I grew up in what some would consider a cluttered environment. My mother and her mother, both have/had habits of keeping things. I remember going to my grandmother's house when I was little. There was a table in her living room that was always covered in paper, mostly mail if I remember correctly. The upstairs of her house contained the childhood belongings of her four children, which made going to her house to play lots of fun.
My mother has similar paper issues. Before she moved a few years ago, if you opened the compartments above her desk there was an avalanche of paper. She also had most of the toys, clothes and school papers projects that my sister and I had left there. An accumulation of over 30 years and two children's worth of stuff.
My father's stuff had been removed from the house many years prior when they divorced. He was a garbage man prior to retirement. You know all that stuff that people leave out that just needs a "tweak" to start working again? Yeah, he brought that stuff home. He'd either keep it for when he needed it, fix it and use it or take it apart for the spare parts.
Growing up like this, you can understand why I tend to not throw things away. My paper problem isn't as bad as my mother's but I tend to hold on to things that I don't need anymore.
In 2005 we moved into our current home. That is a story I will get to some day, but in short our move in date kept changing. We had been paying to have the bulk of our stuff stored while the house was being built. We knew the day was close and the end of the month was near, so instead of paying for another month we moved all the stuff from storage into our attic so it would be out of the way. It's been almost 7 years and some of those boxes haven't moved. In 2008 my mother in law had a massive stroke and moved into a nursing home. We had to quickly empty her apartment. The contents of which ended up in our attic. A year later my mother put her house on the market, adding even more stuff to the attic. Basically, it looked like this before I started working on it again...
So here we are in 2012, with an attic bursting at the seams and a need for additional living space. So I am attempting to redefine the clutter in my attic and in my brain to make that happen. Hopefully before we've been here 10 years! We have made some progress, but there's still so much to do.
Unfortunately, I'm easily distracted....