Spring cleaning as a family event

You can’t ask your child to clear out their own room when they see their parents’ bedroom is piled high with useless junk. So why not make decluttering an annual family event? You will get rid of unwanted things and your child will feel included in a family activity rather than feel they are being punished. Each family member is responsible for their own room. Little ones will need help, but older children can manage alone.

What to do with your children’s old stuff?

As a rule of thumb: toys that haven’t been used for the past year are no longer needed. If your children are older, it’s a good idea to go through their closet together. For younger children, their playroom alone is enough. Once everything has been cleared out and sorted, it’s time to think about where all the stuff should go. What can your older children pass down to their younger siblings? What could you give away, sell at a flea market or take to a thrift store?

Family savings or personal piggy bank?

Now that you know what needs to go, you can get an idea of what your child’s toys are worth and make a rough calculation. If the toys are in good condition, you can easily resell them or give them to other kids. This is a valuable life lesson for your children. If you decide to sell something, discuss with your child what should happen to the money. Should it go into the family’s piggy bank, or their own? Should the money for shared toys be given to each sibling?

Now comes the reward!

Finish off “declutter day” together as a family, for example, with a games night or your child’s favorite meal. This will foster a positive memory that you can relive every year.

The main points in a nutshell

  • Set a good example for your child by keeping your own closet free of junk.
  • Make decluttering an annual family event. It’s much more fun when done together.
  • Decide together with your children what to do with their old things; does everything need to be thrown away? Perhaps you could sell some things online, at a flea market or exchange them at a swap meet?
  • Sort the things in their room together and calculate how much their toys are worth. Your child will then gain an appreciation of the value of toys.

UBS’s educational principles

UBS’s educational principles

This article was written in collaboration with educator Marianne Heller, who has years of experience in teaching financial education and debt prevention programs for children and young people.

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