Physical clutter is stressful and wasteful. The Simple Dollar's Trent suggests a neat trick: put an expiration date on everything.
Photo by macinate
Think about it this way: when a perishable item has an expiration date on it, you know when to throw it away. By assigning dates to non-perishable items, you know when to dispose of them too. Here's how Trent does it:
If I found myself not using something, I'd put a piece of masking tape on it. On that masking tape, I would write a date one year in the future. If I found an item with a date on it that had already passed, I'd sell that item. There's no reason to keep around items that you use less than once a year. If you use something that infrequently, then the financial value of that item is more than whatever usefulness it has for you.
Of course, you aren't bound by Trent's rule of marking only one year. You can vary that to your lifestyle — make it six months if you're trying to be minimalistic or three years if it's a more expensive item.
Starting Over From Scratch [The Simple Dollar]