Sorry, Your Kids Don’t Want Your Stuff

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Are you like me and pretty much everyone I know that feels like the amount of things that we accumulate in a lifetime is outrageous? Do you have things in your home that you’re hanging onto but really don’t know why? Today, we’re gonna talk about all our stuff and what to do about all of it.

Welcome to the Senior Circle, where we hope to inspire and help others by providing valuable, relevant information related to caring for an elderly loved one. Hi, my name is Dawn Neely, and I’ll be your host. Thank you for joining us.

I saw a headline recently that stated, “Sorry Nobody Wants Their Parents’ Stuff.” And I thought what? I admittedly have too much stuff. I’ve been making a very concerted effort though to reduce the amount of things that I have in storage bins and boxes, tucked away in my basement.

I’ve found that many people my age seem to find themselves in a similar situation. We’ve got a lot of stuff. We’ve accumulated things ourselves. We’ve acquired things from our parents that have passed on and we still have things of our adult children in the house.

As we store something safely away it’s usually due to emotional attachment or fearing that we’re getting rid of so something extremely valuable. What we really need to consider though is that frankly, our adult children are not gonna wanna be the ones that have to make decisions about the bins and the boxes of the stuff in our attic.

The things that I have found to be the most commonly held onto and learned be the least likely to be coveted by our kids as maybe we have once thought are surprisingly common. For example, antiques.

Antiques, they’re dark, so dark, that some people even know them as brown pieces. Honestly, these pieces have become furniture, non grata so to speak. We keep them for sentimental reasons but our kids don’t want them. Mid-century items are pretty stylish right now but anything other than that, it just doesn’t interest them. They’re kind of a Target and Ikea generation. They just don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a reality.

Linens. I mean, go ahead and offer that hand-embroidered pillow case, guest towel, or table linen to your adult kids. I’m pretty sure they’re gonna scrunch their face and try very delicately to tell you that they would never use those items. What you can do though, is find maybe a theater troop that could use the items for sets or costumes.

Sterling Silver. Let’s face it. Do your adult kids wanna spend a Saturday morning polishing silver in between their kids’ soccer games, baseball tournaments and dance recitals? I actually think people would be better off trying to sell these sets as a whole to sites like They piece the sets out and then they sell them as individual items. There that’s one less item or one less box to have in your basement.

Fine China and Porcelain.  This goes for your fine China as well. I mean, when’s the last time you actually saw your adult son using a saucer? There are actually some lines of China that could be worth something, but again, you’d be better off selling it to in many cases. Unless it’s a very highly solicited line, there’s no likelihood that it’s worth your adult children going through the process of trying to unload it.

How about those greeting cards, photos, and magazines. We keep these things again for very personal and emotional reasons. I have here are some things that I came across that are really hard to imagine getting rid of. These here are some Christmas cards from friends and family, school records from the kids and even some of their art projects. Now there is a possibility that the kids would want some of these things and all it really takes is asking them to find out. But if they don’t, a good option is to find a way to memorialize these things by digitizing them. It could be a project that you seek their help with and ultimately enjoy together as opposed to them having to go through things later when we can’t participate. But once things are in electronic form we feel less guilty about disposing of them physically.

Jewelry is something that we really just need to verify the worth of. There are sentimental pieces that you may wanna check with your kids about, but frankly, if the things have value they may just prefer that they be sold.

All in all, it really just comes down to knowing what we have and determining if we really need to keep it all. While we think our kids are going to enjoy walking down memory lane with all of our stuff, that’s probably not gonna happen. Bite it off by pieces so it isn’t quite as overwhelming. Take your time and when you’re done, I think you’ll feel very accomplished.

It’s a big task though. If you have an elderly loved one that could use some help with organizing things in order to feel a bit less overwhelmed you can call Seniors Helping Seniors, because we we can help with that. Just give us a call at 248.969.4000. We’ll be happy to help. And until then, happy sorting.

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