Imagine spending decades collecting things that you truly appreciate. When it comes time to downsize, you cannot take your collections with you. So instead of donating or selling them to people who may not appreciate them, you offer your collections to family members. To your dismay, no one in the family is interested.
This scenario is quite common in our business. As personal concierge providers who offer downsizing services to seniors, we frequently find ourselves helping clients through the heartbreak of learning that family members do not want their collections. It is a tough thing to handle.
We would like to offer some reasons why these sorts of situations occur. It is not that family members are rejecting the owners of decades-old collections, it is just that they are not interested in the objects themselves. Loved ones are still loved with or without their collections.
Different Interests and Passions
If we had to choose one reason that tops them all, we would say that collections are often refused because family members simply have different interests and passions. Think of a 30-year-old in 2019 as opposed to someone who was 30 in the early 1960s.
Collectibles back then included things like Hummel sculptures, Norman Rockwell prints, baseball cards, and even marbles. These are the sort of things that people are not interested in today. But that’s okay. What you were collecting back in the 1960s and 70s didn’t match what your parents and grandparents were collecting in their days.
Little Monetary Value
For loved ones who don’t have the same interests and passions, the real value in collectibles is monetary. So if your collections are not worth much money, your family members might decide they are not worth holding on to. Once again, they are not rejecting you. Their attachment to you has nothing to do with objects. They love you for who you are, regardless of the things in your home.
Truth be told, your collections might be worth more to other collectors who share your passion. Perhaps they are the better choice for those collectibles that don’t have much value to family members.
A Focus on Minimalism
Family members may have no interest in your collectibles because they live different kinds of lives. Rather than buying a house and filling it up with things, the new focus today is minimalism. Some young people purposely buy tiny houses for that very reason. And because their houses are small, they just do not have the space to keep collections around.
Of course, there are other people who buy larger houses yet still want to keep the furnishings and decorations as sparse as possible. They prefer wide-open spaces, just a little bit of artwork, and plenty of natural light. They do not want to disrupt that sort of space with collections of objects.
There Are Other Options
We get the fact that seniors looking to downsize would prefer to pass collections on to children and grandchildren. After all, a collection is something someone has spent a lifetime building. It is important to that person, important enough that he or she wants it to go to a loved one.
We encourage you to be prepared to exercise another option should you be planning to downsize in the future. And yes, there are plenty of other options out there.
For starters, there are probably lots of local collectors who would be interested in what you have. You can sell your collectibles if you wish. If you would rather just give them to another collector, that’s fine too. We don’t know of any collectors who would turn them down.
Next, you could donate your collections to a charitable cause. Maybe your church is holding an auction to raise money for the kid’s ministry. Perhaps your local scouting trip needs items for its annual garage sale. There are lots of charitable organizations that could benefit from your collections.
Just know that loved ones not being interested in your collections doesn’t mean they are rejecting you. It just means they do not want your stuff. They love you equally with your collections or without. So don’t get hung up on it.