“My Kids Might Want My Clutter”

“What to do when you try to declutter, but then stop yourself when you think, My kids might cherish it one day? They might want that ugly goose my grandmother gave to me or that cracked frame my mother displayed her wedding photo in or any one of a hundred (thousand?) items even I no longer want, but can’t bear to part with!” This was a real question posed to me, a Certified Professional Organizer, by a real client. 

Yes, you can try to logically work your way through your clutter. It’s not valuable. The kids have told you they don’t want it. You can get at least some financial (tax) benefit by donating it to a non-profit thrift shop. But what if you are still stuck??? What if you can’t quite get yourself to part with all of those things that you own but don’t really want? What if your heart and head aren’t talking to each other? 

First, it’s important to start the process. So many people are stuck at the “what if” stage, without ever trying to actually do anything. Set aside some time, commit to doing something, and put your hands on the items. Open a long-sealed box. Write down your mini-goal for that small organizing project on a piece of paper to help you stay focused. DO SOMETHING. That’s the first step in the SORT and SUCCEED method of organizing

If you never start, you’ll never finish. 

[bctt tweet=”DO SOMETHING. That’s the first step in the SORT and SUCCEED method of #organizing. If you never start, you’ll never finish. ” username=”DarlaDeMorrow”]

Here’s my story…

Way before my Grandmother slid into Alzheimer’s, when I was in my 20’s, one day we were looking at her gallery wall of the family. I told her how much I had always loved the photo of her and her brother. She walked right over to the wall, removed the framed photo, and put it in my hands. I was kind of horrified that it left a hole on the gallery wall that I used to spend hours just gazing at. She never mentioned it. 

This was waaaayyyy before anybody had duplicates of family photos. She gave the one and only to me.

It meant, and still means, more than any “thing” that could have come out of her house.

Your kids don’t want your old things. They don’t, really and truly. They don’t want more to store and dust and pack. Their style isn’t your style. Your memories aren’t their memories. They already have a house full of stuff that they picked out. 

But if you think they do, NOW is the time to pass it on, while you can still pass it on with a story.

organizing at home with heirlooms

Is there something (or a few somethings) that you are stuck on right now? That you don’t really want, and think your kids might want someday?

Someday is today. Ask them. Take a picture and text them. Put your semi-precious item in their hands today. And be ready to hear either: 

I have always loved this, and am so glad you are giving it to me now, 


Sorry, but it’s just not my style. 

Either answer is fine. Either answer lets you both move forward, unstuck from what if’s and physical clutter that holds you back.