Adult children's stuff stays at home — even when the adult children move out

For families with adult children living at home, space can often be a concern. Adults simply need more personal space than children do, and the needs of several adults living in one home can clash.

For some families, space is an issue long after the adult children finally move out — because they leave so much of their stuff behind at Mom and Dad’s.

There’s Louise Hill, for example, who at 91 is still storing a garage full of stuff belonging to her 65-year-old son.

You can read more about Louise, and other families squeezed out by their adult kids’ stuff, in this article from The Floria Times-Union.

When establishing a timeline for your adult children to leave home, don’t leave yourself responsible for taking care of their stuff for the rest of your life. For your adult child to reach true independence, they must not only move out of your house themselves, they must take their belongings with them.

It may not be possible for adult kids to take all of their cherished possessions with them when they first manage to find an apartment or have roommates, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping their stuff around if it helps them out and you have the space. But if you want to downsize, or turn your child’s old bedroom into a den, it’s time to get firm on a “stuff-removal” timeline. You may want to put this step into the timeline you create that establishes milestones for your adult child’s stay at home and their transition to a place of their own.

You can learn how to create a timeline for helping adult children establish independence at