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CMFTO Blog
Trophies, Books, and Memories March 9, 2017 Tags: , , ,

CMFTO™ 3rd Annual Clutter Challenge: Kids’ Stuff

When it’s time to consider rightsizing after all the kids have flown the nest, what do we do with their belongings? More often than not, we run into this problem with our clients who are transitioning from a family home to an “empty-nester” home. Their children’s mementos are still in place, and the clients are hesitant to remove them, but the children don’t always want them. So, what do we do?

Organized Dresser

To begin with, we have to remember that an object isn’t the memory itself. It is a trigger or a stimulus that invites the memory to the forefront of our consciousness. Simply, that means removing the object doesn’t remove the memory. So, we have a two options:

  • If we really wish to hold on to the objects, but don’t have the room for them, we can take a picture of the objects that spark the deepest memories, and create a “memory scrapbook” for future nostalgia.
  • If we no longer need to hold on to something tangible, like the object, we can research various ways to remove them from the home that include: recycling, donation, gifting, and of course, returning them to their owner.

The most typical items we need to work with in this category are old trophies, books (especially textbooks), and personal items such as clothing, stuffed animals and toys, or even furniture and decor. In order to work through the clutter challenge of “kids’ stuff”, we suggest addressing each child’s room and belongings in this order:

  1. Speak to your child and ask them to come pick and choose what items they wish to keep. Prepare for this process by purchasing boxes or storage bins so that the items can immediately be separated out during the process (and removed from the home that day). If you opt to store the items for your loved one, limit them to one box or bin, as we know the stored items are rarely revisited.
  2. Ask any other children, family, or friends if there are any items that they would like. Gifting is a great way to share the blessings of our past with others.
  3. Categorize the remaining items into three categories: Sell, Donate, Discard. You can do this with bins and bags, or sticky notes for larger items, such as furniture.

Once everything has been sorted, it’s a matter of taking the necessary steps to remove the items from the home. Selling memorabilia is difficult, but can be done. Sometimes it’s easiest to have professional assistance with this, but family can also be a great help to run errands, such as donation drop off, and trips to the recycling center or local trash collection.

It’s a big step, often overshadowed by emotion, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to remember, share, and prepare for making new memories in a new home.

All my best,
Claudia

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