Help is at hand: IT recycling, charities, museums and scanners
I've been throwing out stuff for the last few years and feel all the better for it. I don't worry about hoarding something "that might become valuable". Apart from a few sourvenirs of travels, concerts, family and loved ones photos, most things I am disposing of in the following ways, see below. Life is about experiences not things.
IT recycling charity: Jamie's Computers: http://jamies.org.uk/
- Proceeds from re-sale, salvage of materials goes to homeless (they are part of St James charity)
- they take anything IT or electronics: working/broke - from consumers/households for free - if delivered to them during their opening hours
- If it works they may sell it in their ebay store: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/jamiescomputers/
- If it doesn't they will dispose of it following WEEE guidelines or (I believe) sell to scrap dealers (rare earth materials)
Sell or give to friends/family the stuff that is still useful, still works, but not any use to you anymore
- I've done this a few times
Computer Museum: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/
- Took my Acorn RISC PC (I DHLed it from Staples for 25 quid out of my own pocket - I'd rather do that than just dump it on the local WEEE tip, gone to a good home to give others pleasure). I have a RaspberryPi now - so I will be able to run RISC OS on that.
IT recycling: http://www.viridor.co.uk/
- they take old floppies and CDs/DVDs: break them down into pellets to be used as low-grade mouldings OR as fuel to heat homes
Old Documents - scan in with Double-sided auto document feeder (ADF) all-in-one printer/scanner: Epson Stylus Office BX635FWD
Old film-based (pre-Digital) photos: Major town/city branches of Boots The Chemist on your local high street with a dedicated onsite Photo department and processing service do a great, efficient negative scanning service to CD.
Games, music, DVDs: Charity shops: British Heart Foundation, OxFam music and book shops etc.
Finally - some wise words on clutter - The Many Reasons We Rely Upon Our Clutter written by Leo Babauta.
(I gain no benefit from any of the organisations mentioned, nor work for them - I've simply found them all useful)
That said, I still have quite a lot of stuff: One MacBookPro, Desktop PC, netbook (all of which I've upgraded in one way or another, I love to rejuvenate, the netbook, a Toshiba NB100 will be getting a Samsung 840 Pro SSD soon - why replace - upgrade!), 2 digital radios, 2 TV/monitors, freeview boxes, CD/DVD/Blu-ray burners, speakers, audio mixing console, synthesizer, digital camera, external drives,ebook reader. But all of these are being used actively - when they cease to be, they will be disposed of in one of the ways I mention.
I'm enjoying a less cluttered, minimalist-ish flat.