What happens to the hand-me-downs?

It used to be that you grow up, move out, and furnish your house, in part, with items from your parents' home. But these days, the younger generation is saying, "Thanks, but no thanks" to hand-me-down home goods.

So, what happens to all of these extra belongings? Some of them are getting a new life.

When it comes to decking out his home, for example, John Michael Rotello says he's taking a pass on his parents' secondhand stuff. "Their furniture tends to be a little bit bulkier and takes up a lot more space."

He says, for him, it's all about the feel. "I think for me I value more open airy spaces."

Latest research shows millennials are either buying homes or plan to get in the ownership game, but everyone we talked to agreed that, generally, the younger adults tend to collect less than previous generations.

According to millennial, and self-described minimalist, John Michael, "Millennials have less attachment to things and place more emphasis on experiences." In fact, one study shows 78% of millennials would rather pay for experiences than material goods.

The generation gap has spawned an entire industry. Downsizing specialists, like Nan Hayes, help boomers and seniors figure out what to do with their treasures as well as help owners pick the perfect places to send the items. According to Hayes, it's often about emotional support. She says, "We often try and get family members to help their parents through the transition."

The surplus of leftovers is leading to an overflow at liquidation centers, estate sales, and donation drop-off locations, which can translate into deals and steals if you are in the market. "For the real bargain hunters, certainly they can find what they need," Hayes says.

As for John Michael, he did want to treasure some mementos from his parents' home. He says his picks are from the kitchen. "You know we all like to cook."

Experts say no matter what you do with your stuff, if you are going to sell, make sure you know the value. And, if you donate, make sure you get an itemized receipt for tax time.
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