Do you have a house full of other people’s clutter? Are you a caretaker of clutter that isn’t yours? Well you’re not alone. Many parents are still looking after their children’s clutter even though they no longer live at home. So what can you do?

Flying Light

My aunt’s three children all left home some years ago but she still has many of their childhood possessions filling up the drawers and cupboards of their old bedrooms. It’s nice to keep a few momentoes and keepsakes of your children’s early years, but you shouldn’t be expected to keep everything!

You’ve looked after your children for eighteen years, longer in some cases. When they do finally fly the nest and set up in a place of their own, ideally they should take all their clutter with them.

Whose Responsibility?

If  your child is a student or living in small rented accommodation, then they won’t have room for all the things they might want to keep, so it’s fair to store some of their possessions for them. But once your children have bought their own home or got married and settled down, then it seems fair for them to take responsibility for their own possessions.

Ask your child/children to come and look through their childhood possessions and decide which items they’d like to keep and which items they are happy to be given away or sold. If they can’t or won’t do this, then box up all their clutter and take them with you next time you visit them.

It’s not fair to use you as permanent storage for all the items that they can’t be bothered to sort through or don’t have room for. If the possessions are kept at your house then clearly they are not being used, and have probably been largely forgotten.

New Space, New Purpose

So empty those cupboards, drawers, attics, basements and garages of your children’s possessions and make them take responsibility for their own things. Free yourself and your home from the tyranny of being a clutter caretaker and then fill your mind with visions of your new study, gym, library or guest room. Because once your children’s clutter is gone, you can re-purpose your new space and fulfil it’s potential in your life.