My wife and I are going through all of the boxes in our basement in preparation for a rummage sale--and to just get rid of a bunch of stuff that we haven't looked at in ages. We are nowhere near the kinds of messes you see on Hoarders but there are some things that are very hard to get rid of--even if they serve no meaningful purpose anymore.
Let me first say that NONE of my sports trophies will ever leave the Man Cave. Those were all earned by being on winning teams--not like the participation trophies that clutter the rooms of today's kids. If I'm ever put in an assisted living facility or a nursing home, I want all of those surrounding my deathbed too. After I'm gone, THEN you can throw them away.
What's actually been the hardest to part with has been books. For some reason, we believe that books hold some intrinsic value that should never warrant being thrown in the trash or the recycling bin. Some you just like to have on the shelf to make yourself look intelligent. I've got several large history volumes and a bunch of Russian literary classics like that. Some of my books are autographed or inscribed by the author or the athlete that wrote them--and I think that makes them even more valuable. A few I bought overseas and I've never seen them in bookstores here--so I think they are somehow "rare" and might be worth big bucks some day.
But even the most ragged-eared paperback is difficult to throw in the trash. "Some kid might want a low-cost copy of Hamlet or Tom Sawyer for a school reading assignment" I think, as I put the 35-year old edition in the "donate" box. I should realize that kids no longer read "the classics" because they were all written by white people about white people and therefore are not "inclusive enough" for today's classroom. I'd probably be doing society a favor by burning those books--especially The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn--in the street to show how "tolerant" I am.
I know that most kids grew up reading their Harry Potter books in actual print form--but the Kindle and tablet computers continues to encroach upon the printed words reach in society. Perhaps a middle-aged man 30-years from now will be struggling with the decision to delete downloads from his adolescence because his wife wants more memory space.