The kids have moved out, what do you do with their stuff?
Have your kids moved out and left chaos in their rooms resembling World War Three? The experts would say that by leaving everything behind the kids are communicating that the stuff isn't that important to them, but I wonder as you feel the burden of the mess have the kids actually considered that their stuff could be destined for a skip bin?
There are a number of choices about what do do with all this stuff and I think that often it comes down to whether you think your kids may be back (especially with Auckland Property prices going through the roof) or whether they are gone for good.
So what can you do?
1. BOX IT UP AND STORE IT
It's the path of least resistance other than shutting the door and pretending it doesn't exist! Place everything into labelled storage boxes and store it in the garage, the attic or at a Storage Facility. This has the added benefit of being able to immediately reclaim the space and avoid the argument of 'what if I need that stuff again'.
2. ONLY KEEP THE THINGS OF VALUE
As a parent you usually have a pretty good handle on what's important to your kids in their rooms. If you can bear the thought of going through their stuff, keeping what you deem to be valuable to them and binning or gifting the rest. Once you have done this, as my Mum did to me, present them with the valuables as a housewarming gift!
3. GIVE THE DARLING'S A DEADLINE
It would seem now that your little cherubs (now slightly bigger) have moved out, they are no longer being confronted with their precious belongings every day and no matter how many times you ask nicely appear to be unmotivated to do anything with their stuff, whilst in the meantime you feel like a hostage to it. Let them know they have a deadline before you will be going through and donating everything to charity and STICK TO IT. If you don't follow through, you will begin to develop negative feelings towards their stuff and them and its a great lesson in responsibility.
Now the fun bit, it is time to re-purpose that room. There was a great article in Stuff.co.nz about New Zealand's best online interior stores if you need some extra motivation to get the kids stuff boxed and moved on. Let Liv, Green with Envy, Perch Homewares, Shut the Front Door and Superette Store are a great place to start.
Once that is done, you can sit back and enjoy the lack of clutter and the company of your kids when they come to visit and stay.