Monday, March 17, 2014

Shoveling Yourself Out Of Empty Nest Remnants

IT'S not easy. Trust me, the remnants left behind after the last little bird leaves the nest is massive. You would think the little darlings would take all their crap with them. But you'd be wrong because they don't. Your job description has morphed from mom to storage unit manager.

I've been a storage unit manager for quite a few years- can it be THAT many?- and I still don't like it. I don't appreciate it either.

Of course mine is compounded by the fact that one of the two messiest lovelies moved back home. For a year, she said. That year is almost up and I don't see any signs of her gathering her stuff to move. Sigh.

Yeah, yeah. I know. When the whole empty nest thing started out, I wasn't that thrilled. But I persevered and worked through it and came to LOVE it. And I want it back.

I also want my home to house only my effects. The lovelies have their own residences now. They should take their stuff with them. And they should do it now.

A friend, of a friend, packed up her daughter's belongings and shipped them to her. Not a bad idea. Except, who can afford to ship this much stuff? The brown truck company could close down and still pay their employees based on the amount of stuff I still have here in my house. Stuff that doesn't belong to me.

I had it somewhat under control until the one moved back in and took over the room I used to store everything. She put it all in my office area. I am still not happy about that.

Go ahead and call me ungrateful. I do not care. I devoted over two decades to these children. And, while I wouldn't change any of it, it's MY time now. And MY space.

Some of this stuff is nothing more than childhood memory items that they don't want to take with them but don't want me to get rid of either. Like stuffed animals. I am embarrassed to tell y'all how many of those we still have.

So, what's an empty nest mom to do? Put it in the attic? A lot of it already is up there. Along with tons of junk that we'll never need/use but that the man has put up there because he's a collector of all things unusable. Ship it to them? Too expensive. Give it away? Throw it out?

That last one is not a bad idea. But, have you ever tried to throw out something that one of your kids created? It's nearly impossible. I mean, it's something they made. Have you ever tried to throw away stuffed animals? While they're looking at you with those innocent eyes? Pleading with you to save them? I should NEVER have read the Velveteen Rabbit. Sigh.

And now y'all know the REAL problem. I cannot get rid of the memories. I want the lovelies to take them but I can't throw them away.

I'm between a rock and a hard place folks.

And so I'll sit here and wait until the littlest lovely moves back out. Which, apparently, ISN'T going to be anytime soon.

She just asked if I minded if she stays here a bit longer than the year she asked for to begin with.

Good grief.

How do you shovel yourself out of empty nest remnants?


  1. I've whittled down some of the 'art' type momentos into one box each. I photographed some too, and that's a suggestion. Take a picture of the artwork and put it in a photo book , then get rid of the work. Not all of it, but you could make a dent in it. I wouldn't struggle too much over the stuffed animals. I had mine decide on a few and they're in a bin in the basement. The rest were given away or tossed. Not many places now want used stuffed animals due to health and safety regs. I don't think it's too much to say to those who've moved out to come sort thru your stuff and what you don't want is outta here. Good luck!

  2. I haven't one tiny bit. I have this whole shed that was supposed to be my craft area, that now houses lots and lots of other peoples crap.
    It is coming though, when I order a dumpster and begin the massive decluttering. I think I could open a computer warehouse with all of the old computers I have in there and don't get me started on toy boxes. :)
    My daughter promises that she will take her stuff this time when she comes home. So we will see. :)
    Have a lovely Monday.

  3. It's funny but my daughter and my husbands son couldn't WAIT to get out on their own.

    My daughter moved out at 20 (she's 22 now) and my step-son moved to Austin with his now wife when he was 20 (he's 25 now).

    My daughter left some stuff in our basement. I'd remind her every once in a while that it was still here - and after the first year she said "I don't even remember what I have there, so I obviously don't miss it - go ahead and throw it out."

  4. The toys could go to a local women's shelter, and you can feel very good about that!!

    The rest... toss, sell, donate. Three piles and tell them the date of the garage sale. If they don't come to help, it's gone. Tough love. Been there...

    Good luck!!

  5. I'll have to do the same thing soon! My youngest moved out about a year and a half ago. Most of her stuff is gone now. The oldest is graduating college this year and coming home for a few months. Hopefully, most of hers will go with her.

  6. Joyce- I've gotten all the written and art work dealt with. That, I felt, was the most important. The rest are things like formal dresses (Keep them, Mom, for the grandkids to dress up in) and the toys and stuffed animals. It's crazy!

    Kim- I wish I had a storage shed to put it all in. The attic is full and when I try to have a yard sale, the man won't turn anything loose and I can't part with the toys and stuff. LOL

    biz- The married daughter finally got all hers out and the soon to be married one has most of hers. Now, the other two...that's a whole different story.

    Terri- I'm trying. But I find that I am attached to some of it myself. LOL

    Cathy- It's become overwhelming which may be part of my problem.

  7. You know I didn't want Mike to go, you know how hard I struggled and still at times do but ..... yep it's a but ... I now love my own sewing crafting room. As for Mike's stuff, other than his guns, reloading equipment and gun safe, what he didn't take when he moved I took to his house. He only lives 8 miles away and sorta on the way to my work so I would use my key, let myself in and put it in his spare bedroom. He's ask me a bit later, what did I bring this time or when did that get here. So now my room has just my stuff in it. My house is to little to have three grown up stuff in it along with daycare stuff and what not. I like decluttered and empty cupboards or drawers. Still have a ways to go but my space is becoming mine again. And if Mike needed to come back home, well my craft room can be his but only for a bit, not forever. Yeah right, I know.
    Blessings Pam.

  8. Storage bin, send the bill to them. if they dont pay the bill, they lose it! This fall I will have an empty nest. I cant wait for ME time!! (sounds selfish, but oh my!!)

  9. I totally can relate to this post!! I feel your pain! I have one daughter who moved to Austria and left our spare room full of stuff for when they come back after their missionary work...but, I cannot hardly get in the room over the stuff!

  10. This post did make me smile Pam. I think we can all relate to it in some way. Our attic here is full of their stuff. I fully expect one day to be lying in bed, and the ceiling will give way and all rubbish (oops! Sorry, treasured belongings!) will come tumbling down on me.:)

  11. "he's a collector" - could be some inherited genes there.
    I believe this is very common. We have the problem but we did manage to remove some things. We threaten them with throwing out the stuff. Funny how when it comes to storing it at they place vs. throwing it out they can throw it out. But they do tend to think of our place as a storage area. We still get stuff added because her apartment is too small.
    The ultimate solution would be to sell your place, pack up yourself and move to a small place. Probably no need to over react that much.
    Oh, I have the same problem with things they made or won. Stuff animals I can throw those out.

  12. That would drive me insane! My kids' stuff is in our basement, so it's out-of-sight, out-of-mind!Good luck!


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