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How to Declutter After Your Children Have Flown the Nest

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Once your children have flown the nest, you might be left with a home that feels cluttered and confused. Bedrooms filled with old belongings, a garage packed with unused sports equipment or kitchen cupboards full of spare utensils are commonplace. The more children you have, the more chaotic it may feel, and it can be hard to know where to begin when trying to clear out. What if you inadvertently throw away a beloved old teddy? Should you sell old stuff or just bin it? Is self-storage worth having? 

Find out tips for making sure you keep, and toss, the right things.

Ask your child to help you sort

There's no way you'll be able to guess exactly what your child wants to do with all their stuff, so enlisting their help is essential. Arrange a day where you can sit down together and go through everything. Try to keep items to three categories: keep, throw and store. There's no point in having a 'not sure' pile, as this will keep things in limbo even longer. If your child isn't keen to help out, try explaining to them that you need more space and can't harbour all their old stuff forever. If they refuse to help tackle the problem, tell them you'll have to throw out everything. It's important to be firm, and make it clear that this is really important to you.

Decide what to do with unwanted items

Once everything's been sorted into basic categories, you'll need to decide what to do with everything you won't be keeping. For expensive items in good conditions, like games consoles or bikes, using an online auction site is a great option that will raise you a little extra cash. If you've got lots of lower-priced items that are in good shape, then a car boot or garage sale is an excellent choice. If you're not bothered about selling and just want rid of everything, consider donating to a charity shop. Even items in poor condition can sometimes be recycled by charities, so see what's available in your local area.

Arrange storage if necessary

You might find that there's a lot of stuff your child wants to hold onto but doesn't currently have room to store. If that's the case, then self-storage is a great option. You'll be able to keep everything in a safe, secure place, ready to be collected once your child has space for it. This is ideal for items of furniture that won't fit in their current home but could be handy a few years down the line.