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Leave memories, not clutter, at your parents’ home

6 tips to help you let go of stuff when you’ve moved out

There is so much ado about moving out. Truly, it can be quite hard to uproot yourself from the only home you have ever known. But as the transfer transpires, many commit to avoid accumulating clutter in their new place. The plan is good but can come at the expense of leaving things at their parents – things that could verily remain untouched for years.


Isn’t it only fair that if you no longer live in their home, most of your things shouldn’t be staying there as well? Imagine what your folks can do with a room filled with your childhood memorabilia. Do yourself, and them, a favor. Deal with your clutter and give them backspace in their home they can do wonders with.

Discuss the plan with your parents. As homeowners, they should know your plans of conducting a major cleaning activity. During your conversation, ask them about what an extra room or space can do for their current living state.  They may be contemplating on converting your old room into a new bathroom or a family room. If this is the case, request for a set of cabinets where you can store items you decide to keep after decluttering.

Allocate time and arrive equipped. Long weekends and even paid leaves at work can be dedicated to your clearing trip down memory lane. Keep your schedule closed for other activities. Purchase trash bags for things you will donate or dispose of. Bring a pair of scissors, some adhesive tape, and cleaning materials. This is your clearing operation, not your parents’. You will need to supply your own mission, even if you know they will gladly prepare meals for you.

Be realistic as you decide what to let go. You will encounter things you have forgotten – not seen or needed for years. Your goal is to create space for your parents and those who stay in their home to live in. Instead of having an untouched room in their house, you are giving them space that will function based on their needs. Keep only the most sentimental things. Instead of deciding that all your high school text books stay, why not keep only two books you love the most? Always choose to live in the now than in the past.

Categorize your stuff. The experts suggest having three piles: To Keep, To Throw, and To Give Away. You can have a fourth one for items to be decided on later. Having this will avoid any delays caused by seeing a box full of college retreat letters. Attend to these boxes later on after you have freed up space. Remain focused, no matter what you see. Resist the urge of a throwback post on the spot.

Compare your life then to now. Why do you need all these CDs when you have already invested a lot in music streaming services? Are you keeping gifts from high school friends you have lost touch with? Have very good reasons for keeping trinkets from your past. If you know you will never bring an item to your place, think of why it should occupy space at your parent’s home.

Be creative: Keep and let go in style. Pack a camera when you clean so you can take photos of memorabilia you decide to part with. For those which will stay, treat them nicely. Convert old shirts to a quilt. Why put your favorite mug in high school back in a cabinet when you can use it as a pencil holder at your new place? If you are getting rid of all your stuffed toys, why not plan an event at an orphanage so you can let go of them in a happy occasion? Earn from items you can recycle, including electronics you plan to get fixed, but know you never will be.

Turn the space over with gratitude. Leave the space spic and span when your clearing operation comes to a close. Do not leave tasks such as sweeping and throwing of trash bags with your folks. Show them the space you have cleared. Verbalize that they are now free to do what they want with it so they will not feel guilty about officially not having a space in their home assigned to you. Thank them all the years they allowed your things to live with them. Be supportive of their future plans – promise them a new shower curtain when their new bathroom is built, for instance.