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My daughters have too much stuff, but won't get rid of it. What should I do?
By mc4lifes from Sydney, NSW
If they are real young you have the right to go in and go through stuff. When they get a little older put it something like this - if they think they are old enough to do something that they want to do, they are old enough to know that they have to get rid of some of the clutter.
Even if they are teenagers you have the right to insist that they get rid of clutter. You can go in their rooms with them and sit on the bed, while they show you what they have and help them decide what they really use and what they don't.
Encourage selling her stuff at a yard sale. She'll get money in return. That's always a good motive. You can help them take stuff to consignment shops as well, and you get money in return. Also, you can encourage donating their things. Explain that other kids could get good use and be very grateful to receive the clothes/toys (if your kids are young)/furniture.
I put a laundry basket in each of the kids rooms and tell them they must fill it with things to donate. I must admit that sometimes what ends up in there is stuff that's they had only because I was still attached to it - like my old stuffed animals or "nice" toys they've outgrown, but at least they're making room for the things they treasure.
Some nicer items are a lot easier for the kids to part with when they knew they were going to a good home. My youngest goes to an "at-home" daycare and she loves to receive the nicer like-new toys he's outgrown (and he can still play with them there) and we have another friend who really appreciated receiving all my daughter's outgrown early reader books. I always ask first, of course.
My son used to have his own mini-porch sale with old toys. He loved getting that money so spend, and I liked getting rid of toys that he no longer played with. The neighborhood kids liked getting new-to-them toys.