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Stop warehousing your kids' stuff

As children get older, many will move out of their parents’ homes. However, much of their possessions will remain at their parents’ homes—and for many—their parents’ house becomes a zero-cost warehouse for their unwanted items.

For many children, the reason is that they just don’t have time to go through everything. Also, many live in smaller spaces than their parents and just don’t have room for the stuff in their homes. In other cases, the kids just don’t care. “The adult child may not want it and cannot bring themselves to tell their parents that,” suggests Elaine Frost, the founder of Trusted Traditions. For parents wanting to downsize or to just reduce the quantity of things in the home have many options to make progress.

Marsha Fingold recommends setting deadlines. The senior transition manager of Marsha’s Helping Hands suggests saying, “You have until Friday otherwise everything is being donated or sold.” Parents will want to consider the busy schedules of their adult children but should not allow them to put off the task of claiming their stuff.

A more direct approach is suggested by Pat Irwin, the president of ElderCareCanada, “Put it in storage now for the adult child and have them pay for it.” She suggest that if the items have value they will come and get it and if they don’t have time at that moment, they can pay for storage until they are ready to sort through their stuff.

If your adult child has room in their house to store the stuff you can pack it up and deliver it to them, if there is a rush to get the items out of your house. However, simply letting your children know you are tired of warehousing their stuff could be enough to get the process started.




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