You’ve spent a lifetime collecting treasures, and you’re so proud of the antique spoon collection that has been in your family for generations. But before you bank on the fact that you’ll be passing them down to your kids, talk to them. Don’t let your heirlooms their headache. They want to fill their homes with items that are meaningful to them, just like you did.
This may come as a shock to many, but the fact is that millennials travel a lot lighter than their parents. Modern lifestyles don’t afford time for dusting of knickknacks and polishing of silver. Take a trip thought any thrift or consignment store for proof of this theory. They are filled to the rim with traditional furniture and collectable figurines.
One of our clients recently inherited a collection of over 200 Hummel figurines, her mother’s most prized possession. While she’s going to keep several that mean the most to her, she has no space for all of them. She spoke with an appraiser about selling these antique and once very expensive items, and was told there is no market for them. Donate them to charity and take the write off was the advice she received.
Here’s our recommendations on sparing your kids some grief and guilt:
- Talk to your kids. Ask them what they want and have them tell you exactly what they don’t want so you can make other meaningful arrangements for those items. Perhaps donation to a favorite charity or offering them to another family member or friend.
- Accept the fact that times have changes. Younger generations find fulfillment in more virtual ways. When you have Netflix, iPhone and Amazon at your fingertips, you’re less consumed with physical items. Items that you found useful or appealing may no longer practical.
- Don’t take it personally. Just because your children don’t want all of your things does not mean they don’t want to remember you.
- Start downsizing now. Identify what your kids don’t want and what is no longer bringing you joy and get rid of it now! Plan a garage sale, sell a few things on eBay, arrange a charity pick-up (see our previous blog on this topic) or call a consignment store. You’ll feel freer and lighter and your kids surely will too.