Decluttering trend reflects a seismic shift of stuff in homes


I’ve always been obsessed with decluttering (I actually have a monthly routine for going thru each room and designating what needs to be tossed, sold, donated so everything is always in order). Recently, however, I’ve noticed more friends bringing up the subject. The conversations are fueled by a confluence of demographics (boomers) and an improving economy. People are getting new jobs, selling homes, moving. Sometimes the impetus is kids moving out of home or getting married. Whatever the reason, people are increasingly clearing out attics, basements, spare rooms, even storage units and trying to unload their stuff. What they’re running into though is a lack of buyers.  I do believe this is evidence that more people are embracing the declutter movement while millennials, in particular, are living more digitally not needing or wanting as much “stuff”..

Read below for more more details. Link to full article from The Chicago Tribune here.

Auction houses, consignment stores and thrift shops are flooded with merchandise.

Downsizing experts and professional organizers are comforting parents whose children appear to have lost any sentimental attachment to their adorable baby shoes and family heirloom quilts.

Millennials are living a more transient life in cities. They are living their life digitally through Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, and that’s how they are capturing their moments.

Kelly and Josh Phillips, who rent a 700-square-foot apartment in the Washington, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, frequently sell things on Craigslist and call an Uber instead of owning a car. “My parents are always trying to give us stuff,” says Kelly Phillips, 29, a real estate marketer. “It’s stuff like bunches of old photos and documents, old bowls or cocktail glasses. We hate clutter. We would rather spend money on experiences.”

Stephanie Kenyon, 60, the owner of Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers in Chevy Chase, Maryland, says the market is flooded with boomer rejects. “Hardly a day goes by that we don’t get calls from people who want to sell a big dining room set or bedroom suite because nobody in the family wants it. Millennials don’t want brown furniture, rocking chairs or silver-plated tea sets.


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