I've been slowly doing some work on this topic for a few months now. Here's some things I've noticed.
1) Starting can be easy:
When you first look at the group of stuff you're about to do battle with, you will probably notice some things that you can easily part with. In fact, you'll probably get excited about tossing them! These small, easy wins are great - take them. They will help propel you later when things get tougher.
2) It's not the actual things themselves:
The actual physical items you see aren't really to issue you're struggling with. It is the emotional attachment you have with your stuff that will make it hard to part with. On the surface, someone else will see useless junk, but to you it brings up emotions that you might have been repressing for quite some time. Just be aware of that.
3) It will be a trip down memory lane:
Your things will take you back to the times you first bought/received your items. You'll recall the good/bad times you had using it. You'll see the places you used to store/displace this "treasure". You may want to set aside extra time to allow for this journey. It might be therapeutic.
4) You might not like what you find:
Looking over all the unnecessary stuff you've accumulated, you may feel a little guilt. You might ask yourself, "What was I thinking about when I got this?" You could be feeling, "How did I let all this stuff accumulate?" Be kind to yourself. You have a chance now to break away those possessions. Don't regret, instead look forward to a new start.
5) You probably need less than you think:
It's normal to feel that you couldn't possibly live without some of your "prized" possessions. But if you're like me, that line of reasoning doesn't fly when you haven't seen some of them for years! Turns out that I've already been living without them, and you can to. When you challenge the assumption that you are absolutely can't live without something, you might find what has really be holding you back.
Are you ready to declutter? Do you have advice you'd like to share in the comments?