The Kids Don’t Want It… What Now?

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Baby boomers face extraordinary challenges when downsizing a lifetime of things. Oftentimes, their kids and grandkids don’t want any of it. That leaves everyone involved wondering… what do we do with it all now?



The process of downsizing and moving can be gruesome, especially when you are a parent who has spent your entire life collecting things as you built your family, your home, and your legacy. Many of these things, you’ve likely saved for that one day when you’d pass it down to your children or grandchildren. 

When that day comes and your daughter(s) or son(s) don’t want any of what has been sitting in boxes, the attic, or the china hutch, a project that was already guaranteed to be overwhelming becomes seemingly impossible. 

So, where do you even go from here?


There is always the option of donating your gently-used, everyday household goods to local charity organizations. Nationally recognized centers such as Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army and Goodwill are in all major cities and towns. 

You also have local centers such as Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland who are happy to accept donations of goods and furniture that they can successfully sell and serve people in need. 

Be sure to take pictures of anything being donated and share with your local donation center in advance to determine if they are interested and have the capability to pick up and/or otherwise accept your donations. 

Some donation centers may only pick up outside your front door or from the curb. All will be choosy as to what they accept based on their space availability and whether or not they think it will sell quickly.



If your goal is to sell the items that your kids don’t want, which is the goal of 95% of our clients, you might ponder the idea of having garage sales. That is, of course, if you have enough time to carry the heavy burden of downsizing yourself. 

Before you make your decision on going this route, you must watch this comedian’s garage sale experience: 


The main problem with garage sales is that they don’t clear all household items and the cost of time outweighs the amount earned. Nine times out of ten, you have a large donation pile at the end, or worse, you have to bring it all back into the house and try again next weekend. 



Many who don’t want to go it alone choose to hire an estate sale company to tag all the items with a price and hold a 2-3 day estate sale on property. 

The general idea with an estate sale is that on day 1, all items are priced high and day 2, everything is 50% off. 

The problem with day 1 is that no one wants to pay the high price on the tag, and if they cannot talk the estate sale manager down on the price, they must return on day 2 to get it for half off. On day 3, if you’re lucky, your estate sale company will liquidate it. There is likely not much of a paper trail on what actually happens with the stuff. 

Our clients have shared nightmares with us about their estate sale companies requiring they buy back an item they end up choosing to keep, ending up with items stolen, or having a full house they are still stuck with clearing after the sale is over. 



If you’re looking to take the sales process online, you have the low-cost option of listing individual items on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, OfferUp, or eBay. It might be easy enough to do if you have a limited amount of items to sell. 

There are several reasons these routes may prove impossible when you have a whole house of things to sell:

  • They don’t provide fast results
  • You may be solely responsible for all buyer/bidder communications
  • You may need to deliver or ship the items
  • Local buyers may have to pick up from your home if you aren’t able to arrange delivery or a public pickup
  • Your sale isn’t advertised
  • You have limited to no professional support (unless you hire someone to manage this for you)
  • No peace of mind



MaxSold vs. traditional household content sales methods


We learned six years ago how important it was to have a downsizing option for our clients and their families that was safe & secure, efficient, transparent, and that worked. 

It was in 2016 that we first partnered with the online auction house, MaxSold, to begin providing our clients with the peace-of-mind of a one-stop solution for all of their downsizing needs. 

We’ve learned how important it is to understand your options and the value they provide in terms of dollars and SENSE. With MaxSold, our clients get the most value out of their estate AND their downsizing experience. 

MaxSold offers the flexibility of managing your own sale (Seller Managed), hiring MaxSold to manage your sale (MaxSold Managed) and hiring a MaxSold Partner such as Organized Haven to manage your sale (Partner Managed.) 

I recently shared the things we do to maximize our clients sales with other relocation specialists on MaxSold’s Ask an Expert webinar series:


See Organized Haven’s past, current and future Partner Managed MaxSold sales here:



“Your items are worth whatever you want them to be worth so long as you are not trying to sell them. Once you decide you are selling the items, their monetary value is largely determined by forces other than you.” ~Barry Gordon, MaxSold Founder

Have you been through this process and found any other downsizing methods that work? Let me know in the comments!

There are so many benefits to owning less and downsizing doesn’t have to be impossible. Learn more about this on my blog post, Downsizing vs. Rightsizing and the Benefits of Both:


PIN IT to remember it!



Happy downsizing!



By: Nicole Ramer, SMM~C

(Certified Professional Organizer® & Certified Senior Move Manager®)

© 2022 Organized Haven. All rights reserved.

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  1. Janet Barclay

    We contacted MaxSold after my dad passed away, but decided his stuff wasn’t likely to generate enough income to make it worthwhile. We ended up donating it to an organization in Toronto called The Furniture Bank. We had to pay for them to come and take it away, but received a tax receipt for the value of the goods and had the comfort of knowing they would go to someone in need.

    • Nicole Ramer

      I’m so glad that you explored MaxSold and also had another great option for removal that was more financially reasonable for your family. Thank you for sharing, Janet!

  2. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great post! This post is a reality check for all retirees. Thank you.

    For some of my downsizing clients, I found that jewelry, especially custom jewelry is hard to get rid of. Usually, children do not want these items. Some charities will not accept these items either.

    I never used MaxSold but have checked out their website in my area. They are not very large here, so the supplies are limited. Thanks for sharing your experience with them.

    • Nicole Ramer

      You’re welcome, Sabrina! Thank you for sharing your experiences with costume jewelry… those items sell really well on MaxSold in my area! I’d be happy to chat with you sometime about becoming a MaxSold partner for your area – I feel this is key to the members of your community knowing and understanding this viable option for downsizing. I can also connect you with a MaxSold Business to Business Coordinator.

  3. Seana Turner

    Nice overview of all the options. I think it all comes down to what our priorities are with selling (top dollar, speed, large quantity out, etc.) Nice to see your tips for running an auction with MaxSold.

    That video was hilarious – thanks for sharing!

    • Nicole Ramer

      You hit the nail on the head, Seana! The clients who hire us and go the MaxSold route for all that they choose to send to new, loving homes, feel the value is in selling the most with the least hassle. For them, it isn’t about getting top dollar. They understand the value of their things is determined by what someone is willing to pay for them. The value to them is in the sale of their house which can’t happen until the excess is gone. With MaxSold, what on average is 70% of a lifetime of accumulations is efficiently sorted, catalogued, sold to the highest bidder and removed within 2 weeks!

      Don’t you just love that video?! It’s also on our Downsizing and Estates webpage. We have watched it many times and it never stops making us laugh! 🙂

  4. Diane N Quintana

    I really like your review of the options available to someone who is downsizing. I’ve used MaxSold for clients and for myself. It does work like a charm and is so much easier than a garage sale.

    • Nicole Ramer

      I love finding other MaxSold partners who have even used MaxSold for the sale of their own belongings! I’m only 39 and have already held two of my own MaxSold estate sales! We sure do collect a lot with every passing year, especially with little ones! Why have a garage sale when you can catalog items in place, only moving it once – when the highest bidder comes to pick it up! 🙂

  5. Janet Schiesl

    Helpful options for those downsizing to consider. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicole Ramer

      Thank you, Janet!

  6. Julie Bestry

    This is a great set of robust options, and I love how you looked at the benefits and demerits of each. Maxsold still isn’t operating in my state yet, but I’m looking forward to it being an option for my clients in the future. (And you couldn’t pay me to have, or work, a garage sale!)

    • Nicole Ramer

      Julie, MaxSold is working hard to gain access in additional states here in the U.S. Hopefully, it won’t be long! We have had clients ask if we would hold a garage sale for them – the answer has ALWAYS been NO! Every last one of them understood! 🙂


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