MamaBlogger365 – Spring Cleaning: A Lucrative Deal for Kids of Any Age by Jennifer Covello
For many families, it’s spring cleaning time. It certainly is in my house. This time of year propels me to clean, purge, donate, and re-arrange. I make lists for each room of my house on the tasks I want to complete. Inevitably, they are sometimes more ambitious than I can accomplish, BUT… that’s why I had kids!
I’ve had three tag sales in the last several years and each time I finish with one, I vow never to have another. They are more work than they are worth and you end up giving away most things anyway. But there’s something about selling that once-treasured item for a few dollars that you can then turn around and buy some new treasure that Ill likely end up in next year’s tag sale.
You may be thinking after three large tag sales that I have a hoarding problem. Actually I’m the exact opposite. I have a clutter problem. I have a pretty high tolerance for dust bunnies, but if they are wrapped around useless items, my eyelids start to twitch and my kids see those two little words form on my lips…’tag sale’.
In previous tag sales, most of the saleable items were my own. I sold enough to buy myself a treadmill one year and yes, I do use it! Last year, however, I decided to involve my two children. As we cleared out their rooms of old toys, books, clothes, and other paraphernalia, I instructed them to get rid of anything they didn’t absolutely love. We bagged up clothes and sent them off to Goodwill. We boxed up old toys and games and priced them to sell. I told them that any monies they got from the sale of their items were theirs to spend as they wanted. Wow – talk about a major purging!
My son, who has always been motivated by money, emptied his room like a mad man. My daughter, more contemplative in her choices, took a bit longer. At the end of the day, both had an impressive stash and were overjoyed at how much better their rooms looked and felt. This is the immediate payback. A room with a clean slate.
While they did not relish waking up early on a Saturday morning, once they saw the people coming and buying, their energy levels quickly picked up. People came from near and far to snatch up WWE figurines, board games, DVDs, and old sports equipment. The kids cleaned up. Between the two of them, they netted almost $150. I was jealous! My treasures were only worth about $50! At the end of the sale, we boxed up the leftovers and sent them off in the donation truck to a good home where they’d needed more.
This tag sale taught my kids many valuable lessons. They learned that they really didn’t need as much as they thought. They honed their math skills with the changing of monies. But the most important lesson is that they saw the fruits of their hard work resulted in a sizeable payout. I, of course, got a clean house!
I have involved my kids in various spring cleaning projects for as long as I can remember. Whether it was the actual cleaning or simply re-organizing cabinets and drawers, they can be involved at any age. While they may complain at first, it’s important to teach them to value their home and keep it neat and tidy. They will take this skill with them to their first college dorm room all the way to their own home one day.
Think ahead and plan out your spring cleaning projects. Develop age appropriate tasks for each child. They will benefit from taking on the responsibility of helping out and you will benefit by delegating a few items from your own to-do list. The whole family will benefit in the end with a clean and organized home.
And that’s something everyone can be proud of!
Jennifer Covello is an award-winning author and owner of Frittabello baby gifts. Her passion for motherhood is evident through her writings and her speaking on topics that impact moms and children. As a divorced mother of two children, Ms. Covello, continually searches for the lessons her own children teach her along her parenting journey.