Life Advice



Ask Amy: Empty-nester wants to clear out the nest

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I have two daughters, ages 24 and 26.

One lives in an apartment and works, and the other also lives in an apartment while she finishes graduate school.

My question concerns their stuff.

I expect them to move around for the next few years, and I don't need them to take all of their stuff now, but I want to have a plan for when I will no longer be the curator of everyone's stuff.

The garage is packed to the gills and this project needs to start there.

I have many struggles, but getting rid of stuff is not one of them. (My husband really struggles with that.)


My sense is that a project like this starts with a conversation with all four of us, where expectations are laid out, followed by mini steps and dates for these tasks to be completed.

Ideally, things like clothes would be removed from closets and then remaining items could be boxed and stored in the garage.

I am also ready to think about how to use these rooms differently, but I still want to have space/beds for them to visit.

Do you have advice or resources for me?


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