Life Advice



Ask Amy: Family struggles with extremes over holidays

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

This task will be made easier if you break it down into smaller categories. Start with the kitchen, and have four open boxes: Keep, Donate, Unsure, Trash.

Make sure to photograph items. These photos will help to keep your memories fresh, for a time in the future when you’re ready to revisit them.

If you are paralyzed, you might want to rent a small storage unit to house items until you are ready. Understand, however, that this can bring up its own set of challenges. If you rent a unit, set regular goals to continue to go through and pare down these possessions.

Dear Amy: “Exasperated” shared an experience I’ve been through – the frustration of her husband entering the room and insisting that she immediately stop texting or answering an email.

In addition to your advice, you asked Exasperated to take a look at her own behavior.

I did this recently and realized that my phone had completely infiltrated my family time.


– Working on Unplugging

Dear Working: A lot of us need to work on unplugging.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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