Clear the kids’ clutter and make a fortune!

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I can’t bear it anymore. Enough is enough!  It has to go!  What exactly am I talking about?  The huge amount of plastic tat that hangs around my house, that’s what.  Every time I set foot in the playroom I see it, taunting me with its neon ugliness!  With four kids, we have accumulated a lot of toys along the way and despite being a pretty good eBayer of stuff like pushchairs and cots, the toys are a harder problem to crack!  I have a pretty minimalist house – very little clutter, good storage systems, I rarely impulse buy and I don’t consider myself a hoarder.  The children however, well they are a whole different story so we have decided that together we are going to take charge of the playroom this Easter.

I want to involve my kids in the decluttering process as it can be a great life skill for the future so we have started off our preparations by making a list of questions to help us:

  • Do I really need it?
  • Do I still play with it
  • Why am I keeping it?
  • Does it still work?
  • Am I just keeping it for the sake of it?

It can be hard to persuade a child to part with a toy but starting with the low-hanging fruit and focusing on the stuff that isn’t used anymore is a good starting point.  We have initially decided to try and collect four toys per child that we no longer need – with at least two going to a charity shop or the local children’s hospice.  However, this process also gives me the opportunity as a mum to practice what I preach and teach the kids about earning their own pocket money.  By helping me in the playroom they can earn cash but they can also keep some of the money they make by selling their old toys.

I am a huge fan of selling online.  As long as you are honest, you can sell almost anything on sites like ebay, Preloved, Amazon and Gumtree. You can even sell things that are broken that people will buy and fix themselves as long as you are specific in the descriptions.  You can also sell via a local Facebook group- this works on trust, you communicate through private messaging and arrange a pick up or drop off and cash payment.  I think we will be trying a mixture of both.

However, I think we might also try a car boot!  The key to maximising your cash is to turn up early – regular car booters turn up an hour before the published opening time as the competition for pitches can be fierce!  The children can help and I have told them to have a target in mind for each of their products.  It could be a really fun maths lesson if nothing else!

In partnership with Experian, Sarah Willingham has recently helped to launch Jangle a free app designed to teach your kids money management skills while helping them save for the things they want.

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