It can be on the physical level, in fact I plan to sort through my wardrobe today, it has been a long time coming and it desperately needs it, everything I turn out will be sent on its way to charity.
Mentally and emotionally a good clear out is a good idea too, and there is a perfect purging ritual in the Yule book by Dorothy Morrison which I have adapted slightly and include below:
Matches or cigarette lighter
Scraps of paper and writing tools*
If there are a few of you gather round the cauldron (the transformative void of the mother) and talk about the aspects of darkness and all that they signify. If you are on your own just reflect on the same. Then think about the dead weight in your life – any negative aspects that you wish to transform into something more positive. During this process, remember that banished aspects are often replaced with their exact opposites, so it is a good idea to consider whether you are ready to admit those into your life.
Once you have decided what needs to go, write the objectives on scraps of paper and place them in the cauldron with purpose and concentration. Know that by releasing them into the cauldron, you are pulling them out of your own darkness to make way for the gifts of light.
Concentrate on the transformative qualities of the cauldron, light the paper knowing that all that is released into darkness is transformed by light. Let the papers burn to ash, then release them to the wind.
*The type of paper and colour of ink used can be highly significant. If your intent is to purge yourself of poverty, for example, you might write your message on an old bank statement in large, bold letters. On the other hand, red lettering on the photo of an ex love might be appropriate if you wish to release the passion you still feel for the person and transform it into energy of a more positive nature. Co-ordinate your intent with the colour it associates with.
I shall be performing this ritual at some point in the next few days as well.
Clear out, clean up, sort out, chuck out and release...get rid of all your unwanted trash before the winter solstice to make way for new and wonderful things :-)