As any parent can tell you – walking into your child’s bedroom, is usually the last thing you ever want to do. To venture into your child’s room, is to put your own life at risk. Think of it like walking into Chernobyl, without a hazmat suit. In fact, if you have kids, you should own a hazmat suit…and boots, with extra padding; one never knows where the next minefield of arch-destroying legos will pop up.
To put it simply – kids are disgusting. And forget about them EVER cleaning up, or ever throwing away a toy; no matter how broken and never-played-with it may be. It’s just not a thing in there world. Parents, since the beginning of time, have been resigned to wait, until their spawn leave the home. Then…take a blowtorch and a bag of lye to their children’s former dwelling. That is, until recently.
In a recent post, I talked about kids and their toys. In that post I mentioned the recent hit sensation with all parents – Marie Kondo. Kondo and her cleaning methods are all the rage at the moment. Parents everywhere are taking to their kids’ rooms (or ground zero) with black bags and Ms. Kondo’s words ringing in their ears. If it doesn’t bring joy – it goes. Some parents I know set goals, like getting rid of every toy which hasn’t seen action in a year. Some may decide to get rid of every toy except for five of the most loved. And others, have tried to go that extra mile, and just get rid of the source of clutter altogether…aka the kids.
P.S. Don’t do that. Kids are a lot more agile than you think, plus people look at you funny when they see you trying to stuff your kids in a trash can…or so I’ve heard.
Though it may seem harsh, there’s no denying the benefits of clear outs like these. If nothing else, it works wonders for your sanity…that is, once your kids stop screaming about losing their favorite toys, they haven’t touched in years. Though they might not admit to it, your kids probably also love their room after these annual clear outs.
That said, chucking everything into black bags might not be the best way to go. While Ms. Kondo gives us fantastic guidance in getting rid of stuff, she doesn’t exactly tell us what to do with it. And, that’s where this article comes in. Because, while this may shock you as much as it hurts me to admit this; your kid’s room may have some valuable stuff in it. I know…I know! But how many times have you seen a story about some schmuck finding a priceless artifact in his dump of a house, and over night he goes from being the most disgusting guy on your block, to a damn genius. Just think, next time you get those bags out, consider keeping an eye out for some of these hidden gems, and you too might be that schmuck.
Toys which are in good condition
We aren’t going to lie; no one wants that action figure with one arm, and marker scribbled all over it because little Johnny wanted him to be a different color. Sorry, but no. That said, not all toys in your kid’s bedroom might be in as sorry a state as this. Toys they’ve barely played with, for example, could fetch you more than you think on online selling sites. If toys are still in their boxes and pretty much untouched, they could end up earning you all a pretty penny. Particular things to look out for include collectibles like Transformer toys and other cult classics. While sets are preferable in these cases, even individual figures can be worth a fair amount. Admittedly, you may not have any big earners if your kids are still pretty young. But, you don’t know until you set these items aside and check it out. For the most part, you should be able to get a decent idea of price just from searching online. Remember, even $10 a hit adds up if you have a few of these to hand.
Old games consoles
If your kids are anything like most, it probably feels like they ask for a new games console every year or so. Soon, the wires which come along with them become the bain of your life. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to keep them in a neat pile. If you’re lucky, your kids might one day stop playing their old consoles for long enough that you manage to get rid of them without too much fuss. But, chucking these in a bag is often seen as blasphemy, especially given how much they cost you in the first place. The good news is that consoles tend to increase in value after a few years. A fantastic example would be both the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation 1, which now fetch a pretty penny in the vintage gaming world. Even selling your consoles straight away could be more worth your while than you expect. At the very least, putting them in storage for a few years could see you at least getting back what you paid in the first place. It may also be worth keeping hold of a few prime games for the consoles in question. Then, you can be sure to fetch a decent price when the day comes. Marie Kondo might not approve, but your kid’s future finances definitely will.
If your kids are book lovers, the chances are that you’ve taken them along to a few signings for their favorite authors. It’s a fun family day out, and a sure way to keep the little ones happy. But, do you realize that those books you queued for hours to get signed could be worth a fair amount? Signed Harry Potters, for example, can sell in the thousands. Other high profile authors like Philip Pullman are also pretty high-earners. As a general rule, named signings are worth less, but they’re still valuable for the most significant authors going. And, books like these only gain value as time progresses. Keeping those signed Harry Potter’s aside until your kid’s twenty-first, for example, could be the best nest egg you can offer. Whatever you do, then, don’t be too brutal with those bookshelves. Check the front pages first. If there’s a signature on any of them, it may be worth keeping hold, no matter how little joy they’re bringing at the moment. If you feel guilty, remind your inner Kondo that the money they earn later on is sure to bring joy back into those pages.
Last, it’s worth considering something which money can’t buy; meaningful mementos. Children are fickle beings. They go off one toy in favor of another and cast things aside as they get older. But, it’s still worth keeping hold of their most treasured toys. Even if they don’t fancy them right now, these are sure to become meaningful keepsakes which they appreciate later on. One thing’s sure; their adult selves will never understand why you gave away their favorite childhood teddy. Instead, keep hold. If it helps, put a limit on this. Simply save the three or four toys which your child loved best. Then, you can get these out when they’re starting a family of their own and begin a wonderful family tradition.