After raising children, your home can start to become a
storage unit for the things your child couldn’t or didn’t take with them. You
can accumulate quite a few items from toddler year toys to teenage band craze
posters or memorabilia in addition to items you’ve owned since before you were
a parent. This is why it is essential to clear the clutter from your empty
To prepare for your next phase in life as the parent of
adult children, we have a few tips to help you bring a new level of order and
organization to your home.
prepared for the emotional part of this process.
Sorting through years of memories can take
you on an emotional roller coaster. According to organization expert Lisa
Woodruff, “memorabilia that has been stored for decades is precious, but not
actually something either the parents or the children physically want to hold
onto. If your children do not want to take their own possessions, consider
taking photographs of those possessions and making a digital scrapbook for
them.” Creating a keepsake using photos, textiles, or other forms of art are
great ways to preserve memories without cluttering your space.
items that should be discarded.
In most cases, we store items without
checking to see if the items are in good condition or need to be discarded.
There are a few items that should automatically be let go of to help you
reclaim more space:
- Dispose of broken or extremely outdated
- Dispose of expired or excess toiletries, makeup,
and grooming products.
- Discard torn, ripped or worn decorative items
like posters or old favorite pillows.
- Discard or recycle loose papers and any
accumulated junk mail.
for items of value that could sell well.
Did you come across an original Nintendo
System in the attic? This may surprisingly have a hidden value. In some cases,
the items you’ve purchased for your children may need a second home or be a
great find for collectors. Some of the items you should research the value for
- Newer high-end Brand-Name Clothing or
- Items still in the box or with a tag (especially
- Niche or like new Sports Equipment
- Electronics like tablets, cell phones, or
laptops that are not more than 3-5 years old
- Toys, dolls, action figures or figurines with
- Sports memorabilia from highly celebrated
athletes, like baseball cards or jerseys
out what your children would like to keep and have them store the items outside
of your home if possible.
Many times, the hardest part of decluttering
is starting the process especially with items tied to memories or emotions. One
way to tackle this task is by allowing your adult child or children the
opportunity to sort through what they would like to keep. Before discussing
their belongings be sure to identify family heirlooms and keepsakes you are certain
you want to pass down within the family.
items are sorted and claimed, arrange donations.
Many items we commonly take for granted
could be items those less fortunate can find great benefit in. Consider
donating the following items:
- New or barely worn clothing, shoes and or coats
that have never fit, currently don’t fit or have simply been taking up space
(especially those that have not retained a high value)
- Old eyeglasses could be very useful to those who
cannot afford a new pair
- Old toys that don’t have collector value, but
still have tons of hours of play time left
- Baby and toddler related items that still have
great use for any parent
- Books and magazines could be great to donate to
your local library, school, medical office or charity
Clearing your home of clutter does not have to start after
you have an empty nest. You can start the process now before it’s a necessity.
Removing clutter and reclaiming space can be an emotional and time-consuming
process if you don’t know what to look for. Consider hiring a company like
Caring Transitions to help you clear excess items and find new homes for the valuables
your children no longer want or need.