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Your Kids Probably (Really) Don't Want Your Stuff

Your kids probably (really) don't want your stuff. I know. This is very hard to believe. Hang in there with me.

I recently gave a presentation where a gentleman shared that his 20-something year old children were still living with him. He and his wife were interested in pairing down, but someday the kids would finally move out and he was convinced they’d need the stuff from the house.

Uh, no. Have you been to an Ikea? I asked him if he had talked to the kids about the furniture and kitchenware to see if they wanted any of it, and he sheepishly replied ‘no’.

My Grandmother was very organized, neat and practical, so at some point during our annual visit, my sister and I would walk around her home identifying items that we wanted when she died. I found this totally morbid and exciting. As a 12 year old girl, this gave me the thrill of incomprehensible responsibility that I longed for, to have my own place that I can fill with things that all completely belonged to me.

Ultimately, she moved out of that home and I ended up with everything in it. Everything. In. The. House. Forty-Five years of accumulation. At the time, I was already a grown up, with my own house full of stuff. To this day, I only have the three things I marked as a child, a set of mixing bowls and her bunt pan.

I’d encourage you to talk to your kids to see if there is anything that might interest them. I know that styles change then things come back around and are considered ‘retro’, but there is a really, really, really good chance that your kids don’t want the majority of your stuff.

Ouch.

This can be hurtful. After all, that TV entertainment center has value. You know what you paid for it and it has served a great purpose over the many years you’ve owned it. In fact, it’s still a perfectly good piece of furniture and loaded with all the VHS tapes you had invested in over the years. The three digital cameras in your drawer captured a lot of wonderful vacation pictures, many of those very kids! It’s hard to believe the kids don’t want them (hint, check with the grandkids!). Don’t be upset, I have all kinds of things in my house that my kids will have no interest in acquiring from me either. In fact, my 12 year old son just told me he’s interested in about 1% of my items.

You get the idea. As we find ourselves at home with a little extra time on our hands, I’d encourage you to take inventory to see what you’re ready to ditch.

Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to connect with your kids via Facetime, Facebook Messenger Video or Zoom (click each word for 'how to' directions) to walk though the house and look at items. You will be making progress on your stuff, socially distancing, but not socially isolated. Sounds like a win all the way around! My Grandma would be very happy.


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