An antique pitcher, cookie cutters, a quilt made on vacation, and a cloth doll and cradle.
While my children were growing up doing memorable activities with them was important to me. I wanted my children to have a sense of history and something all of their own when they left home. With this in mind, I did activities like taking the children shopping for a Christmas Ornament each year to add to their personal collection of ornaments, having each person in our family pick out a special cup, glass, or mug that was their own, cross stitching personalized sweatshirts, collecting the new quarters representing all 50 US States, creating photo albums of their life journeys, and making blankets for them. I even saved their baby shoes and each Christmas, I place them around a small Christmas tree. Sounds nice, but all together these things have added up to a lot of accumulated stuff around the house.
The time has come where my two oldest children have moved out and both live in apartments under 800 square feet, some call it Tiny House Living. Technically, to be Tiny House Living it would need to be 500 square feet or less of space. The reality is if something that belonged to my children can not fit on their phone or on their home computers they don’t want it. They really don’t want any of it.
It’s been a hard pill to swallow, because I don’t know what to do with all of these treasures, let alone what to do with any saved furniture from grand parents or great grand parents. Who will want a my grand parents’ Armoir from the home that two generations of my family lived in from Pennsylvania? And what about GG’s (Great Grandma Georgia’s) antique sleigh bed style dressers…all 3 of them? And another GG on my side of the family, what will become of her mother’s tea set from France? And the photo albums…should I scan all of the pictures onto a jump drive? What about the vacation quilts we made together and the cookie cutters?
I have been wrestling with these feelings while shuffling my children’s stuff around for the last few years when I stumbled onto the following article from The Washington Post, written by Jura Koncius on March 27, 2015 titled: “Stuff It: Millenials Nix Their Parents’ Treasures.” This article helped make sense of what has been happening at my house. Admittedly, I do admire the simple living and thriftiness of how my adult children have chosen to live, even if I’ve been the one hanging on the the ‘stuff’ and the memories attached to them. Lately, I have been wondering why I have done this, and I’ve been challenging myself to not keep storing things people don’t want. Still questions keep surfacing like…What did all of these activities mean if my children don’t need nor want the items? Where will the memories and the items go?
This year, I want to follow my children’s example and live with less and let go of all of the things they don’t want. I imagine antique stores and second hand stores are having a boon of items coming their way as this millennial movement of living with less continues.
And so it goes, as Jura Koncius’ points out in her article, it is time for me to accept that “the cycle of giving has ended.” I’d love to join the tiny house movement and live with less stuff in general, because I want less things to clean, less to be responsible for, and if I were dreaming that same little house would be on a large piece of land where I could make small quilts to meet the tiny house movement needs and raise alpaca’s. Little animals, miniature quilts, and a little house.
I’d like to know if anyone else going through this experience too? How are you handling it? What are you doing with all of the extra and unwanted items? Are you selling them on Ebay?
If you’re interested in the Jura Koncius’ article, it can be found at the following web site:
Large and small photo albums and more quilts!