After your children move out, it’s hard to think of what to do with the items they left behind. Although those items have memories attached, it’s a wise idea to declutter the space and organize it. Before you start, read on to explore some must-know tips for decluttering as an empty nester.
Declutter When You’re Ready
The best time to start clearing things out is when you’re ready. Don’t start until you know it’s time to declutter—give yourself time and space from the piles. Sometimes parents wait for their children to come over and go through items with them so that they take what they want.
Any option is okay. As long as you know you’re ready, you can start whenever. Perhaps you could start by asking family and friends for ideas on what to do with the items before you begin organizing each room.
Hold Onto Your Favorite Items
There are items you love and want to hold onto—maybe it’s a photo of your firstborn or the tap shoes your youngest wore during their first dance recital. Whatever the item is, it has significant value, so placing these items to the side can help make the decision process more manageable.
However, if you have items like photo albums, you should take them to a person who can digitize the photos so you don’t ever lose them. Another thing you can do to preserve items is make a quilt out of old t-shirts your children loved.
Plan on Decluttering Every Room
Some dive right in, but your clutter has memories stitched into the folds and seams of these items. It’s best to plan your downsizing before starting, especially when trying to declutter your entire home.
Go from room to room and find the one with the biggest collection of objects—put that space at the top of the list. Working on the messier rooms first is best, as you have more to sort through and can get in the habit of deciding when to toss things, donate, or give items away.
Bring In a Professional To Help
A professional organizer might help save the day. Sometimes too many messes combined create anxiety that’s difficult to handle. A professional organizer gets it—they’ve been through similar situations, and they can implement expert strategies to help clean up your home.
Personalize the Rooms
As you declutter, take the time to look at every room and visualize how you’d want to personalize the space. Everything from a gym to a sanctuary—the ball is in your court, and what you choose to do is entirely up to you.
It’s essential to learn how to move your children’s things out after they leave. Remember, after everything’s gone, what you do next to transform their old rooms is your decision—so have fun and get creative! Rally your friends and family to devise a plan to clean the house after the kids leave.