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Old 03-31-2015, 07:53 PM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,649,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
If millennials are so intent on living in small spaces, I support that as I, too, live a fairly minimal life (one bed, one sofa, one dining table, etc.) in spite of being a baby boomer. But then who is it who buys all the McMansions (large houses on tiny lots) that STILL keep springing up everywhere, even since the mortgage crisis? Every one of the baby boomers I know is looking to downsize as their children have left home and they have no reason for a living room AND a family room, four+ bedrooms, and an equal number of bathrooms.

I think part of the explanation for your way of life is the word "urban." You want to live in the heart of a metro, which is something I find irresistible. BUT how many people, once they have children, stay in apartments/condos in city centers? Not all that many and if they do they would have to have very well-paying jobs.

Where I live, the new construction that seems to be the norm is (1) "luxury" apartment buildings. Meaning apartments that rent for an average of $1,000 and come with gyms, pools, outdoor exercise spaces, indoor rec rooms, media rooms, and coffee bars. The other type (2) is the single family home of 2,500 sq. ft. and up. Neither of those types of housing seem to be what downsizing baby boomers want. Those who can afford it might go for a 55+ active adult community, which is usually an exurb. But for those who don't like or can't afford that lifestyle, we're pretty much looking for housing better suited to newlyweds. And wherever that turns out to be, we won't have a ton of closet space to keep stuff the "greatest generation" pushed on us.

Personally, I think the buyers of the 2,500+ sq. fit. houses are Gen Xers and you, BATCAT, are just an atypical one of those.
GenX is a very small cohort comparatively. I don't doubt some of us are in such houses, but we're definitely not the sole consumer, there just can't be enough of us.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:00 PM
 
4,447 posts, read 2,624,703 times
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An elderly neighbor {pre-war, pre-depression baby}once told my mother {war baby} and I {late boomer} at her garage sale that when her mother died, the family took turns "taking what they wanted".

THe last item was a hardwood rocking chair. Nobody wanted THAT item. "Too hard to sit on" one said, "too ugly" another said. They finally threw it out to the curb for garbage pickup.

The neighbor said "that is what your life really comes down to, an old hard rocking chair no one wants".

I can say we don't want EVERYTHING of our parents, and My spouse {only child} wants more of MIL's crystal and mega dinner sets than I'd like to take, {or than we have room for}, but what to do with everything else?SInce we have no children or neices or nephews, but do have heirs {who, I am sure, won't want all our crap, valuable or not}, photo albums that mean something to us, will be discarded in the big dumpster they bring in to clean out our house to either live in or to sell. If the picutres aren't on ancestry.com, they won't hold any meaning or value to anyone. And any of my cousin's children won't want any of my pictures as they are not really of their direct relatives. And they will have "mom & dad's or Grandma's" pics to have. maybe even a great grand mother some of my cousins might become by then.

My grandmother {pre-WWI, rest her soul} many years ago sold out her northern house {in favor of her southern home} by auction, and she go very little cash, even though she had a lot of "antiques" that were to her, "just furniture" she had purchased along the way of living life. No one wanted much then or was willing to pay for it, so she got rid of a house full of stuff, but made little money.

SOmething is only of value if someone wants it and values it!
So it will all be "that hard rocking chair no one wants"!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:13 PM
 
26,037 posts, read 33,048,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Me either yet my comment is in reference to posts found in this thread and the bonfire was specifically regarding:

I watched my WW II generation relatives break the handles off 100 year old Belgian china coffee cups and break the plates when my grandmother died. They didn't want anyone to have the set, which was a full service for 16, which had been brought over when she immigrated to the US. The same with a Prussian Army officer's sword, broken in half in a shop vise. Antique tools from that shop were thrown into a 55 gallon drum piled with wood, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Hand blown German Christmas ornaments used as target practice with .22s.

I tried to tell them that some of the individual items were worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. All to the landfill and the bony pile at a local coal mine.



The Millenials don't want our stuff!




Many of the posts also deal with possessions from alive and well parents... like Grandma sending over things each time the kids come home from a visit or letting the kids know she would like to give something away.

Many different reasons have been posted... on the move, no room, would never use, over my dead body... (added for dramatic effect)

Having been around old and elderly a lot and seeing how hard some elderly take this... I wanted to show the other side of how accepting a gift can be a wonderful and gracious act because of the meaning it has for the gifter...

No ulterior motive on my part and I certainly don't have all the answers...
Well, I guess to me, accepting a gift from grandparents (and I have several pieces of furniture that my grandfather actually made - one was made specifically for me, and the others are items that my parents no longer needed) is a totally different subject. I was sticking to the original topic that was posted.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:14 PM
 
2,210 posts, read 1,738,284 times
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I have friend who when he moved simply got rid of all furniture, even printer, mattress, etc and bought all new from Ikea at the other end.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:19 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,361,982 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuptag View Post
I have friend who when he moved simply got rid of all furniture, even printer, mattress, etc and bought all new from Ikea at the other end.
I see this a lot... especially here in the SF Bay Area... the IKEA store in Berkeley does very well.
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Old 04-01-2015, 03:58 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,931 posts, read 42,196,076 times
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I would have taken the hard rocking chair referenced earlier.

I did rescue one from the grandmother's house I mentioned earlier. Those old farts (all in their late 80s/early 90s now) always mention how I "stole" something when they were cleaning out the house. They, rather a couple of them, didn't want anyone in the family to get anything. There was even talk of bulldozing the house. Some of the younger cousins rebelled at that and one ended up buying it.

Oh, the rocker didn't have any sentimental value, it was just a nice rocker that didn't deserve to be broken up and thrown in the burn barrel. My oldest daughter has it at her house now, where it fits in perfectly. The house and chair are both about 100 years old.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:26 AM
 
Location: New England
398 posts, read 583,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
It depends, the couch example, yes.

I watched my WW II generation relatives break the handles off 100 year old Belgian china coffee cups and break the plates when my grandmother died. They didn't want anyone to have the set, which was a full service for 16, which had been brought over when she immigrated to the US. The same with a Prussian Army officer's sword, broken in half in a shop vise. Antique tools from that shop were thrown into a 55 gallon drum piled with wood, doused with gasoline and set on fire. Hand blown German Christmas ornaments used as target practice with .22s.

I tried to tell them that some of the individual items were worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. All to the landfill and the bony pile at a local coal mine.
I experienced something similar with my own boomer parents. When my matriarch of a grandma died, all of her fine jewelry and other valuables were practically given away for a tiny mountain of cash that the 5 children distributed amongst themselves. How could I have said that I wanted something of my grandma's? But her things were sent off to the dumpster lickety split as if her children wanted to rid their minds of her completely. Definitely not what I will be doing as a millenial, I have an appreciation for value, financial and otherwise.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,569,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Cycles... trends... what's old is new... all very normal.

It wasn't all that long ago that every stitch of hardwood had to be covered over with wall to wall carpet.

Not that long ago and dark kitchen cabinets were trashed or painted white... now at least in my area cherry cabinets are very much in again...

Bought my second home from the original owner that bought it new in 1922... they never had children and her husband was quite a bit older... anyway... that home was like going back in time... all the fixtures, stove, everything was from 1922.

My friends couldn't wait for the demolition party to rip out the blue and yellow kitchen tiles, trash the high leg stove and plumbing fixtures... etc.

I chose a different path... I went room by room cleaning and restoring... even took apart and polished all the door lock hardware, refinished the matchstick hardwood floors and built in cabinets and kept the push button light switches.

Spent very little money... mostly time.

When I was done the home really looked like a brand new 1922 Craftsman Bungalow right down to the double hung windows.

Here's the kicker... when it came time to sell... I also got the highest price at that time and much higher than similar homes that had been "Updated"

It taught me that chasing the trends is folly because today's trend is already on the way out.

It also taught me to appreciate simplicity and good design and just how much can be done on a shoestring budget...

If a person can afford to buy a home and rip everything down to the studs and it makes them happy then who am I to say no... just don't kid yourself that everything new is an improvement...
There's a show on HGtv called Rehab Addict. She buys homes which are stated for demolition and fixes them back up to their early century brilliance. I think she did one from about 1900 as well. The woodwork is cleaned and redone if needed, not painted or ripped out. She preserves the old wood floors and does the bathrooms in period tile. Sometimes its not cheap when most of the origionals are not workable or practical, but she turns back time.

I get bored with the 'lets open up the walls and strip everything kind of show. But what is neat is in restoring a house she restores all the rooms properly. One place had a sitting room upstairs and one downstairs. The one downstairs was beautiful but the upstairs one, the private family retreat, was just stunning. The family who bought it loved the sitting rooms as well. I hate when people see old homes and think gut the small rooms and make one big one since they are taking the style of the house. Do that to some crayp 70's house..... no big loss.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
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Standing with one of my sisters in my mother's empty house (our childhood home) before she moved to the next house at 90, we looked around in despair. All I can say is TG she did not have an attic and was not a packrat. If she were, I would have packed up and headed for the hills. As it was, she had four bedrooms full of heavy maple beds with the metal springs, mattresses that weighed a ton, dressers that weighed a ton, recliners that could have served as forts, and a sleeper couch that looked "modern" but weighed so much it took six men to move it. Heavy drapery, dark rooms.

She had never thought of downsizing, the word would have been incomprehensible to her. She used to delight in saying we kids would have to deal with it all some day. Unfortunately, to this day I define my mother (partly) as a rather fearful, "fixed" woman who could not let go. I still see that house and all its heaviness in my dreams. If she had had a life outside her home all this would not have mattered so much, but she defined herself by her house. Sad.

So...as a reaction, I want to be lightweight with air and sunlight and easily moveable possessions. I'm not there yet, but that's what I have in mind as a goal by the time I'm in my 70s. I'll preserve the things worth preserving for the family, but these will not be heavy and take up space. I guess I'd better get on it, lol.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:42 AM
 
577 posts, read 446,664 times
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And yet....when you watch home shows, you see all these young people who want formal dining rooms "because we like to entertain." They entertain like Lord and Lady Grantham? Seriously? (This from someone who is soon going to be listing a cape cod house with a new kitchen but no dining room.) I've seen houses like mine where people sacrifice a bedroom on the opposite side of the house and made it a dining room so you have to shlep serving trays from one corner of the house to the other; and others that sacrifice the living room and make it a dining room. I've seen older houses where the dining room is bigger than the living room -- and it gets used twice a year. It's crazy.

In regard to getting rid of stuff....I had a yard sale after my husband died and practically gave stuff away, including some of the teddybears that I sold for a dollar or two apiece. Better to donate this stuff. What I DO do, however, is freecycle. In my area, Freecycle is a Yahoo group and I've found in five years of freecycling that there are two things that no one wanted -- an old sofa that the previous owners of my house left here, and storm door screens. I even have made friends with one woman who at this point takes pretty much everything I give her, passes it along to a friend of hers, who in turn does yard sales to buy school supplies for low-income kids. A logistical nightmare, but it keeps stuff out of the landfill.
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