I've spent most of the day cleaning stuff out, circumstances being as they are, ma finally decided on cleaning out the hallway closet - a prelude to deeper cleaning. I always knew she would find someway to enlist me >_>.
The thing that irks me is that of course, my mother hates to throw anything out. My family are pack rats, among other things. Out of the entire closet, I would say that the keep pile outweighs the chunk it pile. At least plenty got done for a change, I could swear some of that stuff was older than I am!
People go through life acquiring a lot of stuff, to some people their "Stuff" is everything. In my honest opinion, if it's no use to you: then either find someone who can use it or throw it out, and skew this years landfill calculations in a more accurate direction lol. I offered suggestions where I know a better home for some things (generally accepted), even noted that others like the useful "Collections" of encyclopedic or more scientific materials should be donated to the library. Of course, she wouldn't hear that and those had to be chucked 8=). They were the kind of books you would go to a library for anyway (or grep several websites per topic).
When it comes to cleaning things out, I default to THROW OUT!
From the entire closet, of which ma has probably kept at least 1m2 or closer to it - there were only four things I would've opted to keep. Two boxes of comic books because you never know when you'll run out of real books, and two dusty old children's books that are "Time before time" kind of old. Only reason I would opt to keep those, is because I'm sentimental. When I was very, very young and long before her Alzheimer's set in, one was a book my grandmother always read to me whenever we visited. So they invoke my more 'fond' memories of her. I don't have many childhood memories to be fond of either. Yet, if there was no place to put it, I would still put that in the out pile if absolutely necessary: because I don't need the book to remember, my memory is to close to photographic to forget that sort of thing. It'll be on my book shelf.
My mother on the other hand, if there's so much as a 0.001th chance it could be useful, if it cost plenty, or if it took effort, she won't throw something out. Even if the damn thing was never used in the first freaking place \o/.
Generally I'm more sentimental than not, but first and foremost... I'm a practical son of a gun. Space and usefulness generally outweighs most other concerns when you have to set priorities. I don't think my mothers ever been good at that either.