By Beth Teitell Globe Staff
For 30 years, Pat Fryzel stored her children’s memorabilia, and her grandmother’s, too. But when she and her husband downsized, from a large Winchester home to a two-bedroom Boston town house, there was no room for the American Girl dolls or Nana’s cake plates. So Fryzel asked her grown kids to collect what they wanted.
She was not met with much enthusiasm. “They said, ‘Take a picture and text it to us,’ ” recalled Fryzel, 64, a retired nurse practitioner.
For generations, adult children have agreed to take their aging parents’ possessions — whether they wanted them or not. But now, the anti-clutter movement has met the anti-brown-furniture movement, and the combination is sending dining room sets, sterling silver flatware, and knick-knacks straight to thrift stores or the curb.
And feelings are getting hurt, as adult children who are eager to minimize their own belongings — and who may live in small spaces, and entertain less formally than their parents did — are increasingly saying “no thanks” to the family heirlooms.