The stuff that I threw away - papers, proposals, reports, theses, student assignments, and various documents, etc. - filled 3 big green dumpsters. That’s how much stuff I have accumulated in those 22 years. Academic papers deserve special mention. While you remain an active academic, academic papers in respectable conferences and journals are treasured, indeed, critical for survival and respect - both from yourself and otherwise. Once you are retired, however, do people still care how many papers you published? I doubt it very much. Hence I recycled the hardcopies without a shred of regret. Of course, that is also because I have practically all of the soft copies in my computer.
A lot of thoughts and memories came to mind while I was going through my staff. Right now, I am just relieved I managed to clear out 22 years of stuff in 4 days.