When they leave home but their ‘things’ don’t

Sep 16, 2013

Whether they are heading off to university, travelling overseas or moving into an apartment with friends, it is not uncommon for adult children to leave boxes of items in storage at their parents homes until they are established in their own home.

However, problems occur when children fail to return home even after 20 years to collect the boxes, leaving parents with mountains of ‘stuff’ clogging up their home. Should parents want to downsize or turn a spare room into a sewing room, they are burdened by what to do with the unwanted items.

At Containaway, we have storage units in a range of sizes so you only pay for what you need. Why then would anyone choose to pay more money to store their adult children’s unwanted goods in addition to their own?

While it may be tempting to throw it in the bin, Erin Doland, organising expert from Unclutterer, encourages parents to consult with their adult child on a suitable timeframe for clearing the clutter.

“The ideal scenario for parents in this situation is to ask their children to come and clear the clutter themselves,” says Doland.

“You should set a specific date and time for this project that takes you and your adult child’s schedules into consideration. Packing up the stuff and tossing it without any input from your daughter will likely create animosity, so it really is a good idea to have her be a part of the process.”

Where this isn’t possible, Doland recommends creating a Flickr account and undertaking ‘virtual clutter clearing’.

“Photograph all of your child’s items as you place them into boxes. Then, upload all of the images to a Flickr account and send your child the URL. Your child can go through the pictures online and decide the fate of the stuff. I suggest that there only be two options for the stuff: ‘Send to me’ and ‘Don’t send to me’,” says Doland.

With a little push, adult children are generally happy to sort through their things, leaving parents free to create their own space free of clutter

With the help of Containaway’s Storage Calculator, the parents can then determine exactly the size of storage unit they require.