Monday, March 30, 2015

Table of contents

This article is of interest to me because of the contrast between my parents' furniture and mine. They have large, fancy and exquisite furnishings. Expandable dining tables and desks made from the finest mighty oaks (or whatever other wood is mighty for such items). Gigantic tables with heavy glass tops. Heirloom chests and sofas. Multiple cutlery sets. A four-post bed. Real classy and enduring things that fit right into a tasteful, suburban home.

My furniture is, well, not that. Mine is mostly sleek, modern and relatively cheap — at least as far as I've had a choice in deciding that. I have wood tables and shelves, but most of those aren't likely to carry my nieces' books, dinners and whatever technology they have decades from now. My couch is eight years old and I'll probably be its only owner. My bed is literally a frame with an older box spring and mattress on it. It's all eclectic, but so am I, so it works.

I'm currently sitting on a fitness ball as I type this.

There are practical considerations at play too: I've moved four times in the past four years (though this one has stuck so far), so it's nice not to have furniture that requires four people to pick up. Also, I (like many millennials) don't host formal dinner parties, so there's no reason to have all the trappings that go with that. And (this is only me) I don't want to gouge my eyes out on my bed, so I have no projectiles anywhere around it.

I would guess most millennials are in a more urban and/or transitive state than their parents (and will likely be so longer due to the economy), and thus what they keep in their homes reflects that. Add that to the ever-shrinking technology of the digital age and a general decline in consumerism, and younger people overall just need less stuff.

One point of disagreement for me about the article (and one that evidently most people share, according to the comments): I love old photos and documents. I will take all of them. I have old photos, driver's licenses, college IDs, car sales receipts and even accident reports. Those tell stories that don't exist anywhere else. I have as many digital files as anyone, but there will always be space on my eclectic shelves (and fireproof lockbox) for those items. 

Overall, I think the millennials are carrying on the fine tradition of filtering out what they want and don't from the previous generation. Our stuff says a lot about who we are and what we value, as does our choice in inheritance. 

That never changes.

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