A study has revealed sentimental parents could be sitting on a gold mine.
Research, conducted by online marketplace eBay UK to celebrate the launch of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4, looked at 1,000 British families, and revealed that parents are forming their own sentimental bonds with their children's toys, and as a result, are hanging on to them.
This, in turn, means they fail to cash in on something that could potentially be a gold mine for Brits, as it was revealed there was some £171m that could be made from the discarded toys.
Just under a third (29.5 per cent) of parents have up to 10 unused toys in their homes, while 22 per cent have 21-50 hanging around - it quickly adds up!
This becomes a particularly pressing issue when you consider that we're in the middle of a renting crisis, where space is at an absolute premium.
So, why are we holding on to these items? Well, it's been found that sentimentality features particularly highly on the list, with 27 per cent saying it's due to the memories of their children. However, for 32.6 per cent, it's because they haven't got around to what they feel is a big task and find themselves uncertain of what they should be doing with them. Eight per cent said they were also unsure of what could be done to help their children let go of toys that were no longer used.
So, to help Brits make a bit of extra money and provide a hand with clearing out, we’ve spoken to eBay UK and top psychologist Honey Langcaster-James (of Big Brother and Love Island fame) to explain what can be done to free up the space around the home.
Honey said: "Parents these days seem to feel busier and more overwhelmed than ever, so it’s no wonder that having a clear out of all the old toys from around the home can feel like a daunting task, especially when they might be emotionally attached to some of them. Sometimes people hold on to children’s toys for longer than needed because they get caught up in the memories and their emotional connection to them, and don’t know how to detach and deal with the practical issue. This can especially be the case when it comes to play-things they gave their little ones at an early age."
"For parents who struggle to let go of their child’s toys, it can be helpful for them to think about the need to lead by example and find a few practical strategies to help to reduce the emotionality of it all. Selling on old toys together as a family can also be a great way to free up some cash and invest that in making new memories together."
Honey's tips are:
1. Small starts
To begin, focus on one area of your home - even if it's only a box that has been gathering dust for years, it's still progress. After you've started, you may find you gain momentum - this can help you remain motivated, as you feel relief at the space you create.
2. Lead by example
Show your child hot to let things go - in the process, they learn a valuable life skill. This also presents you with a chance to talk about old memories, and remind them that they are in you, not old things.
3. Create a habit
You should turn 'letting-go' into a habit. Make it almost a tradition that becomes a part of the process of family life between the seasons, so you can identify the old toys you need to clear out every few months. It then becomes routine. This means everyone becomes more comfortable with the prospect of clearing out, and future problems are avoided - once it's become a normal habit, it's an easier process.
4. Easy money
You could earn a nice amount by selling the toys you have lying around your home - therefore, reward yourself! After you've sold a few bits and raised some funds, you will be able to create even more family memories.