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Old 03-30-2015, 09:26 AM
Location: North Oakland
9,155 posts, read 8,665,012 times
Reputation: 14345


Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
Rickety IKEA-grade furniture from the early 1990s isn't worth the effort to disassemble, move, and re-assemble. Many of us know that such quality does not survive a re-assembly ('tis a mystery of IKEA).
I have a set of IKEA shelves I've moved five times, and it's held up fine. I bought its various components between 1987 and 1990, IIRC. I didn't expect to be using it for more than a couple of years.

Also, I've sold and given away a lot of Fiestaware (non-vintage) over the past year, and two out of the three recipients/buyers are young people.

Last edited by jay5835; 03-30-2015 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:54 AM
Location: Chicago
3,275 posts, read 4,766,968 times
Reputation: 4036
All I know is, every single time my in-laws visit us, they bring over a car load of junk that no one wants. They practically stock our garage sales. I don't know why they do it; we have never given any indication that we want anything.

Just reading this thread makes me want to go through my house and get rid of half of my possessions.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:25 AM
Location: Durham, NC
2,024 posts, read 5,328,727 times
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This has been an interesting challenge for my wife and me in recent years. We are late GenX, on the cusp of Millennial, and fit into both demo's in a sense.

My mother was a hoarder, plain and simple. She had a mix of very nice antiques along with items that, frankly, had no value and she could just not get rid of. She retired to a 3,000 sq. ft. house and bought a 2,000 sq. ft. industrial bldg. next door, filled them both with 'stuff,' and yet we still filled 6 dumpsters of unwanted or spoiled items from her home before she retired!

Some of the best of the antiques she collected are, real and true bona-fide antiques -- like a sofa that is in the collections of the Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wanted (and my wife supported me in this) to preserve the best of the pieces, which means we bought a house large enough to have a formal Victorian living room, a dining room, and two bedrooms filled with antiques.

Of course, this necessitates a larger house than we really need. And, these centerpiece sofas are too valuable and delicate to be sat upon... which is its own hassle. With other items, like jam jars, crystal, silver, art, etc., we have been able to display the pieces or use them as accents without impacting the use of the room.

When we do some renovations this summer, we've agreed to take SOME of the large pieces that aren't the best-of-the-best and auction or sell them. For instance, in the living room, we want to have two modern (not contemporary design, but compatible or replica) sofas that people can sit on in the center of the room, with antiques on the edges -- so we can actually make use of the room. Similarly, one of the two antique bedroom sets will go, because it requires custom mattress sizing and is a room we expect to have other uses for.

Interestingly, at the estate sale/auction, those 18th and 19th century pieces we DID sell went for far less than some of the 1950s, Mad Men-style Danish modern furnishings that are all the retro-rage these days. Taste is a hard thing to account for.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:55 AM
1,511 posts, read 1,551,318 times
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Originally Posted by Amelorn View Post
We're not rejecting your stuff because we only want the "latest and greatest" or whatever put down some of you come up with to rationalise our refusal.

Most of us are choosing smaller homes than prior generations: this means less space for stuff.
To me, this seems to be the thing that keeps getting left out of the conversation. Many young people in 2015 are more accustomed to the idea of living in smaller spaces where it's just not practical to accumulate a lot of things.

M wife and I are a childless couple on the younger end of Gen X; we live like many urban Millennials. We've both lived in apartments since the early 2000's, downsizing several times to stay within the metro area close to work despite climbing rents. We just don't have room for stuff that's not essential- we live in a one bed one bath apartment with two small closets.

We do take some hand-me-downs from our folks, but we also say "no thanks" if we don't have anywhere to put it or don't see a reason to have it. Moving four times in eight years has a way of making you a minimalist.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:03 AM
26,589 posts, read 52,277,138 times
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Taste trends vary and continue to evolve... each generation identifies good of bad with things of their childhood.

Didn't want to mention this before and after thinking about it decided why not.

In my travels over seas I'm always cognizant of how others view Americans...

On my last trip to Germany I happened to catch a talk show and the topic was "Only in America" and the subject was Americans anxious over having too much?

Went on to profile hoarders, collectors and family members of the above in detail and said this is just another example of how much Americans have based on what they are willing to throw away all the way down to a Grandmother going to a nursing facility whose children told her to toss anything she wasn't taking with her... they wanted none of her processions and said so to her face which left her a broken woman... no compassion in that family.

The rest of the show had callers... many lived through the war and lost EVERYTHING including family members... just having something as simple as your own fork, spoon and plate or a simple suitcase were treasures...

It does give one pause to think at least it did for me.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:31 AM
Location: in the mountains
1,372 posts, read 806,270 times
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Originally Posted by choff5 View Post
Today's Washington Post article about how the baby boomer collectors are discovering the millennials don't want our stuff. This has been discussed here so much we could have written this.

Stuff it: Millennials nix their parents

I have one DS who fits this to the T but I discovered my other one does have some sentimental bones as he took more stuff than I expected. Of course he's also a starving student living in a high cost area so more likely it was practical needs won out over sentimental desires.
I have a tendency to look at WaPo articles with skepticism because living in the DC area, I have noticed Washington Post has a political stance and bias to pander to certain demographics to sell stories, as well as a liberal agenda.

Having said that, I'm a Millennial, and I wish I could save everything from the past! I don't have the space for it, though. I think that's really what the problem is, Millennials on average can't afford to buy homes or store large amounts of stuff the way the Baby Boomers can afford to do. I wouldn't say we aren't interested in the past, I would just say we unfortunately can't afford the luxury of holding on to a lot.

I think this WaPo article is trying to make Baby Boomers and Xer's dislike the Millennials even more, but I have noticed that trend in the DC area, there is a big cultural war between generations but it's fashionable to pick on the Millennials and sterotype them as annoying, ungrateful kids. This WaPo article is trying to feed into that frenzy by painting the Millennials as ungrateful brats who don't care about their familie's histories or traditions. I wholeheartedly disagree.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:57 AM
1,511 posts, read 1,551,318 times
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Originally Posted by Mangokiwi View Post
This WaPo article is trying to feed into that frenzy by painting the Millennials as ungrateful brats who don't care about their familie's histories or traditions. I wholeheartedly disagree.
I'm also not sure where a willingness to take on hand-me-downs and keepsakes you don't want, need, or have room for became the same thing as "caring about family history or traditions".

Anyone who thinks so should be sentenced to to life in a 500 square foot apartment for a year.
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:55 PM
Location: Terramaria
774 posts, read 840,917 times
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The collectibles market is just like stocks/bonds. There will be booms, busts, slow-growth items, and depressions brought about by a number of factors, trends, and cycles. As a Millenial, I love to collect various things from the past that have an aura that lacks in the "live for now" like so many of my peers prefer to do.

I do live in a large suburban house, so that allows me to have more space to carry my belongings, though I always would buy things because I enjoy the items, not because I just want to possess it.

My biggest item I purchased was a 1963 Wurlitzer 2700 Jukebox. It's not in perfect condition (the coin mechanism is missing as is a small panel that covers part of the top), but it plays fine otherwise, looks decent, and compared to some of the older jukeboxes, is a fraction of the price yet can still fit nicely in a mid-century designed bar due to the deep blue covering and steel around it (this isn't like the wooden jukeboxes of the late '60s/'70s that I don't care about as much), and purchased it for $600 as a means to play moy huge 45 RPM collection.

I've already explained it, but I avoid most records that are country/easy listening (with some exceptions) along with other records in fair/poor condition (unless if scarce/rare), since owning a physical copy of many of these shows that you own the original way that these records were played, and lots of classic rock/R&B still sounds great to listen to today. And given that one sold on eBay for $1150 recently (with the panel and a few similar minor problems), I felt like I got a good deal, especially since this was bought in 2009 during the recession. But another factor behind the decline is the change in family lifestyles. You don't have the housewife culture like you did a few decades ago and thus lots of old supposedly "vintage" stuff that these people used, from patterns to china to kitchen equipment just doesn't hold to as big of an audience as it once did.

Many of the items I collect have well-established pricing guides (coins, records, comics (not all post-1980 comics are worthless such as early TMNT), meaning that there will always be a good audience for them as despite the online presence of comics, many paper issues still seem to be selling well and if anything are in better shape then they were in the late '90s/most of the 2000s in the wake of the 1990s comic bubble, partly due to the rise of the CGC and importance of conditions. Over the past year, I've purchased over 12,000 postcards at the average of around eight cents a piece on eBay, most of them at least 50 years old and then selling some of the "junk", such as tourist traps, natural scenes, and other unwanted topics such as religious buildings since many of these not only depict a scene in time, but older ones are nicely lithographed and are in essence mini-pieces of art, plus they take about as much space as a grandfather clock. As you can see most of the stuff I by is much more mobile and can easily be shipped as clearly eBay has made the heavy items suffer the most. Organs, grandfather clocks, old TV sets from the '50s-'60s, massed-produced vintage clothing, massed-produced, still in-print books, and others currently frown at the taste of the Millenials.

Not all books though are undesirable, from out-of-print to many old magazines. I have lots of Billboard Magazines from the '70s, '80s, and very early '90s and these weren't widely issued compared to Rolling Stone and find these cool. I also have over 1200 issues of TV guide from the late '50s to the '90s which I find a good reference point for another thing I collect: old, pre-recorded VHS and Beta tapes for content, usually original broadcasts and not-on-video shows in order to tape trade with others and build a collection, along with nostalgia purposes since lots of old TV shows from the '80s/'90s I grew up with are not on video or only partially so. I still like to collect stuff, some things like our parents/grandparents, others for a new generation.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:19 PM
Location: Maritime Northwest, WA
84 posts, read 118,684 times
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Originally Posted by maggie2101 View Post
Hubby and I are boomers, not millenials, but we still don't want his 83 yo mother's stuff. She recently moved out of her 30 year home to a two bedroom apartment in an assisted living center. While preparing for the move she called me almost daily asking if we wanted this or that.

  • 38 photo albums
  • a living room suite from the 60s in harvest gold
  • plastic dishes and margarine tubs
  • hubby's skis and other sport items from when he was in junior high
  • hubby's clarinet from music class in school
  • almost all of her late husband's clothing, which did not fit hubby
My husband and I are Gen X (our son's a Millennial), and when our parents go this is going to be the sort of stuff we're looking at inheriting. Not everyone was in a position to acquire "nice things": my grandparents' families lost everything in the Great Depression/were poor farmers; the men in my parents' generation ALL went into the military, so we moved a lot; and my husband and I are currently in a 1200 square-foot apartment -- unless we move an hour outside the city or find better jobs elsewhere, we're never going to be in a position to own a home here.

When I can, I've made copies of family photos and shared them with the rest of the clan, and I have a table given to me by my grandfather before he died; DS has a sword from the same grandfather. That's it: all of the money they'd saved went to settling the estate and medical bills. I have begged family members to go through existing photo albums and identify the people in them, to make copies of things, and been ignored. When my grandmother sold her trailer and moved in with my mother, I was offered two '70s barstools with cracked Naugahyde tops, but couldn't persuade anyone to get me a copy of her wedding picture.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:43 PM
12,825 posts, read 20,135,648 times
Reputation: 10910
They don't want your stuff because they are 6 people to a two bedroom apartment.
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