Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents offer advice about emptying the nest

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have three daughters and I was storing many items for them.

For a few months, I would take out a couple of things each day, photograph them and text the photo to the owner, asking what they wanted done with it.

Most of these items went to the charity pickup van. The few remaining items they wanted were boxed and given or mailed to them. I'm now down to just a few boxes of their stuff.

– Mostly Empty Nest

Dear Amy: “Not So Empty Nest Mom” should see if her community has a local “Buy Nothing” group. If so, she can list items on the group’s social media page and members can claim things for “porch pickup” – which is to say, people will come and take your stuff!

– Buying Less, Sharing More


Dear Amy: Here's one thing we did to "help" our sons take possession of their things: They live locally and visit regularly so, in addition to leaving the house with leftovers and their mother's fresh-baked goods, they would also return home with a box of their stuff from the basement.

Eventually, we held a final "love it or leave it day" and whatever didn't go home with them hit the trash or the Salvation Army store.

Of course, that's only half the battle, as we still have much of our own stuff to deal with, but, well – baby steps.

– Slowly Emptying Nest


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