Organizing and Millennials

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About three years ago, as I began the downsizing process, I had a Boomer vs. Millennial encounter. I kept favorite clothing my children had worn stored in a cedar chest.  One day, while my daughter was home from college, we decided to go through the chest to pare down as many items as possible. As we went through the clothes I recounted fondly the memories of when she wore the clothing. She, on the other hand, tossed most of the items into the giveaway pile saying that she would never dress any child of hers in those clothes. By the end of the session we kept just a few pieces of clothing, a couple of which I rescued from the giveaway pile.

As Boomers downsize and try to pass on their memories or furniture to their Millennials (children born between 1980 and 2000), they are in for a rude awakening – Millennials do not want our stuff. Millennials are the generation of “Less is more.”

  • Many Millennials have opted to live in the city where they can walk or use public transportation, and, as a result, don’t need a car.
  • They live in much smaller spaces, so they don’t have the room for, nor do they want, the large hand-me down furniture their parents are ready to give them.
  • What about all their memorabilia? You can find it in their phones, not on their shelves collecting dust.
  • While they still entertain, they don’t want to fuss over high-maintenance items such as their parents’ china and silver.
  • Millennials are mobile, taking their phones and/or laptops wherever they go. Consequently, they don’t need or want our home office furniture.

As we downsize, Boomers will need to start thinking creatively of how to dispose of our stuff without taking everything to the dump. Given their strength with technology and their concern for the environment, maybe our millennial children can help us figure out a way to do it.