• 7 Family Heirlooms Your Kids Don’t Want When You Downsize

    7 Family Heirlooms Your Kids Don’t Want When You Downsize

Recent world events may have you spending more time in your home than usual. During  this time, it may have crossed your mind to begin your downsizing journey. That might have led you to make a list of family heirlooms you want to bequeath to your children and grandchildren.

Well, according to Elizabeth Stewart, author of No Thanks, Mom you might want to come up with a backup plan. It may come as a surprise, but your kids probably won’t keep what you have to give them. Especially, if they favor the phrase “less is more” when it comes to physical possessions. So, what do you do with the stuff they don’t want?

Family Heirlooms Your Kids Don’t Want

Books

Problem

Unless your grown kids are academics or professors, they don’t want your books as family heirlooms. And, there are a couple of frequent mistakes people make while evaluating their value. So, here are a few things you should know about your books:

  • 17th-century books are most likely grammatical or theological and  are not rare
  • Most 19th-century books are not likely to be in good condition or in a complete set

Solution

If you think a book might be rare, check out Biblio.com and enter the title, author, year of publication, and publisher into the search bar. This will help you determine its rarity. If it is a common book, the best home for it will likely be a second-hand book shop.

Paper Ephemera

Problem

Items like old greeting cards, postcards, and photos fall under the category of paper ephemera.  . Although old photos may hold a lot of sentimental value, they aren’t really worth anything and can be a pain to store in albums. And these days, postcards are hardly worth the stamp.

Solution

Turn all your paper ephemera into digital files and give them to your family that way. A flash drive is much easier to store than a stack of photo albums.

Porcelain Figurines

Problem

Porcelain figurines like Hummel’s and Precious Moments are not family heirlooms as far as your kids and grandkids are concerned. Even though they may bring to mind pleasant memories of the people who gave them to you, once again, they have no real value. They are mass-produced and sadly, not rare. Though they are fun collector’s items, they aren’t likely to match the aesthetic of your child’s home. 

Solution

If you want to gift your collection to your children, try taking photos of them instead and give them the digital file. 

Silver-Plated Objects

Problem

Your kids don’t want to polish silver, trust us. The exception to this rule is if the silver-plated items are from Tiffany, Carrier, Christofle, Asprey, and other notable manufacturers. 

Solution

Donate them. It’s the easiest way to make sure they will find their way to someone who wants them.

Heavy Antique Furniture

Problem

This is especially true if the furniture in question is dark. Contemporary interior design trends lean  more towards light and fresh aesthetics. Luckily, there is still a market for these types of couches and chairs, although you’ll probably receive much less than you originally paid. In most cases, you’ll have to pay to get rid of them.

Solution

If you are determined to sell your furniture, try using a service like P4A.com to find out where and if the pieces will sell.

Persian Rugs

Problem

Once again, the contemporary trends in modern interior design don’t lend themselves to garish, multicolored Persian rugs. Though you may have paid a pretty penny for them and want to see them go to a good home, your children likely have a different sense of taste when it comes to decorating. 

Solution

Unless the rug is some kind of rarity, it will be hard to sell in the U.S.. These rugs are likely best donated.

Linens

Problem

Admiring your hand-embroidered pillowcases may bring you joy, but your kids don’t want the three boxes of table cloths, napkins, and the like. If they want things like that, they likely already have them in the style they prefer.

Solution

Your linens are fodder for upcycling.
Ready to begin downsizing? Here is the best FREE starter’s guide to beginning your downsizing journey. Click the icon below to download your FREE copy to Unlock the Power to Declutter: The Definitive Guide on How to Start.

Concord Reserve is a continuing care retirement community in Westlake, Ohio, with independent living apartments, assisted living, rehab services, and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Concord Reserve online or at 440-871-0090.