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Goodwill Struggles As Millennials Refuse to Take Their Parents' Stuff

Sue_CSue_C NADaily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2017 in News
The emergence of another generational divide is making its way to the forefront of the American consciousness. As the majority of the Baby Boomer generation enters seniority, younger generations like Millennials and Gen-Xers are tasked with figuring out what to with their parents' stuff.  
According to Tom Verde at The New York Times, younger generations are "reluctant" to inherit their parents' furniture, kitchenware, and general stuff that come as their parents downsize their living situations. 
In the midst of all of this, Goodwill, a popular second-hand store and donation center, is absorbing a good bit of the loot.
"We are definitely getting overrun with furniture and about 20 percent more donations of everything than in previous years," says Michael Frohm, chief operating officer of Goodwill of Greater Washington, in the NYT report...[Read more from the Media Research Center]


  • DonnicaDonnica CARegistered User ✭✭✭
    This makes me very sad!
  • Roberta_GordicaRoberta_Gordica CanadaRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭
    The younger generation may be struggling with school loans and other debts, but many of them are living at home to save money for their newest shiny gadget that has been promoted by the media.  They feel they are entitled to have whatever they want.  They haven't learned to appreciate the value of "things" as they are living in a disposable society. 
  • karen700karen700 TXRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified ✭✭✭✭
    I try to involve giving to area churches. They are constantly having garage sales in my area to raise funds for themselves and sending kiddos to summer camp. Gives Goodwill and Caritas a break and helps out people who really can't afford to pay ...sometimes anything at all. I decided to "simplify" my house and have packed quite a bit up and people at church will send people to pick up the bigger items.
  • rhiphelpsrhiphelps CARegistered User ✭✭

    I completely understand this. As a 33 year old, (living in San Diego) rent is expensive among other expenses. People are forced to downsize. I inherited (old) furniture from my grandparents AND parents and am struggling with what to do with it. (Good thing I work in self storage and have a complimentary unit!)

     I simply don't have room for extra furniture and "things". These days, minimal living is more than a trend. It's a necessity. From what I have seen, my generation doesn't exactly have large homes with extra rooms with storage. Book collections are no longer really needed. Movies. Magazines. Bulky (old) cooking wear..

    Even think about this: How many young people want to buy ONE pair of expensive, well made shoes that will last forever? No no no... And how many of us want a china collection for our dinner parties? (Same old China, have to store it somewhere, and who has dinner parties?) Or want to hang onto Grandma's hand crocheted blankets? (Yes, they are cute and cozy... but they clash with your décor... so you store them instead-until one guilty day you decide to finally get rid of them)...

    It's not that we don't really appreciate these things... We just don't use them or have room for them, or have the means to store them away until a time when they are needed.

    ..... We are also growing up in a disposable SOCIETY... it's not just our generation... (Hello!! Birkenstocks used to last 20 years! Cars used to be made of METAL!)

     Things are designed to be replaced as often as possible. It's called planned obsolescence people!

  • AKKathieAKKathie NARegistered User ✭✭
    I agree with @rhiphelps.  After spending my life collecting things to have when I someday built a house (now just me and my hubby - kids are grown) I now find I don't have as much space to hang family photos, 2 pieces of furniture is enough and how many kitchen items do you need?  As a family we have even decided when we get together for holidays we will just use paper plates and disposable serving dishes, that way no one has to do the dishes.  It's more about spending time together.  Christmas presents are just for the little ones, the adults have everything they need or can buy for themselves.  One Christmas we all made food items for adult presents (everyone loves baked goods!)

    Then I was given the majority task of moving my mother-in-law out of her 4 bedroom, 2 huge outbuildings into a 1 bedroom senior living.  That meant 2 estate sales, numerous OfferUp sales, a ton of donation items, etc.  Many things she had saved her whole life (50 yrs married).  But, now nowhere to put it and as @Sue_C quoted from the NYTimes none of the kids wanted china, antique china hutch, Princess House crystal by the dozens, dozens of memorabilia from pins to t-shirts collected from their travels over the years, etc.  Mom was quite upset, but what do you do?  

    This venture made me take a good long look at my own things MY grown kids would have to deal with.  I've started taking pictures of things for memories and giving away the actual item.  Someone introduced me to Marie Kondo and her clearing method.  I love it!

    It does make me sad that no one wants the old, handmade, antique even vintage items anymore. I hate the change to a disposable society, but it's inevitable with the glut of consumerism and the busy lives that leave no time for dusting and cleaning knickknacks.
  • L_GreenwellL_Greenwell KYRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭
     You have inspired me to make some changes also. Thanks
  • RobynRobyn ORRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified ✭✭✭
    My sister has worked at a Goodwill donation site for 6 years here in Oregon, and she said they have entire warehouses FULL of donations that have been waiting YEARS to be put in the actual store.  She said it's not uncommon to find things moldy and nasty at the warehouse because it's been sitting soooo long.  
  • L_GreenwellL_Greenwell KYRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭
    AKKathie you have inspired me to make some changes also. Thanks
  • akangasakangas GARegistered User
    Goodwill should be booming, no? If kids do not want the stuff, Goodwill gets it, right?
    Adam Kangas
  • themagethemage ORRegistered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭
    But Goodwill has to sell it, and no one wants it, so they are stuck with it.
  • akangasakangas GARegistered User
    Goodwill will just have a bigger better inventory. They can up their quality and increase sales. I still believe this is a win for Goodwill. It will affect storage companies more adversely than Goodwill. The more given to Goodwill-the less stored.
    Adam Kangas
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