Sometimes, It Really is Trash
Why is it so hard to see when one's treasure becomes real trash? I think, because everything starts out so desired, our eyes see the flaws as merely imperfections. Keeping things maintained or refurbished for another use is a trait many prudent people share. That's not a bad thing; it's a rather healthy way of using things.
And, we've all been guilty of having to purchase a new item when the original one is lost midst all our other treasures,too! You know you have it -- somewhere; but, you need it -- now. Of course, you have to get another and, knowing you're double-paying for anything is just plain, well, infuriating. I'm sure that's how spring cleaning got its start. Too small a cabin and too many squirrel skins not being used.
And, if it's not spring, holiday preparation and/or moving is the perfect time for cleaning and gleaning. Sorting can almost be done at one's leisure -- as long as that leisure doesn't span decades! Select a box a week and go through the items, throwing duplicates on one pile, broken items in another and those that you plan to keep in still another pile. If you haven't used it in the past 18 months, the chances are you won't be using it, at all. (I know the experts say a year, but there are seasonal things we use and rotate, so adding another six months on SOME items isn't the end of the world.)
While one man's trash is another man's treasure, there is a time when it's all trash. Don't call Goodwill, AmVets, or any other charity to come get broken items or those with missing parts. Let a trash hauler take care of it.
Working with several organizations over the years, it was appalling to see the number of toys and small items drift in that were in such horrid condition, there was no way to re-use them. Each handed over with some form of the phrase, "Well, I know you have folks that can work miracles with these things before finding them a good home, so I've included them." It doesn't work that way. Not every volunteer is a miracle worker and there's just so much time each can donate. Not to mention the funds to pay for spare parts, paints, etc.
With the holidays coming up, why not go through all your treasures, clean them up, and bring them to your favorite charity for distribution. If it's filthy, broken, with missing parts from another generation, throw it away. That's all you have to do, recognize that your treasure has now become, well, trash, and just throw it away.