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5 Steps for Decluttering Once the Kids Move Out

Woman Holding Donation Box With Clothes
Children eventually move out of their parents' home - it's a natural part of life. Unfortunately, they don't always take all of their things with them. But by the time they're adults, many children have nearly two decades of accumulated belongings you have to deal with. What can you do with all that stuff?
1. Make Them Choose What to Keep
Begin by having your kids choose which items they want to keep. Don't tolerate any maybes: everything should be either a yes or no as to what they're keeping. If an item is not important enough to be a definite yes, it's probably a no.
If your children have already moved out and aren't available locally, consider scheduling some time to get them on a video call. In a single evening, you can go through the items in the house to determine which ones are important to them. This cuts down on the chances of accidentally throwing away something valuable.
2. Give Things Away to Family and Friends
Items that you don't want to keep but are too valuable to get rid of can instead go to family and friends. These are often items that are intended to be kept in the family but aren't something that your child might ever need, such as expensive cooking appliances for a child who isn't interested in cooking.
3. Hold a Garage Sale or Donate Extra Things
Once you have a list of things that are ready to go, you can hold a garage sale so you can get some money back for renovating your child's room. A lot of collectible items and older toys can have surprising value. For items that you think could have value, look online. You could find how much the item sells for on average.
Many children's toys are now collectible items, so don't discount anything, regardless of how silly it seems. Otherwise, you can donate things that don't sell during the garage sale. Heavier items that aren't worth anything, such as old furniture, may need to be taken away by big trash pickup.
4. Pack Up All the Wanted Items
At this point, you've isolated all of the items that your child wants to keep. These items should be carefully packed in small or medium-sized cardboard boxes. If you have fragile items, wrap them in bubble wrap and mark them as fragile. These items will be stored separately.
Don't over pack any boxes. Heavy boxes aren't just hard to move; they are also more likely to crush other boxes when stacked or fall apart if stacked on other things. As you pack, inventory each box on the side of the box so you know where everything is; you never know when your child will call you to find a specific thing.
5. Store It All in Self Storage
After you pack up all the wanted items, consider storing all the boxes in a self-storage unit instead of somewhere in your own house. You can benefit from many advantages by storing your child's items in selfstorage.
You'll be able to recover the items at any time, rather than potentially getting rid of things your child might need later. You'll also give yourself a lot of flexibility. By putting things in self storage, you can free up your child's old room to be a study, exercise room, or guest room.
You can also consider downsizing your home completely, by moving; you won't have to worry about excess clutter or the process of moving extra things.
Your kids are going to have things they just can't take with them that they nevertheless want to keep. For these items, there's always self storage. Self storage makes these items accessible to both them and you, and (very importantly) keeps them from cluttering your home. To get a quote on self-storage rates, contact Cardinal Self Storage.