When to say WHEN to mom and dad's stuff
When I read this article (see link at the bottom of blog post) it really hit home and I think it will resonate with a lot of baby boomers and their families.(I'm the child of baby boomers)
It's no longer necessary or culturally relevant to have a 12 piece china set that gets used 4 times a year. Nor do we need all the books that were handed down from grandparents unless they wrote them. I'm sharing this so you can share it to your family as well.
The other thing that comes up is this is very generational. The baby boomer generation truly went through a time of less. During WW2 and just after there were real shortages of most everything. Victory gardens were still a thing and people needed to ration their money and belongings. My generation and every generation since has lived in a time of plenty, if you wanted it and you could afford it, it was available to buy. Heck, my trip to the grocery store can easily draw from 5 continents. So we have never thought that at some point we may need those 1000 plastic bags in the closet, or to keep all the old papers so we have something to write on if the paper runs out. We don't think to put plastic bags over our shoes in the rain, we go buy boots made for the rain. In short we are used to having it all at our fingertips.
But things to the WW2 generation had real gravitas, real worth, and some bit of pride wrapped up in everything that you owned. In short they worked for them in more ways than one. So asking them to discard things is not just seen as a clearing act it can feel like a personal attack and a real flippancy to what it took to acquire those things.
Where real estate comes in: Our home is basically our storage container, our receptacle, and a way of keeping score for what we value in our life. For some this is a family, for others it's that mid century furniture collection, and for still others it's simply something to keep the rain off their heads. But it all comes into your decision of what to do when you buy and sell with yours and other's stuff.
It is something that a lot of families deal with as a part of their real estate purchase or sale. Unfortunately many people don't want to get rid of enough stuff. And the reason that so many storage places have proliferated in Hawaii is because people don't want to deal with the uncomfortable reality of letting go. But extraneous things hold you back financially, emotionally, and intrude on your life in the most insidious ways. It's much better to have this conversation and move forward with your life so you don't get into one of the 4 issues below.
I see these scenarios a lot in Hawaii real estate.
1) The parents live here and the kids don't and certainly don't want to ship worthless items to the mainland.
2) Kids live in Hawaii and parents live mainland, again worthless stuff still costs a lot to ship and does no one any good.
3) Kids are moving into parent's home as parents move into care facility or condo. The kids want to make the home their own but the parents want it to be like a wax museum when they come to visit.
4) Parents are selling the home due to financial circumstances or downsizing and the kids live in condos or much smaller homes and can't/don't want to take all the parents junk because space is such a premium in Hawaii housing.
All of the above scenarios are where moving and real estate professionals can be helpful. Sometimes even just going over with your agent what you want to use to stage a home for sale will make clear that there is very little value to the belongings that are already in the home. If you have a lot of stuff and don't know where to begin I can turn you onto an estate professinal that will work with your family to help you maximize your income while reducing the junk pile.
I'd challenge you to keep your home lithe, light, and svelte by going through your belongings and choosing your purchases wisely, particularly if you live in Hawaii. After all, everything has to come on a ship, an airplane, or be produced by the Aina to make it into you home. And when we all choose smartly it is better for not just us, but our neighbors and island home as well.
Would love for people to post their own stories in the comments section on our facebook page.
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This issue hits us all and I'd love to hear your stories.
This is the link to article that really started me thinking about this today.
Memo to parents