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Learning how to un-pack rat

So, I come from a family of crazy (actually mentally ill) pack rats. Like, everyone I know in my family except for one uncle has a house or apartment stuffed with crap. Not hoarders...but close. It's a weird emotional thing for them and I'm trying hard to unlearn the habit.

When I went home for Thanksgiving, my grandmother gave me boxes of 'my' crap and I'm having to go through it and have so far, pitched the majority of it. That was easy enough to do since it was mostly papers of old bank statements that she would get at her house (when I was younger, we had a shared bank account), 50 copies of any program like a graduation or musical, and my old grades, papers, art projects, etc from elementary, middle, and high school. I felt really guilty pitching a lot of the stuff because I know my gram worked hard on sorting it and keeping it in her hundreds of large plastic bins and she'd be upset if she knew it was in the trash. I'm not planning on telling her.

Some of my bins have old books in them which I'm keeping to read to my son. There are a couple of toys that he can keep but there's lots I want to get rid of, including these evil-looking dolls. I'm going through my closet too, since I can't close it with all the clothing and accessories in there. Some of it will surely never fit me again since I've changed shape after my son's birth two years ago.


I always feel much happier when I get rid of stuff and I've been really good at not actually buying much in the past few years. I don't have the money to get a lot of stuff and I'm pretty good at telling myself I don't need new things. So, I feel like I've started phase 1 of learning how to un-pack rat but I don't know how to get to phase 2...actually getting rid of the stuff. I always feel so guilty! Like I've just wasted money from some random sweater from 4 years ago or this was a gift, I can't get rid of it...I dunno. I hate living in a super cramped apartment so hopefully I can learn to get over the guilt-hump.

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