De-cluttering. It is always on my mind and I regularly look around my house for items to get rid of. I don’t want to leave my kids with the unpleasant task of discarding a lot of clutter from my home. I recently read an interesting NextAvenue article titled The Top 10 Items You Have That Your Kids Don’t Want by Elizabeth Stewart. It offers some helpful insight.
Your house, and what it contains, is a minefield in the eyes of your grown children. They can see from your example that collections of stuff are a curse; such objects are superfluous to a life well lived. They want a clean, clear field in which to live their lives. Your grown children will not agree to be the recipients of your downsizing if it means their upsizing.
No. 10: Books
Unless your grown kids are professors, they don’t want your books.
No. 9: Paper Ephemera
Things like family snapshots, old greeting cards and postcards are called paper ephemera. Take all your family snapshots and have them made into digital files.
No. 8: Steamer Trunks, Sewing Machines and Film Projectors
Steamer Trunks are so abundant that they are not valuable, unless the maker is Louis Vuitton, Asprey, Goyard or some other famous luggage house.
Likewise, every family has an old sewing machine. I have never found ONE that was rare enough to be valuable.
And every family has a projector for home movies. Thrift stores are full of these items, so, unless your family member was a professional and the item is top-notch, yours can go there as well.
No. 7: Porcelain Figurine Collections and Bradford Exchange “Cabinet” Plates
These collections of frogs, chickens, bells, shoes, flowers, bees, trolls, ladies in big gowns, pirates, monks, figures on steins, dogs, horses, pigs, cars, babies, Hummel’s, and Precious Moments are not desired by your grown children, grandchildren or any other relation. Even though they are filled with memories of those who gave them to your mom, they have no market value. And they do not fit into the Zen-like tranquil aesthetic of a 20- or 30-something’s home.
No. 6: Silver-Plated Objects
Your grown children will not polish silver-plate, this I can guarantee. If you give them covered casserole dishes, meat platters, candy dishes, serving bowls, tea services, gravy boats, butter dishes and candelabra, you will be persona-non-grata.
No. 5: Heavy, Dark, Antique Furniture
There is still a market for this sort of furniture, and that market, in the fashionable areas of the U.S., is most often the secondhand shop.
No. 4: Persian Rugs
The modern tranquility aimed for in the décor of the 20- to 30-somethings does not lend itself to a collection of multicolored (and sometimes threadbare) Persian rugs.
No. 3: Linens
Go ahead, offer to send your daughter five boxes of hand-embroidered pillowcases, guest towels, napkins, and table linens. She might not even own an iron or ironing board, and she definitely doesn’t set that kind of table.
No. 2: Sterling Silver Flatware and Crystal Wine Services
Unless the scrap value for silver is high enough for a meltdown, matching sets of sterling flatware are hard to sell because they rarely go for “antique” value. Formal entertaining is not a priority these days.
No. 1: Fine Porcelain Dinnerware
Your grown children may not want to store four sets of fancy porcelain dinnerware, and frankly don’t see the glory in unpacking it once a year for a holiday or event.
ABOUT TRICIA: Tricia Hoekwater is a Certified Inventory Professional and Credentialed Project Management Professional dedicated to providing peace of mind for home and business owners through the process of educating and helping people be prepared for life’s unexpected twists.
Through her company, Uniquely Yours Digital Solutions, Services include comprehensive Home Inventory, Collectibles Inventory, Decluttering, Photo Archiving and Paper Management systems into an organized, sharable digital library.
Additionally Tricia speaks to organizations on the topics of Decluttering, Home Inventory, Digital Legacy, Emergency Preparedness and Paper and Photo Archival. She is also a published course author for the National Inventory Certification Association.