So often during the course of a downsizing session, we will hear our clients say

“I am leaving this to my son”

“My grand daughter is getting this when I die”

They believe that because they consider them valuable items, are family heirlooms or just precious to them, that their children or grandchildren will value them too. All too often this is not the case. All too often these items just become a burden, overvalued and unwanted. Lifestyles have changed, décor styles are very different with trends and seasons dictating, daily lives in general have become faster and busier. As a result, our children and grandchildren no longer covert our precious silver cutlery or crystal glasses that need careful handwashing. And the same applies to many other heirlooms we want to pass on.

Here are 7 items that are no longer as popular as they were a generation ago:

1. Antique Furniture

The value of antique furniture has dropped dramatically in the last decade. Young people are living in smaller homes, buying furniture with simple lines or perhaps repurposing cheap antique finds. Large, heavily carved dark antique furniture is not as sought after as it used to be.

2. Silver

This applies to silver as well. Tea sets, silver cutlery sets, trays and ornamental items are no longer in vogue. People don’t want to spend time cleaning and shining silver, brass and copper. Displaying these items is no longer in fashion, and most often display cabinets are a thing of the past.

3. China and crystal

You don't see the type of formal dinners people used to host. For the most part, people want dinnerware and glassware that can be stacked in a dishwasher. The market has changed, the demand has waned and so the value of china and crystal has dropped significantly and don’t fetch the prices people think they will.

4. Dolls

One of the few things that I kept well into adulthood was an original 1959 Barbie doll. It was my link to a happy and contented childhood. Neither of my girls wanted it and I was told it was “quite valuable”. Not any more! Barbie dolls, porcelain dolls and doll collections aren't as valuable as they were 25 years ago. And so, my “collectable” 1959 Barbie was donated, along with my daughters’ dolls and soft toys after they moved out of home.

5. Coin and stamp collections

Millennials aren't really interested in collecting coins or stamps and so those collections will land up in a box or cupboard somewhere. Most collections are not as valuable as they are sentimental.

6. Rugs

In the past, everyone wanted to own an Oriental rug. We loved Persians and kilims and hand stitched woven masterpieces bought on our travels. Today decorators follow the trends and we buy rugs that can be replaced when our tastes and styles change.

7. Ornamentals

Our children don’t have an emotional connection to our Beatrix Potter figurines, ornate ornamental items, and collections of owls, frogs or other creatures acquired over decades and lovingly housed in display cabinets, printers’ trays and mantlepieces.

It is wonderfully generous to want to leave your most precious and valued things to your family. But it is kinder still to consider asking them if they want them. Think practically about their lifestyles. When saving items for family members, think: Will they want this? Do they have room for it? Is the item valuable only to me?

The answers will help you with decisions to save for them or to let go now before a household full of heirlooms becomes a burden.

Published in News

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Telephone: +27 (0)82 926 3531
Email: judith@allsortednow.co.za 

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