It's easier to part with beloved objects if you can later envision them being used by others, says Madere. Just be careful and considerate when you distribute.
Of course, not everything can be given to friends or family. Often one person's junk is—let's face it—another person's junk. So ask whether items are really wanted before you hand them off. If you get that "Oh, please no" look, donate the belongings instead. There are national organizations that would be grateful for your stuff, "but even better is giving where you live, for use in your own community," says Madere. If you're not sure where to give, a Google search of your ZIP code and the type of facility you would like to donate to should yield options.