Smart downsizing: How baby boomers should get rid of their stuff

Millenials are saying no tanks to hand-me-downs

When baby boomers retire they often downsize by moving into a smaller home and getting rid of things like fine china, furniture, linens, and flatware.

Many millennials are saying "no thanks" to their parents' hand-me-downs. So what should boomers do with their extra belongings?

Research shows millennials are buying homes or they eventually plan to buy, but they tend to collect less than previous generations.

"I like the 50s or the retro, but it seems like the 1980s china, 90s are... not so much," said 27-year-old Amanda Bartelt.

Nina Colacino, owner of Nearly New Family Fashions in Glendale, says the trends for younger adults have changed, "So if it's smaller and disposable and faster that's what they like."

One study shows 78 percent of millennials would rather pay for experiences than materials goods. 

The generation gap has spawned an entire industry of downsizing specialists. 

Nan Hayes of Caring Transitions helps boomers and seniors figure out what to do with their treasures. She says it's often about emotional support, "We often try and get family members to help their parents through the transition."

The surplus of leftovers is leading to frequent new inventory at consignment shops and liquidation centers. That can translate into deals and steals if you're in the market.

"For the real bargain hunters: certainly they can find what they need," Hayes said.

Colacino said she would like to see traditions live on, "When these millennials are in their 60s they're going to say 'Hey, where's that that mom had? There was something dad always used.'"

She recommends taking what's old and making it new, "China is fun. You can have a dinner party. You can dress it up, dress it down. So what if it was your grandmother's best china. Make it fun."

Experts say no matter what you do with your belongings- if you're going to sell- know the value, and if you donate, make sure you get an itemized receipt for tax time.

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