Heads: The MILLENNIAL – GEN X Perspective

Aging parents are downsizing but the struggle is: What to do with Everything!


We all grow up eventually and the reality is we are going to keep a few memorable things here and there. Those who are retired or are planning for retirement however, are facing a challenging decision: what to keep? what to let go? .

The following four sections examine both sides

of the same coin…


“According to the 2014 United States census report, more than 20 percent of America’s population will be 65 or older by 2030.”

– New York Times

Heads: The MILLENNIAL – GEN X Perspective
Decades ago, the process was easy; anything you didn’t want you just gave to the kids. Today’s young adults however, have a minimalistic mindset. They buy what they need from inexpensive home stores like Ikea or Costco and get rid of the rest to the endless donation stores. Why keep your parents old things when you can have your style for a substantially cheaper price then what your parents probably spent years ago. Furniture these days can be made a lot cheaper in a wider variety of styles so there is no need to settle for whatever your parents can give you.

Do you notice similar drastic differences between your style and the style of your parents?

“Up until the ’90s, it was a collecting time period. Now, there is more of a letting-go period — less is more — so we’re starting to see that trend of people letting things go.” – Global News

Another big factor in why the process of passing on the heirlooms seems to be declining; websites like EbayKijiji or Letgo. It is so easy to find a buyer out there online for just about anything, in any condition. No more sitting outside all day on a Saturday, hoping someone will stop by your garage sale. Take a picture, post it online and just like that you could likely have someone at your door the next day to pick it up, cash in hand.

If you’re desperate enough to get rid of it and don’t need the cash but would be torn to just throw it away, bring it to a donation box or restore. There is at least one in every town, making the guilt of letting things go a little easier knowing that someone can continue to appreciate it just in a different home.

“Millennials are also less inclined to want their parents’ household goods simply because they have no place to put them.”  – New York Times


These donation stores are seeing an obvious effect from this change in tradition. Shelves are overwhelmingly full with good quality free donations from all of those who do not wish to keep the family keepsakes. Of course this is a great benefit to non-profit organizations but too many donations can be an issue. Sure our homes are cleaner and more minimalistic but the small town stores are getting more then they are selling. Where does a free donation store bring their overstock? If there is not enough room in the store do they simply donate to another store and take the loss or are some of our donating goods going to the dump.  One has to wonder.


“Changing aesthetic tastes are also responsible for the overflow.”     –New York Times

So we can sell it all online or donate it to a local non-profit organization but how do we even get to the point of letting it all go. If it is a matter of taking what your parents can’t fit it into their downsized homes or retirement centers then we can discuss with them what they would be comfortable with letting go of and what they wish for us to keep. But if the inheritance is due to the passing of your parents then it can be hard determine what is something of value and what is a meaningless collectable. It is important to have conversations like this with our parents, learning the significance of their precious keepsakes might make it a reason for use to cherish it once they are gone. You also might be very unaware of what certain items are worth on the market due to the age it was created. That ugly doll you threw in the Salvation Army could have been worth thousands on the Internet, you never know.


If the entire procedure of sorting through what to keep is too overwhelming there is a simple fix. Get the next generation to sort through it. Put it all in a storage pod, lock it up and leave it to them in the will. Your parents will be happy that nothing was thrown away and your garage can stay a garage. There are many storage facilities in every town, from small lockers to large warehouse facilities. Out of sight out of mind for a very low cost. Kincardine Super Storage is just one of the many facilities to have everything packed away for another date. The last thing you want is to upset your family by throwing out everything or storing it all in your house.

When it comes to the finding of a new place, searching for a moving companies or locating the right storage facilities.

Morrison MacKenzie can help. Call 519-389-7153 or email if you have any questions or wish to be pointed in the right direction when downsizing or retirement in the near future.

It is always a pleasure to Help You Mo’

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