A universal lament you hear from baby boomers who have children and grandchildren is “the kids don’t want my stuff”. Here are ten reasons for this trend.
You may be puzzled by their reaction since you believe your stuff is still useful, still in good condition and still attractive. If you are the parent in this situation, you may relate to a number of these ten reasons.
Chances are you live in an older, mid to large size home, whereas your kids are living in a modern, tiny condo. They just don’t have the space available to accept much of what you have to offer.
Closely related to the amount of living space you have compared to your kids is the size of your furniture. Just as air fills the space available, so does the amount and size of furniture in the home. Traditional furniture you have kept in the family for years is typically larger and bulkier than contemporary designs.
Following along with the size is weight. Large, old furniture tends to be heavy compared to today’s equivalent. How many young people want a sofa-bed from the basement with its heavy, steel frame?
Most furniture and accessories in boomer’s homes are relatively dark unless they have been replaced recently. Current tastes favour* light-colour palettes. (Think IKEA.)
While we’re on the topic of IKEA, another major difference between traditional and contemporary furniture is the capability of assembly/disassembly. Older furniture was usually assembled by the manufacturer, with no intention of ever disassembling it or involving the purchaser. Current designs often provide for or expect to have “some assembly required”. This provides the flexibility and low cost that young buyers find attractive.
Society has become much more informal over the past few decades and this is reflected in design changes over this period. Have you heard kids say a particular desk is too stuffy?
Let’s face it, many kids with good income balk at having a key piece of furniture that looks worn and old. They would rather have something new that looks good, even if the old furniture was originally very expensive.
Used vs new
Along the same lines, kids with the financial means, usually don’t want any of your items that may have a “thrift store look”, unless they are proud of their ability to find bargains.
Many of the above attitudes are driven by the availability of easy credit. Today’s young people have much more access to credit than their parents and grandparents. It is a lot easier to be fussy when you know you can just charge it.
Finally, the trend these days is to go digital. Rather than have all of your bulky, family photo albums and documents, your kids are more likely to ask you to have the photos scanned so they take up no physical storage space. Actually, this can be a good family project.
If you are still convinced that someone else will want your stuff even if your kids don’t then you must find someone who agrees with you. Either a buyer or someone who will gladly accept it for free. That is how the value is established, by a finding a buyer who is willing to pay for all the positive features you still appreciate. There will be more on this in a future article.
What stuff do you have that your kids don’t want?
*You will notice Canadian spelling on this website.
Find out how to keep in touch with Downsizing Help by clicking on Subscription Choices in the top menu bar. A new post is released every Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.
Unless otherwise credited, all posts are happily authored in quill & pen by …
Paul Ferri, Broker
RE/MAX Unique Inc. Brokerage*, Toronto, Canada
*Each office independently owned and operated
Photo credit: Pixabay ~ Pexels