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Clutter causes gridlock in everyday home life: As spring-cleaning season stirs our domestic ambitions, the psychological burden of stuff grows for anyone who's amassed a life's worth of it

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Piles of stuff - "the detritus of life" - the author has saved over three decades, even though they're of little use to her today.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Several years' worth of newspaper subscriptions -- some read, some not, all coated in dust.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Notes the author and her grade school girlfriends passed 25 years ago; she hasn't read most of them in as many.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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One of four Barbies (two without bodies) the author saved from her brother's hands.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Decades' worth of birthday and Christmas cards from friends and family, including a money envelope from dad on her 18th.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Well worn Eeyores and Popples -- eighties staples -- in need of a new home.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Piles of magazine subscriptions, overflowing from under the couch.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Vintage eighties She-Ra and My Little Pony -- hello, eBay?

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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