Goodwill is 'overrun' with stuff millennials and gen-Xers refuse to take from their parents, who pay up to $5,000 to get rid of it

Younger adult generations won't take their aging parents' stuff, reports The New York Times. Some of these parents are paying thousands of dollars for professional help downsizing. The resistance among grown children could be financial — or ideological. No one wants the family china.

At least, not the generations set to inherit it.

That's according to an article by Tom Verde in The New York Times, who writes that the younger generations — millennials and gen X — are uniquely resistant to the influx of furniture, kitchenware, and general stuff that comes with their parents' downsizing.

They can't even donate it.

"We are definitely getting overrun with furniture, and about 20% more donations of everything than in previous years," Michael Frohm, the chief operating officer of Goodwill of Greater Washington, told the Times.

17 items you should always avoid buying at garage sales
See Gallery
17 items you should always avoid buying at garage sales


Finding a lightly used computer at a garage sale can seem like a great find, but you'll want to make sure the hard drive is wiped before taking it home. Not only will you have access to your neighbor's personal information, but at the worst case scenario, you could find yourself in possession of illegal information like child pornography.

(Peshkova via Getty Images)


It should go without saying that personal items like lingerie -- regardless of how adorably vintage the pieces may be -- can be unsanitary.

(wundervisuals via Getty Images)


Same goes for swimwear!

(jbkrcmar via Getty Images)


Cushions and other upholstered pieces of furniture could be teaming with bed bugs, which could end up costing you a fortune to exterminate in your home. Your best bet? Buying pillows brand-new from your local home store.

(matt_scherf via Getty Images) 


The same rule applies here regarding bed bugs, but old mattresses can also offer poor support for your body. With affordable new mattress options like Casper, there's no reason to settle on secondhand.

(vadimguzhva via Getty Images)


While many people hate buying secondhand shoes for the smell, worn shoes can actually hurt your feet, as they're molded to the hooves of their original owner.

(fstop123 via Getty Images)

Kitchen appliances

Old kitchen appliances like blenders and the like can actually be hazardous with old, dull blades and out-of-date wiring.

(Neustockimages via Getty Images)


Never settle on your safety! You should always buy tires from a certified retailer.

(deepblue4you via Getty Images)


Hats may contain lice or remnants skin infections. 

(kirill4mula via Getty Images)

Baby bottles

Chemical BPA is present in most older bottles, which the FDA no longer considers safe for children. Buying new bottles can ensure make sure you're getting the safest products.

(Yhounie via Getty Images)


Rust, flaky non-stick coatings and chemicals can leach out into your food.

(Rixipix via Getty Images)

Ill-fitting clothing

Sometimes you feel like you just have to buy something at a garage sale -- but you can end up with a item you either never wear or a spend a fortune altering.

(SimplyCreativePhotography via Getty Images)


Used makeup can be teaming with bacteria, and even if its unopened, the quality of makeup can depreciate over the years. Check the expiration date or just purchase new!

(Merydolla via Getty Images)

Stuffed animals 

Similar to cushions and mattresses, stuffed animals can be full of unsavory finds. Plus, some plushies can be hard to send through a sanitizing cycle in a washing machine.

(Thaninee via Getty Images)


Frequently changing safety standards make it hard to gauge the right quality by sight -- It's always best to purchase cribs new for the safety of your infant.

(poligonchik via Getty Images)

Car seat

Similar to cribs, car seat technology improves year after year.

(fcafotodigital via Getty Images)


Considering brushes can be very affordable at your local drugstore, it's not worth the risk of lice or infection. 

(Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia via Getty Images)


An entire industry has sprung up around figuring out where the stuff will go. Professional move managers help seniors downsize and dispose of the belongings their grown children won't take, charging about $50 to $150. Potentially including an estate sale, the full cost of the full service can reach $5,000 or more, the Times reports.

It's not all that surprising when you think about it. For one thing, younger generations might not have the space to store table service for 12. The average age of homeownership has been pushed back, and the numbers of millennials who own homes is at a record low.

Experts say it's economic, in part — 20- and 30-somethings buckling under student loan debt and having trouble securing work right out of school don't have the disposable income for many of the traditional life markers, like buying a home or getting married — but these grown kids may also have different value systems than their parents.

Consider some of the movements of the last few years:

Tiny houses. Tiny houses are cheap, mobile ... and have extremely limited storage. But that's not deterring the people who are flocking to more limited living space. Even the multimillionaire CEO of Zappos lives in a Las Vegas trailer park.

Minimalism and capsule wardrobes. Who could forget Marie Kondo jettisoning everything that doesn't "spark joy" in her bestselling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up"? One of the hottest trends in the fashion blogosphere in the past few years is the capsule wardrobe, in which you wear only a fraction of the clothes you own, ultimately aiming to isolate those you no longer need.

Early retirement. The way people retire is changing, and some people are doing it earlier than ever through a combination of aggressive frugality and extreme saving. As one example among many, take Brandon, who retired at 34 after years of extreme frugality, and told Business Insider he can hardly find ways to spend the money he has.

Renting ... everything. Many younger adults see the appeal of renting everything from homes to phones to clothes to cars. And companies are happy to help them do it.

Experiences over things. Psychological research repeatedly finds that spending money on experiences over tangible things makes people happier, and it's an ethos embraced by 20- and 30-somethings, some of whom even cast off traditional jobs and lifestyles to travel the world for years at a time.

In fact, Business Insider's Kate Taylor put together a list of the industries struggling most in the shadow of millennials' disfavor, from casual dining chains to napkins to cereal to golf.

The younger adult generations want something different from their parents — and apparently, it starts with heirlooms.

NOW WATCH: Millennials are paying $40 a night to live in these tiny 'pods'

See Also:

SEE ALSO: The 12 things minimalism gives you, from a new book that makes me think differently about everything I own

Read Full Story