By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

Have you inherited things from loved ones that are taking up space in your home or your garage that you don’t even like?

Perhaps they were given to you or passed down from someone you loved and cared about.

  • You feel very uncomfortable because you don’t even like it!
  • You feel like you would be disrespecting or dishonoring their memory if you got rid of it.
  • You feel guilty because you don’t love it like your loved one did.

I’m sure they meant well when they gifted it to you in the inheritance,

but now what do you do with it?

In one of my recent blogs, How to Let Go of Sentimental Clutter, I talk about holding on to some of the things that you’ve kept for many years, the things you allowed to take up valuable space not only at your home but also in your mind and heart and how to start letting it go.

It becomes a source of guilt and even resentment for becoming the designated caretaker for something that takes up space in your home that you don’t want, won’t use, and don’t even like.

Such was the case for me when many years ago a very special elderly relative gifted me with an old Victrola cabinet. She was so excited about giving it to us that a furniture carrier showed up at our door one day to surprise us!

As a young couple about to have our first baby, you can imagine my surprise when the truck driver pulled up to our house with it. All I remember was it was big… and dark… and very ornate… and not at all our taste in furniture!

As much as I was touched by her gift, I felt obligated to accept it graciously (although I wasn’t feeling very gracious at the time!).

It was so big and I had no idea where to put it, so I asked the delivery man to put it in the new nursery until I could decide where to put it at another time.

It sat in the nursery for several months until one night as I was feeding our infant, I was inspired to give the old Victrola cabinet a new purpose. It could be a baby changer! It could be painted white!

Then for the next few years, that gift served a special purpose in our home and I was grateful to be able to use it in a way that suited our needs at that time.

I am sharing this story because you might be sitting on a piece… or several pieces of unwanted inherited furniture, artwork, and decorative accessories that you might be wondering what to do with it or how to get rid of it.


4 Few Tips to Deal with Those “Sticky Inherited Pieces”

That You Don’t Want, Need, or Even Like!


1.     Remember, it was a gift and a gift means that you can do with it as you please.

If you don’t want it, donate it, sell it, or dispose of it.

I have created a Free Downloadable list of

100 Places to Donate Your Stuff to a Good Cause that I have used myself.


2.     Re-purpose it or reinvent it.

Just like my old Victrola cabinet, what can you do to modify it, paint it, give it a new life that fits your life and lifestyle?


  • Game table: cut the legs off to become a coffee table
  • Jewelry: make it into a bejeweled picture frame
  • Clothing: make it into a quilt, pillows, or throw


3.     Re-gift it.

This time, gift it to someone who wants, needs, and will use it.

The item that you don’t want, need, or use that is sitting on your garage or attic for right now might be golden to someone who just lost their job, their home, or is just starting out.


4.     Ask yourself: if you don’t want, need, or use it…

  • WHY are you holding onto it?
  • WHY are you allowing it to take up space in your home, in your mind, and in your heart?

If you resent being the caregiver for something that you don’t want or like…

If you resent feeling obligated…

It’s up to you to let go of those feelings and lighten your load by repurposing it, reinventing it, or re-gifting it.

Remember that the memories of your loved one will live in your heart. They don’t need to live in your home.


Are you downsizing or decluttering? Want to learn more?

Check out my new online course:

How to Downsize and Declutter for Boomers: Find Freedom in Living with Less.


Visit my website for more blog articles for your Downsizing and Decluttering Journey: