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Parents offer advice on clearing the nest – Chicago Tribune


Dear Readers: A recent question from the “Not-So-Empty Home Mom” sought solutions on how to deal with her two adult daughters’ belongings that now fill the family garage after her daughters leave home.

I asked readers to submit their own solutions, and this column is devoted to those suggestions.

Dear Amy: I have two sons. Ensuring they got their treasure back was a challenge. They just weren’t interested.

My solution… I give them their own “treasures” as Christmas gifts and birthday gifts!

Yes, old impressions of braces, trophies from primary school and many other “treasures” inspired many laughs! Problem solved.

– Empty slot

Dear Amy: We went through all of our kids’ belongings on our own and created a (small) pile of things we wanted to keep, a pile of things we thought they wanted to keep, a pile likely to donate, and a pile of things we thought they wanted to keep. pile of garbage.

Our kids came home to go over every pile. They took what they wanted to keep (and their father jokingly suggested contacting the Smithsonian to find out which treasures would be donated to the museum).

The most mushy set of items to deal with seemed to be the very, very dusty Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a collection of stuffed animals stacked on shelves in our basement.

– No More Beanie Babies

Dear Amy: I have three daughters and I kept a lot of things for them.

For a few months, I pulled out a few things every day, took photos of them, and texted the photo to the owner, asking what they wanted to do with it.

Most of these items went into the charity van. The few remaining items they wanted were boxed and given to them or mailed. Now I only have a few boxes of stuff left.

– Mostly Empty Nest

Dear Amy: “Not So Empty Home Mom” should see if her community has a local “Buy Nothing” group. If so, you can list items on the group’s social media page and members can request things for “porch pickup” — meaning people will come pick up your items!

– Buying Less, Sharing More

Dear Amy: Here’s something we did to “help” our sons get their stuff together: They live locally and visit regularly, so in addition to leaving the house with leftovers and mom’s freshly cooked meals, they would also return home. A box of stuff from the basement.

Finally, we had one last love-it-or-leave-it-it day and anything that didn’t go home with them went in the trash or at the Salvation Army store.

Of course, that’s only half the battle, because we still have a lot to figure out, but, well, baby steps.

– Slot Emptying Slowly

Dear Amy: I was in my late 20s, and like the daughters of the “Not So Empty Home Mother,” I continued to keep my childhood belongings at home while I lived in another part of the country.

Once, while I was visiting home, my mother came into my room, looked into my eyes, smiled and said with deep concern: “You know, your father and I love you very much. But everything you leave behind on your next journey will go to waste. Now you should start sending what you want.

He then left the room.

Problem solved. I knew I had a deadline and responded appropriately.

– No Drama Mama’s Son

Dear Amy: We’ve been working on this with our kids for years.

I make them take something with them every time they visit us.

When we go to visit, I take things with me.

We gradually reduce the pile.

– Bob in Racine Wisconsin

Dear Amy: You should have suggested the tried-and-true method for dealing with this dilemma that moms have been using for years: “Come and pack your things, or I’ll throw them all in the trash.”

– Going through the Trash

Dear Amy: The “Not So Empty Home Mom” should move all of her daughters’ belongings to a storage unit. Monthly rental is quite cheap.

– be there

Dear Been There: Many readers have suggested unloading their children’s belongings into storage units. This is a logical and good solution to free up space in your own garage, but it actually transfers the main problem elsewhere.

If people choose to do this, I would recommend that they ensure that the rent is eventually transferred into the adult children’s names so they will be responsible for the rent.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or on Facebook.)


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