Recently I’ve found several articles talking about adult kids not wanting their parents’ stuff, including this New York Times one. I completely understand the dilemma kids face when deciding whether or not to keep their family’s heirlooms. I’m a millennial living in New York City with hardly any space for my winter clothes.
I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist, but whether it’s the New York City lifestyle or the shift in culture and society, I’ve definitely adopted a simpler way of living. The 500 square foot apartment that I share with my boyfriend and our dog has all the essential things any couple needs — a bed, couch, TV, kitchen table and a dresser.
As my mom went through her spring cleaning phase earlier this year, determined to clean out our attic, she asked me if I wanted to keep some of our family heirlooms.
Now yes, some of the “keepsakes” weren’t worth keeping. I told her I’d pass on keeping my 3rd grade report card from Mrs. Maldonado's class or Grandma's sewing machine. I know I’ll never take up sewing. But I surprisingly did want to keep some of the items this year.
This past year my grandma passed away, and every year up until now I had told my mom that I didn’t want any of her handmade quilts. However, this year I felt different, and I was happy she had hung on to some of them.
Other items like my parent’s cedar chest or a rocking chair that sat in my nursery when I was a baby I’ve asked my mom to keep. Lucky for me, my parents haven’t completely downsized and they’re able to hold on to some of the stuff for me.
I can definitely relate to the minimalist movement. I like living simple, organized and clutter-free. I’ve found having fewer things does actually make me happier. But maybe I haven’t completely adopted into the movement, because what worries me is that I will regret not keeping some of the stuff.
By 2030 more than 20 percent of United States residents are projected to be aged 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010, according to a 2014 United States census report. This leaves a lot of millennials like myself to question what will we do with our parents’ stuff when they do decide to downsize (or clean out the attic completely).
I’m fortunate that my parents have agreed to hold onto some of the family heirlooms that won’t fit in my New York apartment, but I’m also lucky that there are companies like Stashable that will store the keepsakes I want just in case we end up staying in the city a little longer than we thought.