breaking news

Deputies pursue vehicle in Clark County

D.L. STEWART: A problem for the ‘too-much-stuff generation’


Like most members of our generation, my wife and I have spent a lifetime accumulating stuff. We have walls covered with art work. Armoires stuffed with crystal, fine china and silverware. An attic filled with holiday trappings and photo albums. There’s not a flat surface in our house that isn’t littered with picture frames, candlesticks and porcelain figurines of little dogs.

We have rooms crammed with furniture, including a giant dining room table my wife treasures. If a fire breaks out in our house some night, she will jump out of bed, drag that table out the nearest exit and then come back to wake me. (In all fairness, she’s had the table a lot longer than she’s had me).

But, also like members of our generation, we have no idea how to get rid of it all when we eventually downsize to a smaller house, a nursing home or a cemetery.

Previous generations simply passed along their stuff to their children. But as a New York Times article pointed out, today’s children don’t want our stuff. “Some children take the objects just to keep Mom and Dad quiet,” an estate liquidator related. “They’ll take them and store them until Mom’s dead, and then they can’t wait to get rid of them.”

MORE D.L. STEWART: ‘Last class’ creates plenty more room for concern

“Today’s young adults tend to acquire household goods that they consider temporary or disposable, from online retailers or stores like Ikea and Target, instead of inheriting them from parents or grandparents,” the article added.

And they’re not sitting down for dinner around giant tables set with crystal, fine china and silverware. The last time I visited my youngest son and his family, dinner was delivered by Hungry Howie’s pizza. Served on paper plates.

We could try to sell our stuff, but there’s probably not much market for a photo album filled with pictures of our honeymoon in Portugal. I called the Louvre about selling the print we have showing a guy throwing a large fish to another guy in a Seattle market, but I haven’t heard back from them.

MORE FROM D.L.: You can just call me the Grandpa National Bank

Donating our stuff would be nice, but even nonprofits are having trouble figuring out what to do with all our stuff. “We are definitely getting overrun with furniture and about 20 percent more donations of everything than in previous years,” a Goodwill official told The Times.

The problem has become so pervasive there’s a thriving “senior move management” industry that charges $50 to $125 an hour to help clients get rid of their stuff. We’re not ready for that, yet. But maybe they could tell us what to do with the stuff in our garage that my wife’s mom left us.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

WATCH: Adoptive mom's heartwarming video shows older boys including shy son in basketball game
WATCH: Adoptive mom's heartwarming video shows older boys including shy son in basketball game

A video and message posted by a Green County, Oklahoma, mom is spreading quickly on social media. Christy Rowden posted the video Monday afternoon after a heartwarming moment at a park. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  Rowden said she was at the park with her two children that afternoon when a bus...
Sweet dreams: How to conquer your nightmares 
Sweet dreams: How to conquer your nightmares 

You're asleep, right? You can hardly be expected to control your actions, much less your thoughts. But if bad dreams are ruining your sleep (and affecting your waking moments), you can work to eliminate or minimize them, according to psychologists and sleep experts. "One way of thinking about dreams is that they're part of the same problem-solving...
State park slashes prices for rest of the month 
State park slashes prices for rest of the month 

Need a quick getaway?  A trip to Hueston Woods Lodge and Conference Center might be calling.  The state park at 5201 Lodge Road in College Corner near Oxford is offering 50 percent discounts on rooms through May 30.  The weekend dates have been gobbled up since the park first announced the deal, but weeknight rates...
This Dayton student just got a college diploma before graduating high school
This Dayton student just got a college diploma before graduating high school

Ashli Garnett has had a busy week or so.  The Dayton teenager earned a college diploma on May 6 from Sinclair Community College.  This Wednesday, the Dayton teen will walk across the stage to receive her diploma from Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School. The 18-year-old is the first Dunbar student to earn an associate's...
These ‘Boss Chicks’ are on the rise in Dayton and hope to spread their ‘bossy’ ways around the nation 
These ‘Boss Chicks’ are on the rise in Dayton and hope to spread their ‘bossy’ ways around the nation 

Shawon Gullette has been on the receiving  end of advice from “boss chicks” her entire career.  And she says that has been a very good thing. “Women have always been my backbone,” the owner of Dayton Trichology Hair Loss Control Center and Infinitee Salon & Spa said. “I said, let me help other women...
More Stories