thinks are useless and I'll find them in his car just in the nick of time. Who knows how many things I haven't caught in time!
RESOLUTION: Get rid of stuff. Regularly. Some people have a 'One thing in, One thing out' rule, which I'm up for, at least in theory
2. Most STUFF belongs to kids
It's no surprise. Toys, clothes and supplies have a gravitational pull. It's easy enough to get rid of stuff that is broken or worn out, but if I'm not sentimental about it, my kid is, and if no one is I think 'maybe the next baby will want/use this' so we end up with bins of items that aren't being used and really we don't know if/how they will be used in the future, so they just sit. There's certainly a financial aspect to it. I've read a number of criticisms of the minimalist movement that point out how economic privilege is so often a factor in going minimal. I save old crap so I don't have to buy it again. But then again, if you're minimal in all ways, you're likely saving enough money that you could buy it again later if you need to.
3. My current stuff mantra: Own it if you love it, only if you love it
It's a mantra I often use when shopping. I'm a sucker for a deal and am prone to buying things because they are on sale or for perceived value. When traveling something seems so cool in the context of travels but is a dust collector at home. At thrift/consignment/antique/craigslist sales, something seems one of a kind and priced so much less than they would had it been new that I get duped into buying it. On the other hand, I'm a tightwad and hate spending money in general. So I have to remind myself that it's okay to buy something if I'm crazy about it, but if I'm not crazy about it, it's probably not worth it. So it should go for decluttering. If I love it, I should keep it, even if no one else gets it. If I don't (or someone in my family, I guess they should get a say too), then it should go.
This should be simple...right?