DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are seniors who look forward to visits from our adult children. The problem is our oldest son. He visits every few months and leaves belongings behind. He uses our guest room, where he has claimed much of the closet, several dresser drawers, the guest bathroom vanity and even part of our shed. He says he needs to leave things because it's too expensive to check bags when he flies into town.
We would like our guests to have space when they come to visit, and we are also trying to downsize and declutter. We have told him this repeatedly. We even resorted to mailing him back boxes of clothing, toiletries and other excessive amounts of his things to his home, hoping he would get the message. This is making my husband upset every time our son visits, and creating stress in our marriage as well. Please, we need your help. -- SON HAS BAGGAGE IN FLORIDA
DEAR SON HAS BAGGAGE: Offer your son a couple of alternatives. The first would be to clear the counter in the guest bathroom and put his toiletries into a dopp kit kept out of sight. He should leave no more than one drawer full of his underwear, socks, etc. in the bureau and three changes of clothes in the closet. Any other items he will need can be brought in a backpack that can be stowed (at no cost) under his seat during the flight. If he can't do that, then he should follow your example -- mail his things to you, and mail them back to his home when he leaves.