There is nothing better than moving out to realize how many things you have. When every item in your home needs to be packed in boxes and transported to another location, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of wealth you own.
Often when we move, we end up taking the opportunity to clean out our belongings. Bags and boxes are donated to thrift stores. Used clothes are passed on to neighbors. Keepsake gifts are again given to friends.
It can be a painstaking process at any age, but especially emotional for aging retirees.
The numbers show that between the ages of 18 and 54, we tend to move into all large houses. It makes sense – you start with an affordable one bedroom space. You get married, have children and you need to move into something more.
Pensioners are on the opposite side.
Their grown children have moved, they are growing up and would like to make their housework and maintenance easier for themselves. After 55 years, people usually move from large dwellings to smaller ones.
The burgeoning “senior management” industry has emerged to meet the special needs of the older generation. The trade group, the National Association of Senior Moving Managers, has 950 member companies.
These companies handle everything from renting trucks to changing your address and renegotiating your cable contract for your new home.
Industry insiders say one of the toughest aspects of their job is managing jewelry that won’t fit in a new home but want to keep “in the family.” Parents and grandparents often hope that their children and grandchildren will inherit their precious relics and collections. But the junior set doesn’t have that.
Adult Millennials of the baby boomer generation have their own style and taste that may not match that of their parents. Many themselves live in small homes with minimalist aesthetics. An antique oak cage just won’t go well with an Ikea-inspired bachelor apartment in its twenties.
The younger set is also not kept in the same formal style as the older generation, which makes silver cutlery and trendy porcelain obsolete. It’s not about ingratitude, but about completely different lifestyles of generations.
It all boils down to this: Just because Mom thought it was precious doesn’t mean that her daughter doesn’t give a damn.
Keith Grondin of Home Transition Resource, a move management company, says: “We can help mitigate the blow if kids don’t want to, but are afraid to tell their parents.” Sometimes children outright refuse to inherit items such as furniture, artwork, or utensils that their parents have held for decades or even generations.
In other cases, children may only take objects to turn around and toss or give them away to avoid offense.
When relocating elders ask senior relocation manager Ann Lucas of Ducks in a Row, “What do I do with my crystal and china?” – she answers them: “Drink your OJ out of this. What difference does it make if the gold comes off? Children don’t want that. “
This story was first published here in June 2017.