Anyone who is a flea market and thrift shop junkie knows how distressing it is to find all the things our generation and previous generations cherished donated and unwanted by our offspring. The Millennial generation and Generation X are cleaning out their parents homes and junking just about everything. They don’t want to be weighted down with “stuff” and only want essentials that are easily disposed of and replaced as they pick up and leave to find a better path, life, or whatever.
However, while those of us in the downsize phrase of our lives look to donate, sell, trash, or find a home for something that someone else could really use, there are things that may be worth keeping. Not because of its value. It would be because it might be priceless to someone in the future (even if they don’t know it yet). There are some things that can’t and shouldn’t be replaced. Let’s think about it.
Technology has and continues to change the way we value important pieces of our lives. We have thousands of e-mails and texts. Our phones have thousands of photos we never print out. Handwritten letters are becoming a relic as are printed photos. These are tangible memories and are truly invaluable. Passing down some of these possessions creates an important connection between generations and plays a vital part in a family’s history. Setting aside a few special things younger members of a family might like to have provides that bridge between old and new. To solve the Millennial and Generation X tendency to leave things behind, these items should be portable and not necessarily a whole collection. Set aside a couple of silk scarves or choose a few mugs from special locations that you collected. Donate the rest. Try to be realistic about what you think relatives might want. Items should have special meaning – like the serving dish used every Thanksgiving, old family photos, a couple of pieces of special jewelry, or one of your favorite paintings.
Try to ignore the minimalism trend. Make choices that feel right. Monetary value could be zero but things are priceless when they connect generations and preserve a familial bond.
What do you think?
(Source: Star-Ledger, August 2017, Nicole Anzia, Washington Post)