If you’re like us, you value your furniture. You purchased nice items built to last—pieces you expected to pass on to your children as they move out and you downsize.
But here’s something we didn’t plan for, courtesy of Denver Post columnist Marni Jameson: “Parents of grown children, please sit down with a sobering cup of black coffee,” she writes. “Your kids don’t want your stuff. Don’t take it personally. It’s not that they don’t love you. They don’t love your furniture.”
Jameson echoes the thoughts of antique dealers and owners of consignment shops, who have noticed this recent trend. While older adults value the family history represented in items such as the china hutch, antique sideboard, and collectable figurines, their kids feel differently. “They want their own style, not yours,” writes Jameson. “…Many millennials eschew fussy formal furnishings and prefer to live smaller and lighter.”
Jameson urges parents to ask their children if they want their furniture, rather than assume they will take these castaways. Most children will accept furniture they like, if they feel it fits into their own style, she notes, but they aren’t tied to the history involved.
Whatever their decision, Jameson urges parents to accept it. “So what if they will look back in 20 years and regret not keeping Dad’s green La-Z-Boy recliner? Let them live with the consequences of their decisions. Isn’t that a parent’s job?”
In the end, Jameson notes that parents should avoid equating a child’s appreciation for their things with love. “They don’t need your furniture to hold you in their heart,” she writes. “Give them the gift of freedom.”