In our latest installment with our real estate expert, Deb Sarsany of The Deb Sarsany Team at The Real Estate Group, she discusses a topic, which many fear of raising; the passing down of unwanted items to your adult children. In her own words, Deb tells Eighteen21 readers how to avoid passing down unwanted stuff to your kids.
It’s topic I try to raise with some of my more elderly clients. The matter of the fact is that their adult children do not want their stuff. If you’re hanging onto your favorite piece of furniture, although there’s no way it’s going to fit into the new home you’ve bought in an effort to downsize, the collection of figurines you’ve been saving since your teens, or the dinner set presented to you by your parents at your wedding, for example, it’s highly likely your children don’t want your stuff. Sure, there’s bound to be one or two items that they’re interested in, perhaps your engagement ring, or another special piece of jewelry, but not your everyday pots and pans, rugs or bedroom furniture etc.
This is becoming an all too familiar situation as the baby boomers downsize, de-clutter and empty out the home they raised their children in. The move from a large family home to a more modest and practical pad is a tough one to make for many without having to sell, donate, or discard the items you’ve surrounded yourself with for the past 50, 60, or 70 years – I get it, I really do, but don’t burden your offspring with the same problem further down the line.
Here are a few tips to help ease the pain.
Number one on my list, ask your kids if they want anything and what exactly it is that they would like. It’s literally as simple as that.
Second, if your kids tell you that they don’t want your stuff, listen to them, they’re not being ‘nice’, they really don’t want it.
Third, sometimes it’s hard for parents to do so, but recognize the fact that your kids have their own tastes, whether they’re fully fledged adults with their own families, or a little younger, they probably have most of what you have already.
Although I’ll admit, as would many, ‘they don’t make stuff now like they used to,’ that stuff back then is out of date now. Acknowledge the fact that even furniture has a shelf life. And, I know what you’re going to say, ‘but, it’s an antique,’ well maybe your kids just aren’t into antiques. Maybe it’s best to sell it, let someone who will appreciate it have it and give the proceeds to your kids?
Let’s face it, times have changed, no one has shag pile carpet anymore or the settee suite, rug or lampshade to match. Millennials are all about clean lines, open plan, and bright and light color schemes. They don’t do clutter.
There aren’t many thirty or forty-somethings I know that want a drinks trolley, booze cabinet or ironing board at that, they want a simple easy life – cabinets in the kitchen do the trick when it comes to drinks and they don’t own an iron to go with the ironing board because they buy wrinkle free clothes and have tumble dryers.
And finally, don’t guilt them into accepting your stuff, it’ll only sit in their garage, attic, or basement – or worse, they’ll have to pay to store it.
So, it’s time to face facts and deal with reality – at the end of the day, your kids simply do not want your stuff.