Will our children ever take their stuff?

StorageDid your children move out and leave some of their stuff behind? Are you over 35 but still, have stuff stored in your parent’s basement?

Some adult children are slow to launch and some fail to launch but either way they seem to store a lot of stuff in their parent’s basement, garage or attic. I see it all the time when I meet with people who want to sell their houses.

Dear person in their twenties, thirties or forties,

It is wonderful that you got that new job and were able to move out of your folks place a mere________ years after you graduated from college. I know it is a big scary world out there and it is hard to move away. Just think of it as a new beginning.

Your parents love you, we always have and we would do almost anything for you and we probably have and we are very proud of you.

There is one thing that you need to know. We are not being honest with you about something. We have kept a secret from you all these years, and it has nothing to do with Auntie  Sue or that one incident a few years back at the water park. We know you did not do that on purpose.

We want to tell you that we are very tired of the boxes and storage bins in the basement and the bike, sports equipment and roller blades in the garage. We understand that you also regret having purchased that tacky piece of furniture that you bought the first time you moved out but left stored in the basement this last time you moved out. We hate it too, and yes you may move back in that is true, even though we had the locks changed and you know the secret about the back door, you will find a way, but I suspect you won’t want to use the furniture as you seem to hate it so.

Even though we love you and would do almost anything for you we don’t want to provide storage for your stuff anymore.  We would like to use our basements and garages and attics for something else now. We have our own tacky furniture that needs to be stored and most of our closets are overflowing as we have not moved in years and have not had any place to put anything in decades.

It would be heavenly to be able to walk to the washer without tripping over something and honestly the furnace and water heater have always wanted a room of their own, they watch and wait silently as the stuff piles up around them.   Last time we had a repairman here he couldn’t even find the furnace, I guess he wasn’t much of a repairman.  I never saw him leave the house, he may still be down in the basement looking for the furnace, I guess we don’t know for sure but hope not because they charge by the hour.

Please come over for dinner tonight.  We promise to cook something you really like and buy a couple of bottles of wine, or maybe you would enjoy a beer instead.   Bring a friend or significant other and a moving van. We will even front you the cash so that you can rent it. After dinner kindly remove your stuff. Don’t make me have to write this twice.  I may be old but I am still your mother and even though you are bigger than I am I can still kick your butt, or at the very least make you feel guilty.

Thanks, your loving mother.

PS if you read this after the garage sale please accept my apologies, I know I should have sent a text message but for some things, 140 characters are not enough.

Oh, and while I am at it I would not mind being a grandmother someday.

. . . If your adult children want to live with you or are moving back in, please contact me about downsizing.

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2 Replies to “Will our children ever take their stuff?”

  1. Mom called two years after I graduated college and said I had four months to clear out my stuff. I dutifully returned home and thought I had gotten everything. I missed the drawer of sports cards. Mom sold them (this was 1990 when the market was totally at peak) and financed the moving expenses to the new smaller house with the proceeds. I complain but she got top dollar where I would have waited past the market collapse and she paid for my MBA.

    She’s downsized twice more since then. I read your stories and thank my lucky stars that my mom is a huge fan of Swedish death cleaning, in spite of being Norwegian…

  2. Teresa Boardman says:

    I am a huge fan of Swedish death cleaning! I have worked with several homeowners who had a lot to get rid of. I see it all the time.

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