Have you asked your parents (or anyone) to keep and store your personal items?
This list might include your furniture, your trophies, your collections of school projects, your personal letters and/or diaries, your yearbooks, and your paperback books and magazine collections.
Don't forget about your photo albums, your scrap books, your halloween costumes and your old bikes, riding toys and camping gear!
Oh, and what about all of your babyclothes, special outfits and the holiday decorations? Boxes and boxes of ornaments, strings of lights, and holiday decor piled to the rafters...
Did you ask because you couldn't bear to part with these things? Or was it because you don't currently have enough room in your home? Or you begged your parents to store your things because you just didn't want to deal with it all?
So, what happens to all this stuff when your parents die or when you die?
The short answer is that someone, yet to be named, appointed, or volunteered, will be left with the enormous task of sorting through, donating, hauling, shipping and tossing it all.
I often think that the problem with having a basement, attic or garage is that there is too much unfilled and unused space and therefore parents are often the ones who offer to "hang on" and store all your stuff when you become an adult and leave the nest. You don't need to to take it with you because Mom and Dad will store it for you! Well, not always-but clearly there is some truth to that reasoning.
And what about the fact that these items might come in handy sometime further down the road of life. Or your red leather platform shoes from the 70's comes back into style, even if you can't possibly attempt to walk in them anymore without fear of a twisted ankle.
Why part with your stuff now if you can store it and deal with it later?
I had a conversation recently with someone who said they had moved into a new home a year ago and yet had piles of unopened boxes still in the basement. His plan was to put the boxes in his truck and take them unopened to the "swap shop" at the Town's local recycling center. Great idea! Let's hope there is nothing of real personal value!
One tip is to take a digital photo of your item for your "keepsake" and then you will feel much better about your process of donating, selling, or tossing the items out.
Have you ever watched the TV show called "Storage Wars"? People actually bid hundreds to thousands of dollars to buy a storage unit at one of those storage businesses-without the benefit of seeing what is actually inside the container!
Hoping for a treasure? Gold? A signed Picasso? Or Jimmy Hoffa buried in the pile?
Karen Schwartz relayed her "storage wars" story after her husbands death. I hadn't given any thought about what happens to all the stuff that people store in containers that they rent year after year! Her solution was a good one.
Is your attic, garage or basement the resting place for your children's momentos? If so, I recommend taking inventory of it all, gather the family members who are the actual owners of these items, and get rid of it now. There have been plenty of rainy days this summer to weed through stuff.
Good luck and tell me how it all turns out.