We had a garage sale the other day. We had been preparing for about 6 months. I couldn't believe how much we had boxed up when it had come time to set up. We covered our front yard and driveway (we have a three car driveway). We also got rid of two 6 feet tall bookcase and more books then could fit on them. Years ago when we were newlyweds we said we would never get rid of a book, because why would you? Then fast forward to last year, the only books we were reading we from the library, I had three bookcase crammed full of children's books that I never ever read to my kids because they were too full for anyone to get a book.
Once we thinned our bookcases, my kids started using those books! Imagine that. We got rid of boxes and boxes of books. At first it was challenging, but now we are actually using the ones we have. Plus of course the library too. Pretty much my oldest only gets books on his birthday or Christmas, he read a chapter book in a few days, we would run out of space in our house, if we bought all his books.
The only tall bookcases we now have are in my oldest's room, and in the basement. I love love love it. I love my room with a short bookcase instead of a 6 foot one, and I love my daughter's room with a short bookcase. The upstairs feels so much more airy. Plus we took out the fake cherry bookcase from my son's room, and put in a real oak bookcase. I know, I know pinterest would tell you oak is so out. But I like the oak in his room, the cherry was too dark. Plus it was the fake partial board bookcase. Every since we bought I've hated it. Which is odd because we a different partial board bookcase that I've always liked. But the quality is definitely different.
Our house is so much more livable after our garage sale. But we both feel like we have a ways to go. I think in modern society you always have a ways to go, there is always another present given, another grocery store visit, another magazine in the mail. The outflow of stuff has to equal the inflow or the house gets taken over. When I'm pregnant I don't notice that there is no outflow, so the house gets so packed. And when you have an infant, they have so much stuff you forget what life is like without so much stuff everywhere.
But now, we have hardly any extra baby stuff. A high chair, a crib, two travel cribs, a few strollers. No baby toys, no baby gates, none of all that extra holding baby stuff ALL over the house! The benefit is our last baby has never liked baby toys so they were easy to get rid of.