I was brought up in a time where my grandma left things for my mother to eventually give to her kids. Like grandma’s lovely silver tea set or that delicate pearl brooch. Who even uses the word “brooch” anymore? How about Aunt Edith’s dining room table & chairs. “Oh joy.” “Save it for the kids” they’d say. Well it seems for all of us that are paying attention that the “kids” don’t want your stuff. They don’t want heirlooms. They don’t want that silver tea set or your Villeroy & Boch china setting for 8.
Their downsizing doesn’t mean their going to help you upsize. So a conversation is happening between us boomers and our millennial heirs. What some of us think are priceless keepsakes that must be dragged around by every generation, our heirs are saying “FORGET IT!” If you have money to leave, well by all means leave it, but take that other stuff with you to the thrift store, an auction house (if the object’s value qualifies to sell at auction). Or how about when you’re ready to move, you hold an estate sale & sell it all, except what you’re taking with you to your downsized new domicile.
What interior style is your millennial interested in? Think of that Zen-like quality of clean lines & minimal objects d’art scattered around. Well maybe scattered around is the wrong image for this Zen-like sea of tranquility. You think these cool cats & kittens want your collection of 500 different salt & pepper shakers? Heck NO! I don’t even want that.
As I talk you down from your ledge filled with china dogs, please remember just because someone gave you something, you don’t have to be obliged to keep it. Be honest with your parents when they think you want all of their families heirlooms. Have a heart-to-heart about what you do want & what you don’t. Your parents aren’t mind readers & their love & generosity are priceless. Have a family meeting where everyone discusses what you each want, don’t want & suggestions for selling or donating those belongings none of you want. Remember that its the events that we remember, not Aunt Maybells’ antique salt & paper shaker collection.