Here's an excerpt from a March 27, 2015 Washington Post article about how younger generations view the stuff accumulated by
their parents. -Editor
A seismic shift of stuff is underway in homes all over America.
Members of the generation that once embraced sex, drugs and rock-and-roll are trying to offload their place settings for 12, family
photo albums and leather sectionals.
Their offspring don’t want them.
As baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, start cleaning out attics and basements, many are discovering that millennials, born
between 1980 and 2000, are not so interested in the lifestyle trappings or nostalgic memorabilia they were so lovingly raised with.
Auction houses, consignment stores and thrift shops are flooded with merchandise, much of it made of brown wood. Downsizing experts and
professional organizers are comforting parents whose children appear to have lost any sentimental attachment to their adorable baby shoes
and family heirloom quilts.
Stephanie Kenyon, 60, the owner of Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers in Chevy Chase, says the market is flooded with boomer
rejects. “Hardly a day goes by that we don’t get calls from people who want to sell a big dining room set or bedroom suite because nobody
in the family wants it. Millennials don’t want brown furniture, rocking chairs or silver-plated tea sets. Millennials don’t polish silver.”
The formal furniture is often sold at bargain prices, or if it’s not in good shape, it might go straight to the dump.
“Baby boomers were collectors,” says Elizabeth Wainstein, 50, owner and president of Potomack Company Auctioneers in Alexandria, where
lots of unwanted family treasures end up being sold. “They collected German porcelains or American pottery. It was a passion, and they
spent their time on the thrill of the hunt.” She says younger people aren’t really that interested in filling shelves.
Is this phenomena really anything new? Tastes always change from one generation to the next. When I was a young newsboy in Pittsburgh,
one of my customers had a home filled with charming antiques. The couple had accumulated them in the 1950s and 60s, when their own
parents' generation was throwing them out. Marble tables, heavy cut glass bowls and vases, bronze figurines, intricate oriental rugs,
even oil paintings and Tiffany lamps, all bought for a song at garage sales and thrift stores. Big heavy furniture may be out of favor
again, but many of these antiques bring prices today that would astound every previous owner. This could be another great opportunity for
a younger generation of collectors willing to swim against the tide of current fashion. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
it: Millennials nix their parents’ treasures
Wayne Homren, Editor
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