Cross Country Checkup

Family fractures: What will you do with unwanted family heirlooms?

From 12 fine china place settings to grandfather clocks, does the younger generation have space for beloved family antiques?
As baby boomers hand off heirlooms, will their kids accept? (iStock/Getty Images)

Unwanted family heirlooms

Written by Michelle Eliot

My family didn't bring over any furniture — really not much at all — when we moved here from the Philippines a few decades ago. But, we started over and as families do, we accumulated stuff too. 

A lot of it is gone now. Since my mother passed some years ago, I've kept a few small items, like a pair of her earrings. They're in an orange box that sits prominently on my dresser at home.

The key word there is "small."

Platters, paintings, and yes, furniture, there was just no room for them. And let's just say I don't share my parents' taste for floral patterns.

We may treasure the memories, but maybe not so much the treasures, if you can call them that.

And as more baby boomers grow older, they're having those often delicate conversations in living rooms with their kids, asking, "Do you want this armoire?"


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