Do I Own Stuff, Or Does It Own Me?

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - PA­TER­NITY WARD D. L. Ste­wart

Li ke most mem­bers of our gen­er­a­tion, my wife and I have spent a life­time ac­cu­mu­lat­ing stuff.

We have walls covered with art work. Ar­moires - na and sil­ver­ware. An at­tic and photo al­bums.

There’s not a flat sur­face in our house that isn’t lit­tered with pic­ture frames, can­dle of little dogs.

We have rooms crammed with fur­ni­ture, in­clud­ing a gi­ant din­ing room ta­ble that my wife trea­sures.

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 last week de­clared, 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.”

“Today’s young adults tend to ac­quire house­hold goods t hat t hey con­sider t em­po­rary or dis­pos­able, f r om on­line r et ai l ers or stores like Ikea and Tar­get, in­stead of in­her­it­ing them from par­ents or grand­par­ents,” the ar­ti­cle ex­plained.

And t hey’re not sit­ting down for din­ner around gi­ant ta­bles set with crys­tal,

The last time I vis­ited my youngest son and his fami l y, 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 our hon­ey­moon in Por­tu­gal.

I called the Louvre about sell­ing t he print we have show­ing a guy throw­ing a Seat­tle mar­ket, but I haven’t heard back from them.

Dona t i n g o u r s t u f f would be nice, but even non­prof­its are hav­ing trou­ble fig­ur­ing out what to do with all our stuff.

over­run with fur­ni­ture and about 20 per­cent more do­na­tions of ev­ery­thing than in pre­vi­ous years,” a Good­will

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.

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