Your Kids Don’t Want Your Stuff

August 3, 2020
the kids dont want your stuff Peel Law Firm Millington
Sadly, virtually nobody wants the prized possessions of their grandparents and parents anymore. This is hard for me to understand, as I am the sentimental keeper of stuff in our family. But this is true and we need to plan accordingly. Changing tastes, traveling and values have eviscerated the desire for much of what was once sought after.  Do your kids want your stuff?  You might look to find it a different home.

“Brown” furniture

You know that lovely dining room table and the eight elegant chairs? The large, heavy armoire? The china cabinet? Old mahogany stuff our grandparents sacrificed to acquire is basically worthless. Most of it was mass-produced. They don’t hold value and are so out of style. The kids will just go to IKEA and get a table in box that is the right size and basically disposable.


The old sewing machine, pie safe, Victrola, telephone, saw, butter churn, washboard, etc.


You are lucky if this new generation even owns an iron.


At weddings, no one is picking out formal china patterns anymore. They register at Target. Kid prefer plainer, more minimalistic furnishings. They do not want your 12-piece setting of fine bone china with the brass chargers and delicate teacups. Sadly, Grandma’s fine china is not any more valuable than skeet--and will be used even less.


Similarly, even the prized crystal passed down for generations is not desired.

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Whether it be the collection of porcelain dolls, teapots, farm tools, snuff bottles, glass insulators, blue delph plates, milk glass, carnival glass, Fenton glass, collector spoons, thimbles, stamps, collectable commemorative plates, beanie babies, or oil cans, no one else a generation younger is likely to appreciate it. Coin and older baseball card collections are likely to be sold on Ebay.


As someone that still has the complete encyclopedia set I grew up with—not sure why, but I still do—this one hurts. Unless the books have true collector value, they are not going to populate your descendants’ bookshelves. Of course, what young one even has “bookshelves” anymore?


The silver tray that you polished each time you used it, has probably been used for the last time already.

Old, un-labeled photos

The cherished black and white photo of your great grandma on a pony from 1924, if unlabeled, has no more meaning to your descendants than the old portraits staring down at them from the wall at Cracker barrel. Label the important ones of your ancestors--as opposed to the one of your friend from high school that died when you were 23.


While some heirloom jewelry maybe passed down due to its smaller size, it unlikely to be worn. Styles change.


One thing you will never see: today’s kids voluntarily polishing old silver flatware.

What are Tchotchkes?

Tchotchkes (CHOTCH-kə) are small baubles, miscellaneous item, free promotional items dispensed at trade shows, conventions, cheap souvenirs in tourist areas, which are sometimes called "tchotchke shops". Porcelain figurine collections and Bradford Exchange ‘cabinet’ plates, 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. The coin dish from Branson, the matchbooks from Nashville and the little wooden boat emblazoned “Bahamas” will hold no value.

“What do we do with all this stuff?” will likely be said the day after your wake. Here are some steps you can take now to make that transition easier for the IKEA generation who doesn't want your stuff:

  1. Tell the stories of your stuff to your kids and grandkids.
  2. Label things.
  3. You could donate books to your public library.
  4. Prepare for disappointment. For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously, as boomers’ parents pass and the boomers themselves are downsizing.”

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