Pssst, Boomer . . . Your Kids May Not Want That!

Pssst, Boomer . . . Your Kids May Not Want That!

Do your kids want the report cards, crayon art, essays, trophies, baby teeth, and other tokens of childhood you saved for them?  Adult children’s interest in taking these treasures when they leave home varies, but they often don’t want them which may feel hurtful.

Mother and adult daughter have a disagreement

“I Keep Telling Them To Get Their Stuff, But They Don’t!”

Parents wonder why they tell their adult children that their childhood stuff is ready for pick-up, but they never see boxes leaving their homes. Parents should realize that sometimes their children don’t value the saved items as much as they do. You envision the kindergartner who drew the sweet crayon drawing of a puppy; your son or daughter only sees a drawing of a puppy. There’s a big difference.

Suggestion: Recognize that your child’s rejection of memorabilia is not a rejection of your love or their childhood memories. It simply reflects how they feel about physical mementos that don’t best reflect what they value.

Mother and adult daughter have a disagreement
two dolls

“There Might Be Something Collectible In The Boxes”

Occasionally, your child may have something collectible in what you saved. However, significant value is rare. You may have bought dolls for your daughter that she didn’t play with and were kept in their boxes so they would stay in mint condition, but very few of them have high values now.

Suggestion: Toys make great playthings but don’t typically make great investments. If your grown child doesn’t want the toys, donate them to a thrift organization so another child can enjoy them.

“My Children Want Me To Store Their Things Until They Have Room”

There is a time period that makes sense to hold onto things, and only you can determine how long that is. Not your kids. Not other parents. You. You may be okay with storing boxes while your kids are in college or living in their first apartment. Or your limit may be two years after they’ve moved out. It’s okay if it’s longer. However, you’re not a warehouse and don’t need to store things after you’ve reached the limit you’ve set.

Suggestion: Give your children a date when you want the items removed before you discard them. It may help to empty the boxes and take pictures of everything if they find it hard to come to your home to look at what you have. They can review the photos to tell you what they want to pick up in the time frame you’ve given so that you can discard the rest.

Date circled on the calendar
Date circled on the calendar

Whether you want your children to pick up their things right after their high school graduation ceremony or after your funeral, it’s important to curate what you keep. Keeping small samples of only special items that fit within one or two boxes focuses on what is most important. Less is more!

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