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Trash or treasure? Navigating the ins and outs of giving and receiving family heirlooms

by AirTalk®

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Many of the items in this “Crazy Cat Ladies” living room display comes from collector and artist Mimi Levinson, who has a collection of more than 300 cat items. She’s the mother of the exhibition curator, Lisa Levinson. Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Whether it’s downsizing, moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility, or just finally getting rid of decades of clutter, parents often look to their children and extended families to hang onto their material possessions when they can no longer have them or don’t want them.

A recent article in the New York Times looks at this very issue. Furniture, jewelry, family photos are just some of the items we most commonly think of when talking about what older generations might bequeath to their children and grandchildren. And while it may have been the case once that the amount of stuff you owned was a commentary on how successful you were, the pendulum has swung the other way and younger generations aren’t as concerned about having material stuff that will last a lifetime.

If you’re a parent, how has the dynamic of giving and taking family heirlooms changed? Or if you’re the designated family possession holder, how has safekeeping these items impacted your day-to-day living? AirTalk wants to hear from you. Call us at 866-893-5722.


Jan Keppler-Kudla, owner of Right-Size Your Life, a company based in Sierra Madre that provides organizational, downsizing, and senior move management services

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