How to declutter a child’s room after they move out

How to declutter a child’s room after they move out


A child leaving the nest can be an emotionally conflicting time for any parent. It’s normal to feel a mixture of both nostalgia for good times in the past and excitement for their future. Whether they are leaving to go to university, to embark on a new career, or leaving to start their own family, it is a big change for everybody.

How should you approach the tricky question of what to do with their bedroom and belongings?

Get the child to sort through their cupboards

After 18 or more years under one roof, we all collect a huge amount of junk that we just forget about and stash at the back of cupboards. For children this is even more the case, as they may well still have clothes that have not fit them for years, or school text books for subjects they long gave up.

A child moving out is a great time to sit them down and ask then to sort through their own belongings and work out what they want to keep and what they don’t mind getting rid of. There will be lots of sentimental items that they will want to keep hold of, especially with their own lives about to change in a major way. But ask them to sort all their stuff into three boxes – one to keep, one to take with them, and one for junk.

Even if you are keeping their room as their own space if they are going to be back regularly, such as during university holidays, getting them to sort through all of their junk will mean you can reclaim a large amount of storage space that was being wasted. If your child has moved out for good, and you are planning to turn the room into a guest bedroom or a home office, then once your child has sorted through their stuff, you can place what they want to keep into storage boxes in the attic.

Take the opportunity to check the attic

It is not just your child that will have amassed a huge amount of children’s junk over the years. Parents also keep huge amounts of child-related objects stored in the attic, well beyond their useful age. This could be old clothes or toys that your child once loved but has not looked at in a decade. A child moving out is a great excuse to get up into the attic (or down into the cellar) and start to sort through what’s there.

Store the items you want to keep securely in plastic boxes

You do not want the clothes or other objects you have decided to keep to be eaten by moths, nibbled by mice, or allowed to get damp. The best option is to sort these items into plastic boxes, label them clearly, and then securely fasten on the lid so no insects, pests, or damp can get in. Then you can stack them in the attic, safe in the knowledge that when you do want to find any of the items you will be able to put your hands on them quickly and they will come out in good condition.

What should you do with the junk?

Some items, such as old toys or sports equipment, may find a good new home on eBay or gifting to a charity shop, but the reality is that most items are well past their best after a decade or more in storage. The easiest option is to call a local London junk removal company who will come and pick up all the junk at once. Rather than take multiple trips to the skip with the rubbish in the back of your Mini, a rubbish removal company will turn up at the agreed time, and take everything, from old text books to broken old toys, all in a single load of their tipper van.

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