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Boomers: Your Children Don't Want Your Stuff
If you had been thinking that someday your millennial children would take your heirloom china or silver or your grandmother’s dining room set and display it in their home and then ultimately pass it on to their children, you might need to think again.
Although there are exceptions, in general millennials are not interested in many of the things that baby boomers treasure and expect to pass down. For example:
Furniture, especially dining room furniture but any heavy, dark furniture. These pieces don’t fit well into the millennial lifestyle. First, they are hard to move, and millennials like to be mobile and ready to move for a better job or a new experience. Plus, millennials are not particularly interested in a formal dining room. Their living space preferences are more casual and open.
Silver, china and glassware. These mainstays of a boomer’s wedding registry, pulled out for formal occasions in the dining room, have little appeal to millennials. The don’t want a formal dining room, and they are not interested in polishing silver or hand-washing delicate dishes or stemware that can’t go in the dishwasher.
Memorabilia. Millennials are largely minimalists. Their homes are often smaller, and they move more often than you did. They don’t want boxes of slides or snapshots, unless you want to have them digitized. They don’t even want their own stuff, like old textbooks and school papers, report cards and sports trophies.
Artwork This applies to tchotchkes, like that conch shell you brought back from the beach or the Norman Rockwell decorative plates, but it also can apply to nicer pieces. Again, millennials have a more minimalist approach to home décor, and they might not have a place for your taste in art unless it runs to original Picassos or Renoirs.
So what can you do if you want or need to get rid of some stuff, but can’t find any takers?
Spread your net a little wider. If your own kids don’t want it, try nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren. Maybe you will find someone who will love and use it.
If not, you can try to sell it. You can start with consignment or antique stores, both online or in your area. There also is a growing number of businesses that cater to boomers who want to downsize, including helping them find new homes for the stuff they no longer want or need.
And finally, you can donate it. Many charities will come to your home and pick it up. Who knows – your things might find their way to someone who will appreciate them like you do. And anyway, you probably will get a tax deduction.