So the kids have flown the coop and you are ready to create that long awaited, calm and tranquilizing ambiance by downsizing.

After all, it is time for you to enjoy the space in your home, whether in your current location or an upcoming new abode. Yes, I understand that red panic button flashing rapidly in front of your eyes. ALL THAT STUFF: books, clothing and memorabilia – oh my.

When much of the clutter belongs to other family members, how will you ever get rid of the piles and piles of sports equipment, dance costumes, baseball cards, clothing, CDs, DVDs, albums, school projects, art work, photographs, invitations, board games, junk jewelry, stuffed animals, theater programs, trophies… just to name a few of the monstrous collections.

Deep breathing helps, but that of course will not make anything disappear. You need a SERIOUS Downsizing Game Plan to tackle the gremlins in your closets. The good news is you do not need to go it alone. So if you are up to the task, here are some tips.

Game Rules for Paring Down Your Adult Kids’ Stuff

  • Give your kids a DEADLINE to get their prized possessions, or else you will say goodbye to their belongings for them. Seriously, tell them to put that date on their calendar and set reminders so they actually show up on D-day.
  • Suggest they will need containers to transport, donate or toss their stuff.
  • Appropriate labeled storage containers are essential to the organizing process.
  • Tell them you will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner if needed – ok, maybe just breakfast and lunch.
  • Let them know they can play their choice of music as loud as they want while deciding what to keep, give away or toss.
  • Offer to watch their kids, pet sit, or answer their phone from client calls while they declutter.
  • Offer to hire a Professional Organizer if it is too painful for them to do this on their own. You can click here or call me at Captured Clutter, 678-294-7813 if this is a desirable option.

Final Tips to Organizing Your Home for Downsizing

As the coach for this very important game, remember to give your players support – encourage them, motivate them, and if need be- bribe them. The above guidelines are an efficient way to achieve your desired ZEN state.

Delegate (remember that word from my previous blog post) the overwhelming task of paring down the excessive belongings in your home to the very people who have granted you empty nester status. Of course, if your kids fail to adhere to the deadline, you then go to Plan B.

And be sure to read next week’s blog post for your fall through plan.