Guest Blogger Lorie Sheffer: The “kid’s” stuff

Old toys and children's things
The “kid’s” stuff (photo: Lorie Sheffer)


For any of you mid-lifers out there who still have kids at home or in college, let me clue you in on a secret. They never come get their “stuff”. If it’s in your basement now, it will always be in your basement. If it’s stuffed in a closet, there it shall remain.

Our basement flooded last year. I frantically ran down the steps and toward a stand mixer box that was sitting in four inches of water. I ended up throwing it over my head and into the water behind me, not realizing the box was empty. Yes, my son had stored empty boxes that I thought were filled. There are also full cartons, bags and items sitting out in the open. A megaphone from my daughter’s high school cheerleading days sits in the corner. She is going to be 34 years old in June.  There’s a Big Wheel down there, along with a rusty tricycle. There are cartons and cartons of now obsolete college textbooks.

Last year I suggested to my husband that we have quite a bit of storage potential in the basement for seasonal things like pool supplies and deck furniture.  It was going to be his project to clean and organize the space. He got part of it done and then gave up. Where to go with it all?

I read a Dear Abby column in which a young woman told of her and her 5 siblings going home for Christmas. They were concerned that their retired parents had gone overboard on the obscene number of gifts under the tree. On Christmas morning they began unwrapping and howled with laughter when they realized their parents had gift-wrapped all of the things the kids had left behind as they moved into adulthood.

My kids don’t want me to throw things away, and I refuse to store them for another decade. Our solution is a yard sale. Cash is such a wonderful incentive. This morning as I was getting ready to start yet another day of pricing, a knock came to my door. It was a neighbor telling me that she and three other families on the next street are having yard sales this weekend, too. They are trying to unload their kid’s hoard.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.